OK, Yahoo! gamers, it's time to bury the pedal to the finish line. This week's BMW Championship represents the penultimate stop of your season.
As many of you have pointed out in emails and on Twitter in recent months, league titles just might be decided by who navigates Group C the best. Consider that 28 of the 70 that advanced to Cog Hill reside here. (Group A has 17 while Group B boasts 25.) Moreover, of the top 30 in FedExCup points entering this week, 12 are C guys. (Likewise, Group A houses eight; Group B claims the remaining 10.) Given how golfers are distributed in the game, those numbers aren't terribly surprising, but since you choose only two per event for Group C, the sample size allows for the smallest margin of error.
If you're interested in a single piece of advice, it is to continue to do what got you here. Matchups with the course profile rule, but if you're torn between two or more for that final roster spot, consider burning it on the guy least likely to advance to East Lake. Not only will you be investing in someone with nothing to lose, but you won't be exhausting what could be a precious start on a stud. This is common sense, but worth the endorsement as you huff and puff your way to paydirt.
In the Matchups game on Facebook, I went 4-1-0 at the Deutsche Bank Championship to expand my lead over GarrySmits of The Florida Times-Union in the Notables to 10 points. I have 65 points with a record of 29-19-3. kschwab14 and Jz shared the overall lead with 75 points, one better than Big Daddy Smith.
My picks for the BMW Championship:
• Webb Simpson over Dustin Johnson • Brandt Snedeker over Geoff Ogilvy • Luke Donald over Steve Stricker • Chez Reavie over Ernie Els • Jim Furyk over Rickie Fowler
The PGATOUR.com staff also publishes its picks, which you can review here. Producers John Schwarb and Chris Dunham are knotted at 69 points for the lead. Both have chosen the same winners for the first four matchups, so the leader entering next week's finale will be determined by the fifth. Schwarb is taking Fowler while Dunham has Furyk.
Power Rankings Plus
11. Bo Van Pelt ... Throw out the last two majors (for which I usually ignore negative results) and he's posted top 25s in each of his last nine starts, including the U.S. Open. Coming off a solo seventh at TPC Boston where he charged home 66-66 and co-led the field in birdies (20). Ranks 63rd in accuracy off the tee and 21st in greens hit. Placed T15 at the 2009 BMW.
12. Jim Furyk ... The reigning FedExCup champ jumped 25 spots in the standings to 35th after a solo sixth at the Deutsche Bank. It was his second top 10 in three starts. The winner at Cog Hill in 2005 has finished T2 and T15 since the renovation.
13. Camilo Villegas ... With three consecutive top 25s (including two top 10s) upon arrival, the Colombian is once again a reliable resource. His iron play specifically has been exquisite, and he co-led the field in birdies at TPC Boston. To top it off, he's finished inside the top 11 in each of the last three editions of the BMW at Cog Hill.
14. Gary Woodland ... Just keeps cranking out top 25s at sites he's never played, with three straight since the PGA Championship. Ranks 126th in fairways hit but 11th in greens in regulation and fifth in GIR from lies off the fairway.
15. Sergio Garcia ... The redesign has nothing on the Spaniard. He finished ninth here in 2007 and then bettered it with a T6 in his last appearance in 2009. While he's yet to crack a top 30 in this year's Playoffs and ranks 127th in fairways hit, he's 30th in greens and 11th in GIR from lies off the fairway. Furthermore, with par a reasonable goal all over Cog Hill, Garcia's value rises. In 15 starts this season, he's yet to finish double-digits under par despite three top 10s and five more top 25s.
Power Rankings Distribution for Yahoo! (rank)
Group A ... Matt Kuchar (1); Luke Donald (2); Dustin Johnson (5); Nick Watney (7); Jim Furyk (12)
Group B ... Webb Simpson (4); Steve Stricker (8); David Toms (10); Bo Van Pelt (11); Camilo Villegas (13)
Group C ... Adam Scott (3); Zach Johnson (6); Brandt Snedeker (9); Gary Woodland (14); Sergio Garcia (15)
Dark Horse (Yahoo! Group)
Chez Reavie (C) ... Unfair to classify him here given that he pushed Webb Simpson into a playoff at the Deutsche Bank Championship, but Reavie is a first-timer at Cog Hill. That's where the hedging ends. He's 14th on TOUR in fairways hit and 16th in greens. He's also carded 11 consecutive rounds under par (despite missing the cut at The Barclays).
