FedEx Cup: BMW Championship
Crooked Stick in Carmel, Indiana will host the 2016 BMW Championship after hosting this event in 2012 where Rory McIlroy shot 20-under to win by two shots from Phil Mickelson and Lee Westwood with Tiger Woods and Robert Garrigus a further shot behind. It won that year’s PGA Tour ‘Tournament of the Year’ gong.
A 6873m Par 72, Crooked Stick famously played host to the 1991 PGA Championship won by John Daly. The course has also hosted the 1993 US Women’s Open and 2009 US Senior Open.
The front nine is relatively flat with the sixth hole the feature, a picture-perfect Par 3 that is one of the most spectacularly beautiful hole anywhere in the world.
The back nine provides a little more excitement with the Par 3 13th – a half-blind hole – and the Par 5 15th that offers one of the most difficult sloping greens you could imagine.
It is a long course so punters will need to factor in driving distance but it will be accuracy from the fairway and an ability to handle the difficult greens that will be key to surviving Crooked Stick.
The BMW Championship originated in 2007 after evolving from the Western Open. Since ’07 it has seen some of the biggest names on the PGA Tour take the tournament including Tiger Woods twice, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Zach Johnson, Jason Day and Justin Rose.
No golfer ranked outside the Top 18 in the world at the end of the year has won the BMW Championship with six of the nine tournaments won by Top 10 players.
This is a tournament won by the very best.
Low-scoring is also commonplace in the BMW with 22-under winning the event last year while 13-under has been required to win eight of the nine tournaments.
Americans have won five of the nine BMWs with Europeans winning twice. Australian Jason Day and Colombian Camilo Villegas have also won the event.
The last two winners have not shot a round over 69 so consistency is critical in the BMW.
The Wolf has defending champion and tournament second-favourite Jason Day as his top selection for The BMW. No player has a better game for Crooked Stick with the world No.1 the best putter on tour to go with Top 25 slots in driving distance and scrambling. He has not won since The Players but in his eight tournaments since he has four Top 10 finishes. Consistent and all class.
Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson both offer value at good double figure prices. Fowler ranks Top 25 in greens in regulation, driving distance and scrambling with the world No.8 recording eight Top 10 finishes this season. Mickelson, No.13 in the world rankings, has been flying with seconds in the St Jude Classic and British Open since June. His short game is perfectly suited to Crooked Stick. He finished second here when the BMW was last in town back in 2012.
The Wolf also has four roughies to play around.
Charles Howell III is accurate and long from the tees and has finished Top 25 in 14 of 24 events this year. Wily veteran Sean O’Hair was runner-up in The Barclays recently and is another with the right kind of length for Crooked Stick. Harris English ranks seventh in strokes gained putting this year, something that will suit him on a tough set of greens. Jamie Lovemark ranks 11th off the tee and is over the odds.
Outright Win: Jason Day ($8)
Outright Win: Rickie Fowler ($34)
Outright & Eachway: Phil Mickelson ($41)
Outright & Eachway: Charles Howell III ($126)
Outright & Eachway: Sean O’Hair ($126)
Outright & Eachway: Harris English ($126)
Outright & Eachway: Jamie Lovemark ($201)
Rory McIlroy v Jason Day: Jason Day ($2.00)
Louis Oosthuizen v Paul Casey: Paul Casey ($1.90)
Bubba Watson v Gary Woodland: Gary Woodland ($1.90)
Justin Rose v Sergio Garcia: Justin Rose ($1.90)