Sleeper picks: BMW ChampionshipSeptember 04, 2012
Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Columnist
Note: Fantasy expert Rob Bolton provides his list of sleeper picks for every tournament. This week, he focuses on the under-the-radar selections for the BMW Championship:
Jeff Overton ... Quite possibly the most obvious choice given his Indiana roots and T7 at last week's Deutsche Bank Championship. However, he hadn't logged a top 25 in his previous five starts, so his inclusion here is an endorsement for a guy with a streaky reputation. He was firing on all cylinders at TPC Boston, ranking inside the top 20 in all relevant splits, and he ranks 31st on the PGA TOUR in adjusted scoring.
Kevin Stadler ... To label him as a sleeper despite a pair of T10s to start the FedExCup Playoffs -- one of only four golfers to turn that trick -- is probably an insult, but he's still outside the bubble in points at 32nd. (He started the postseason ranked 70th.) He carded the low score (65) of the third round at The Barclays and shared the low round (66) of the finale at TPC Boston. Currently 13th on TOUR in total driving, 22nd in greens in regulation and 54th in adjusted scoring.
William McGirt ... After a relatively lackluster first six months on the PGA TOUR, he connected top fives in Mississippi and Canada to zoom into the conversation for the FedExCup Playoffs. He's capitalized, too. After starting 74th in points, he's finished T10 (Barclays) and T26 (Deutsche Bank) to gain an aggregate 35 spots to sit 39th upon arrival at Crooked Stick. Ranks 45th in greens in regulation and 55th in adjusted scoring.
David Hearn ... Arrives at Crooked Stick having started the FedExCup Playoffs lower in the standings than anyone else. After sharing 10th place at The Barclays, he rose from 108th to 67th overall. A T26 at TPC Boston boosted him another nine slots to his current position at 58th. Although he ranked T25 in greens hit last week, he was T6 in birdies (20). The Canadian is 43rd on TOUR in GIR, 56th in Strokes Gained-Putting and 29th in scrambling. Overall, he's 16-for-24 with a pair of top 10 and six more top 25s.
Dicky Pride ... I'm taking a page out of Kris Blanks' book of accomplishments by including Pride here. While Pride tied for 20th at the Deutsche Bank Championship (thanks primarily to steady putting), and while he ranks 57th on TOUR in adjusted scoring, he may need a Blanks-like performance to qualify for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. See, Pride enters ranked last of the 70 qualifiers. Blanks' best finish on the PGA TOUR was a playoff loss at the 2011 Canadian Open in Vancouver, his wife's hometown. Pride's wife, Kim, is an Indiana native. Sure, it's a stretch, but that's what Dicky Pride needs to survive. For the record, since the current format of the FedExCup began in 2009, no 70-seed after two events has advanced to the finale. To shine more light on his challenge, consider that Camilo Villegas entered last year's BMW Championship ranked 47th, then tied for sixth in the tournament, but managed to climb only 14 slots to 33rd, and thus outside the bubble. Pride is 483 FedExCup points short of 30th place. A solo sixth at Crooked Stick would reward him with 500 points, but there is up to 69 other golfers in play and there is no cut, so he should be thinking only one thing -- win one for mama. Whatever happens, that Pride is even at Crooked Stick is a feat on its own. Of the 125 original qualifiers, he ranked last in the PGA TOUR's priority rankings given his status as a past champion.