For the first time in almost 60 years, the PGA Tour will be in Baltimore at Caves Valley Golf Club for the BMW Championship, the second of three playoff events. The top 70 players in the FedEx Cup point standings following last week’s Northern Trust at Liberty National are in the field, with the top 30 in points after the tournament heading to the season-ending Tour Championship.
The host course is a 7,542 yard, par 72 Tom Fazio design and has been the site of several LPGA and PGA Tour Champions events. Last year’s BMW Championship was held at Olympia Fields, where Jon Rahm and Dustin Johnson had an exciting duel down the stretch, with Rahm prevailing on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff.
Tony Finau broke a five-year drought to pick up his second career PGA Tour win, defeating Cameron Smith on the first playoff hole at the Northern Trust in a Monday finish to move into the lead in FedEx Cup points. After leading for much of the tournament and by three shots midway through the final round, Jon Rahm stumbled down the stretch to finish third and is second in points, followed by Smith, Patrick Cantlay, and Justin Thomas.
Billy Horschel has been in this position before…
Despite Rahm’s two back-nine bogeys that ended his chance for victory last week, the Spaniard is the overwhelming favorite at +600 odds to win the BMW Championship. He’s followed by Justin Thomas at +1600 with Jordan Spieth, Collin Morikawa, and Olympic gold medalist Xander Schauffele at +1800.
Two players who are in need of a good performance, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau, have odds of +2000 with a quintet right behind them at +2200, Including Brooks Koepka, Patrick Cantlay, and last week’s winner Finau. Further down the list is Rory McIlroy at +2700, Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama at +3400 with Phil Mickelson, who snuck into the field at 70th in points, having odds of +12000.
Underdog Betting Picks
The cream usually rises to the top during the playoffs, and there is a lot on the line for the top players, but occasionally an underdog rises up to pull a surprise. Corey Conners has odds of +3300 and made a nice Saturday charge at the Northern Trust, shooting a 62 to move into contention, then ended up tied for eighth after a closing 70.
Billy Horschel has been in this position before, when he charged up the standings in 2014, winning the BMW Championship and then the Tour Championship to complete an improbable run to the FedEx Cup title. He enters this week at 27th in points and with very healthy odds of +8000 to win the tournament.
After flirting with the cut line to get into the BMW Championship, Keith Mitchell birdied his last three holes at the Northern Trust, finishing tied for eighth to move up to 64th in the standings, and his odds of +15000 reflect that position. He should be carrying significant momentum after three solid starts following five consecutive missed cuts.