DraftKings preview: BMW Championship
August 12, 2019
By Pat Mayo, DraftKings
- August 12, 2019
Daily Fantasy preview for the BMW Championship
The top 70 golfers remaining in the FedExCup Playoffs are off to the Chicago suburbs for the 2019 BMW Championship.
The No. 3 course at Medinah is in the playoff rotation for the first time. The course has held five major championships, and, most recently, the 2012 Ryder Cup. There are more than a few holdovers from that Ryder Cup in the field this week: 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. That year, Keegan, Jason Dufner, DJ, Zach Johnson and Mickelson all tied for the U.S. 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.
For the course, it’s daunting at 7,613 yards. The wide-ish fairways are outlined by trees, but fortunately, wayward tee shots landing in the forest likely will give players an opportunity to advance the ball up near the green. Additionally, more than half the holes dogleg to the left and many of the approaches are uphill to elevated greens.
Since there’s little data to work off, it’s best to target elite ball-strikers, ones who lean towards a bit of accuracy off the tee and can handle a long iron. With the elevation shifts and long holes, expect a lot of approach shots from 175-plus yards. While there are four par 4s measuring more than 450 yards, just two come in 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 the four par 3s coming in at 192 yards. Three of those par 3s must carry water.
Targets from the Range
Justin Thomas ($10,000)
Another week, another lights-out performance from Thomas in the ball-striking department. He is averaging +5.5 Strokes Gained: Approach the Green 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 ($9,800)
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 ($8,000)
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 Playoffs, finishing third in the field in SG: Approach the Green at +7.2. Plus, it was the first time since the RBC Heritage in April where he didn’t lose strokes off the tee.
Corey Conners ($6,600)
Yes, he’s a heart-breaker with the putter, but for his price every week, he tends to perform his value. He enters the week situated inside the top 10 in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee and SG: Approach the Green 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 manage to hit all the greens in regulation, but again, for his price point, he should finish in the top half of the field, with the potential for more.
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Writer’s profile: 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.