2019 BMW Championship Picks, Predictions, Preview

Pat Mayo and Geoff Fienberg preview the course and run through the odds while making their 2019 BMW Championship Picks. The guys give their fantasy golf picks, provide their one and done strategy for the event from Medinah.

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2019 BMW Championship Field

Field: 70 Players | No Cut
First Tee: Thursday, Aug. 15 at 10:15 a.m. ET
Defending Champion: Keegan Bradley

Only two events to GOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! Following the Patrick Reed triumph at the Northern Trust, the FedEx Cup standings have been reshuffled, and the Top 70 remaining are off to the Chicago suburbs for the 2019 BMW Championship. This is a great week for writers and broadcasters to showcase they’ve heard of the word “penultimate,” and they KNOW WHAT IT MEANS!!!!! Seriously, it’s going to be everywhere. Make a drinking game out of it.

Not a huge amount of movement in points as there were only four players swapping places in the Top 70. Sergio Garcia, Kevin Streelman, Matthew Wolff and Danny Lee, with his final-round 77, find them dropping out of the playoffs for Wyndham Clark, Troy Merritt, Joaquin Niemann and last week’s bronze medalist Harold Varner III.

With his win, Reed vaults to No. 2 in the FedEx Cup standings while runner-up Abraham Ancer vaults from 67th to eighth place. Brooks Koepka remains on top, followed by Reed, Rory McIlroy, Matt Kuchar, Jon Rahm, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, The Mexican Allen Iverson, Gary Woodland and Dustin Johnson.

Tiger Woods, Bud Cauley, Chris Stroud and Aaron Baddeley all withdrew from competition last week. Cauley, Stroud and Baddeley didn’t advance to the 2019 BMW Championship, but there’s yet to be word other than “hopeful” on whether or not Tiger is going to give his obliques another go to make it to the TOUR Championship and defend his title. Also, Rafa Cabrera-Bello exited early in the week from the Northern Trust to be with his wife for the birth of their child. He remains inside the Top 70 in the standings, but it is unlikely we’ll see RCB at Medinah.

2019 BMW Championship: Key Stats

Strokes Gained: Approach
Proximity Gained 175+ Yards
Par 4s Gained: 450-500 Yards
Strokes Gained: Off The Tee
Par 5s Gained

Mayo’s Custom Stat POWER RANKINGS from FantasyNational.com

2019 BMW Championship: Course

Course: Medinah CC (Course No. 3)
Par: 72
Yardage: 7,613
Greens: Bentgrass (poa blend)

2019 BMW Championship: Notes

A daunting 7,613 yards in total distance, there might only be four Par 4s measuring more than 450 yards, but there are only two less than 433 yards. A lot of the yardage is dedicated to a pair of Par 5s that play more than 600 yards and the shortest of four Par 3s coming in at 192 yards. Three of those Par 3s must carry water as well.

The 2012 Ryder Cup version of Medinah measured 7,657 yards.

With the elevation shifts and long holes, expect a lot of approach shots from 175+ yards. The leaders in 175-200 yards + 200+ yards proximity gained over the past 50 rounds: Reavie, Fowler, Brooks, McIlroy and Woodland. Shortening the sample and looking at just the past 12 rounds of play: Homa, Fowler, Glover, Webb and Woodland.

This is Medinah’s first time as a host venue in the FedEx Cup playoffs but previously has played home to a pair of PGA Championships (1999, 2006), three US Opens (1949, 1975, 1990), three Western Opens (1939, 1962, 1966), and was last seen as the site of the 2012 Ryder Cup. Tiger Woods won the 1999 and 2006 PGA Championship.

From the 2012 Ryder Cup; Tiger Woods, Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, Matt Kuchar, Brandt Snedeker, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Francesco Molinari and Ian Poulter are in the field this week. That year, Keegan, Dufner, DJ, Zach Johnson and Mickelson all tied for the US team lead in points with 3.0. For the Euros, Poulter topped everyone with 4.0 points, while Rory and Rose were second with 3.0.

No. 15 is a reachable Par 4, just 331 yards. It was rebuilt into its current layout in advance of the 2012 Ryder Cup; it since has been shortened.

