BMW Championship: Day-ja vu in Illinois?
After a one-week break, the PGA Tour is back in action with the BMW Championship at Conway Farms in Illinois, the third event of the FedEx Cup play-offs, writes Phil Casey.
The field is restricted to the top 70 in the FedEx Cup standings and only the top 30 after the event will advance to the season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta next week.
Conway Farms has hosted the tournament twice before, with Zach Johnson winning in 2013 and Jason Day easing to a commanding victory in 2015, meaning both precision and power have won the day on the 7,198-yard, par-71 layout north of Chicago.
Low scores are certainly possible with Day opening with a 61 two years ago and Jim Furyk shooting a 69 in the second round in 2013, while recent results suggest sticking to the top of the betting market is the best approach to take.
Leaving out Chris Stroud’s win in the Barracuda Championship held in the same week as the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, the list of winners on the PGA Tour since the start of August reads Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Thomas, Henrik Stenson, Dustin Johnson and Thomas again.
With that in mind, we’re going to give 2015 champion Jason Day a chance to repay our faith after his frustrating performance in the Dell Technologies Championship ended our winning streak.
Day was effectively out of the running after playing his first five holes in five over par, although he went on to make 22 birdies, including eight in the first 13 holes of his closing 66. In contrast Thomas made 17 birdies and an eagle, but just two bogeys all week.
A share of 25th was therefore the best that Day could manage, but that is hardly disastrous after two top 10s in his previous two events and with course form of 4-1 at Conway Farms, the former world number one is the headline selection in our BMW Championship betting predictions at odds of 16/1.
Jordan Spieth’s course form is not as good as Day’s, but the Open champion was 16th in 2013 and 13th two years later, while he could easily have been coming into this week seeking a third win in a row.
Spieth let slip a five-shot lead before losing to Johnson in a play-off in the Northern Trust Open and was one ahead with five to play before two late bogeys allowed Thomas to ease to victory in Boston.
Such form is reflected in Spieth being favourite at 13/2, but the three-time major winner is one to have on side before the tournament gets under way.
With two relatively short-priced players on board, we can look for hopefully some bigger value elsewhere for our last two BMW Championship betting tips, with Zach Johnson and Kevin Na both available in the outright market at 66/1.
Johnson’s victory in 2013 has already been mentioned, but the two-time major winner was also tied 13th in 2015, while Na has two top-six finishes in his last three starts and was 10th at Conway Farms in 2015. If the outright price does not appeal, Na can be backed at 5/1 for a top 10.
Best bets for the BMW Championship
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