So there’s a lot at stake this week in the BMW Championship. It’s the middle leg of the FedEx Cup, and coming hot-on-the-heels of last week’s big event in New Jersey, we see a host of big names make the short trip down the Eastern seaboard to Maryland.
The penultimate event in this year’s FedEx Cup series, last week’s 125 starters have been cut to the top 70 players in the points table. They will now compete at the BMW to see who makes it through to the elite 30-man Tour Championship. There’s no halfway cut, and after this week only the highest earners/points scorers will proceed to the mega-bucks finale at East Lake, Georgia. This event was brought into the play-offs in 2007 (formerly known as the Western Open) and in keeping with its heritage, the tournament is frequently held in the mid-West states, always attended by a top-class field.
BMW Championship: The Course
This week we’re at the Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Maryland. Opened in 1991, this is a par 72, designed by Tom Fazio, laid out over 7,542 yards. Recently renovated, there’s more length, plus new and/or restored bunkers, and, in places, additional rough. The front and back nines have been switched to allow for better spectator views. The PGA Tour hasn’t played an event in Baltimore since the 1960s, but Caves Valley played host to the US Senior Open in 2017. It’s a long course which is viewed as favouring the bigger hitters in the field.
72-Hole Record: 260, Keegan Bradley (2018)
18-Hole Record: 63, Vijay Singh (2003)
BMW Championship: Past Winners
2020: Jon Rahm
2019: Justin Thomas
2018: Keegan Bradley
2017: Marc Leishman
2016: Dustin Johnson
2021 BMW Championship Tournament Preview: Everything You Need To Know About Caves Valley Golf Club Before Tee Off https://t.co/a29vl7fjqa
— PGA Tout (@PGATout) August 22, 2021
BMW Championship: The Field
Just 70 players line-up in Maryland this week. Jon Rahm the $7.50 favourite with TopSport.
BMW Championship: The Weather
It will be a week of occasional showers with a daily precipitation forecast of 20%-20%-40%-30% over the course of the tournament. Temperatures will be high, reaching the upper 80s, although clouding over at the weekend. Wind speeds will be very light, below 5mph for the four days.
BMW Championship: Outright value bets
Justin Thomas $20 with TopSport
After what, for him, has been a poor run, Thomas showed signs of a recovery last week in New Jersey. Opening with a 63, and eventually finishing tied 4th, he putted extremely well, and had a much more Thomas-like week tee-to-green. There’s no doubts this high-class operator will regain the winning thread soon enough, and this course should be a good fit for the prolific PGA Tour winner. Thomas is long enough off the tee to benefit from the set-up at Caves Valley, and ranking 4th this year on Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green, if he can carry over his form with the putter from last week, then he looks to have a very decent chance to register a first win since the Players Championship.
Bryson DeChambeau $19 with TopSport
When length off the tee is required, the first name on the list of options has to be the beefed-up Bryson DeChambeau. He ranks 1st for Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee, 1st for Driving Distance, and 6th for Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green. He can even putt as well! What DeChambeau has lacked has been a consistent use of all his weapons in one week. When he does, he’s capable of blitzing any field on any course – like we famously saw in last year’s US Open. He played well at the St.Jude before a final round 74 put paid to his chances, but DeChambeau should be licking his lips at the thought of this week’s test, and if his game comes together then he’s a very backable price here.
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