Over half the holes dogleg to the left and many of the approaches are uphill to elevated greens.

The wide(ish) fairways are outlined by trees. Fortunately, wayward tee shots landing the forest still likely will give players an opportunity to advance the ball up near the green.

The bentgrass greens with traces of poa should be very similar to last week at Liberty National.

Patrick Reed’s +5.4 SG: OTT at the Northern Trust was the second highest total of any event in his career (2014 Waste Management +5.5).

Leaders in SG: OTT from last week’s event: Ancer +6, Reed +5.4, Brian Harman +5.2, Rory McIlroy +5.1, Brooks +4.8.

Leaders in SG: APP from last week’s event: Varner III +9.5, Louis +9.3, Poulter +7.2, Thomas +6.1, Vegas +5.9.

Worst players who made the cut in SG: PUTT: Si WOOO Kim -8.7, Molinari, -7.0, Stanley -6.8, Keith Mitchell -6.1, Danny Lee -6.0.

Players who made the cut, remaining in the playoffs, while gaining strokes both off the tee and through approach but lost more than two strokes on the greens: Mitchell, Palmer, Keegan, Moore, Xander, Ben An and Finau.

Players who gained more than +3.0 SG: PUTT at the Northern Trust but lost strokes Tee-to-Green: Horschel, Landry, Stuard, Armour, Homa, Kevin Na, Reavie and Roger Sloan.

2019 BMW Championship Picks — Targets From Each Range

Justin Thomas

Another week, another lights out performance from Thomas in the ball striking department. He now is averaging +5.5 SG: APP over his past four starts and has gone T12/T12/T11 over his past three events. Eventually he’s going to pop with the putter. If it’s this week, he’s probably going to win.

Patrick Cantlay

I made the critical mistake of backing Patrick Reed for a month before last week, and look what happened. Don’t want to make that mistake with Cantlay. He wasn’t great, actually losing strokes on approach for the second time all season but still managed to lead the Northern Trust in birdies en route to a T12 finish. Still, he was in the positives against the field in every round from 175-200 in proximity gained, and he is the best player in the field from that range over the past 50 rounds.

Ian Poulter

While course history is never a trump card for selections, it’s curious to note Poulter has seen this course in different incarnations and excelled every time. The Brit was T9 in the 2006 PGA Championship and scored the most points of any player at the 2012 Ryder Cup. Couple that with his scorching iron play to kick off the playoff, finishing third in the field in SG: Approach at +7.2. Plus, it was the first time since RBC Heritage in April where he didn’t lose strokes off the tee.

Corey Conners

Yes, he’s a heart breaker with he putter, but for his price every week, he tends to perform his value. He enters the week situated inside the Top 10 in SG: OTT and SG: APP over the past 50 rounds and is tied with Cantlay for best in the field from 175-200 yards in proximity gained over that span as well. Eventually his subpar short game will be his demise, unless he can mange to hit all the GIRs, but again, for his price point, he should finish in the top half of the field, with the potential for more.

Other notable names appearing near the top of stat models and the win simulator at FantasyNational.com: Jon Rahm, Dustin Johnson, Collin Morikawa, Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Webb Simpson, Gary Woodland

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Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long and short-form content, and the host of The Pat Mayo Experience daily talk show. (Subscribe for video or audio). Mayo (@ThePME) won the 2019 Fantasy Sports Writing Association Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and Podcast of the Year awards, along with the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Best Video award, and is a finalist for three FSWA Awards in 2019 (Best Podcast, Best Video, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year). His 17 FSWA nominations lead all writers this decade and are third-most all-time. Mayo has been recognized across multiple sports (Football, Baseball & Golf), mediums (Video, Writing & Podcasting), genre (Humor), and game formats (Daily Fantasy and Traditions Season Long). Beyond sports, Mayo covers everything from entertainment to pop culture to politics. If you have a fantasy question, general inquiry or snarky comment, ship it to Mayo at ThePatMayoExperience@gmail.com and the best will be addressed on the show.

I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is ThePME) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.