Charl Schwartzel (B) ... Shared the 36-hole lead at the Deutsche Bank before fading to finish T21. It's his tenth top 25 in 14 starts this year. The first-timer at Cog Hill ranks sixth in adjusted scoring despite sitting 110th in strokes gained-putting.
Keegan Bradley (C) ... Only in our world is a contender for Player of the Year a Dark Horse, but he qualifies. The rookie has missed both cuts in the Playoffs and, as you'd expect, he'll be making his first appearance at Cog Hill. His long, high ball flight should play well into well-guarded greens.
Bubba Watson (B) ... Held the 54-hole lead at the Deutsche Bank before closing with a 74 to finish with a share of 16th place, but it was his first top 20 in the U.S. since winning in New Orleans four months previous. Placed T15 at the 2009 BMW and leads the PGA TOUR in both overall greens in regulation and GIR from lies off the fairway.
Kyle Stanley (C) ... The rookie has vaulted to 30th in FedExCup points after a pair of top 25s, including a T10 at the Deutsche Bank. His strengths are power off the tee and taut iron play, but he's wielded a hot putter recently as well.
|Rob's Yahoo! lineup|
Ryan Moore (C) ... Posted a quiet T10 at TPC Boston where he was under par in every round and ranked inside the top 25 in all relevant splits. Dubsdread showcases classic-track flair throughout, which helps explain why he shared third place a year ago.
K.J. Choi (A) ... Typically consistent splits across the board, but he gets the nod here based on last year's T3. It was his first top-35 finish in nine starts at the time. He enters this week without a top 30 in his last five.
Danger (Yahoo! Group)
Jason Day (C) ... If he hits fairways, he could win, but the Aussie ranks 167th in accuracy off the tee. It's the same dynamic that led to a missed cut at the PGA Championship. Tack on a pair of results outside the top 50 in the last two BMWs at Cog Hill and it's a smart week to give him a rest, especially in Yahoo!'s deep Group C.
Hunter Mahan (B) ... He's posted top 20s in two of his last three starts, including a T8 at the Deutsche Bank, and he arrives with a streak of nine consecutive rounds of par or better, but he hasn't posted a top 20 in seven starts at Cog Hill. This includes two finishes outside the top 35 since the redesign. If you can play conservatively, this looks like a trap.
Rickie Fowler (B) ... Since his co-runner-up at Firestone, he's finished outside the top 50 in three straight starts. In his debut as a rookie at Cog Hill last year, he placed T45. And he sits outside the top 100 on TOUR in fairways hit (162nd) and greens in regulation (101st).
Tommy Gainey (C) ... On one hand, he's due. All six of his top 10s have occurred in different months -- his last was a solo third at the Wyndham in August. On the other hand, he's been too inconsistent for weekly gamers, intermixing 14 missed cuts with nine top 25s on the year. Also a first-timer at Cog Hill.
D.A. Points (B) ... The Illinois native is making his first appearance here since 2006. After entering this year's Playoffs on an upswing (T19, WGC-Bridgestone; T10, PGA Championship), he's one of three guys still alive that hasn't made a cut in the postseason (Keegan Bradley, Tommy Gainey).
Medic! (Yahoo! Group)
Graham DeLaet (B) ... Burning a rehab start at the Albertsons Boise Open on the Nationwide Tour. He's rested since suffering a setback with his back in June. The Boise State product lives in town.
Joey Snyder III (n/a) ... Scheduled to compete at the Albertsons Boise Open on the Nationwide Tour. He hasn't teed it up in a PGA TOUR-sanctioned event since March 2006 due to neck and shoulder injuries. Still has 25 starts remaining on a Major Medical Extension on the PGA TOUR.
Jason Gore (B) ... In the field at the Albertsons Boise Open on the Nationwide Tour. Back in action after having surgery on his shoulder on July 12 to repair damage from bone spurs. He went into the operation believing that he had a torn rotator cuff.
Notable WDs (Yahoo! Group)
Rob Bolton is the freelance fantasy columnist for PGATOUR.COM. His views do not necessarily reflect the views of the PGA TOUR.