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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

BMW Championship Preview

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Event Overview

The 2022 BMW Championship will be played on the South Course at Wilmington Country Club in Wilmington, Delaware. The 2022 event will mark the first time the PGA TOUR has played an event in Delaware, and it will be the third time since 2018 that the BMW Championship has been held on the East Coast.

Wilmington Country Club first opened its doors in 1901, with 18 holes spread across 135 acres. The club relocated in the 1950s, and the South Course, which opened in 1959, was designed by famous golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Sr. The South Course, which measures over 7,500 yards from the championship tees, has been named by Golf Digest as one of the greatest in the United States.

The South Course at Wilmington Country Club will play 7,534 yards, par 71 this week as we combine holes from the North and South course. As we touched upon Robert Trent Jones Sr. designed it. After a tornado devastated the region in August 2020, Andrew Green redesigned the course in 2021. The club had hired Andrew Green to redesign its North Course, but after the tornadoes a few years back, the club asked Green to help with the South Course as it got ready for the PGA TOUR FedEx playoff this week.

Looking at the overheads this week there will be a premium on driving the ball long and straight, the course will have thick rough and will certainly penalise the players, unlike many courses on the PGA Tour rota. Second shots here won’t prove that difficult for players who are hitting from the short grass, the greens are huge, and the key part will be hitting the right segment of the green to open up birdie looks. I expect tough scoring conditions this week with a winning score in the low teens circa 12-14 under par.

Let’s break down those all-important key skill sets required to lift the trophy and have a shot at the 18-million-dollar FedEx cup trophy next week at East Lake.

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Event & Course Details

  • Course: Wilmington Country Club South Course mainly.
  • Location: Delaware
  • Date: Aug 18-21, 2022
  • Par: 71 / Yardage 7,534
  • Purse: $15 Million / Winner $1.8 M
  • Fairways/Rough: Bentgrass
  • Greens: Bentgrass
  • Defending Champ: Patrick Cantlay

Key Skill Sets Required

SG T2G – A new course for the players this week with little to no data to reflect upon. Meaning the starting point for my research will be those players who are excelling right now with their T2G game. Given this is the crunch stage of the season and big prizes on offer I want players onside who are cruising with their T2G game. I don’t want players who are up and down, fighting their overall game, especially heading into a tough test like this.

SG Off The Tee – Looking at the video by the NBC team, the course has some seriously dangerous rough, from all accounts the rough will be grown to 3inch deep come to the tournament start date. This will mean hitting fairways is an absolute premium and gaining strokes off the tee over your competitors will set up opportunities to make birdies and climb that leaderboard. I expect the winner will be in the TOP 10 of SG Off The Tee come Sunday.

Proximity to Hole – Hitting greens in regulation will be a walk in the park for the 70 hottest players in world golf, so instead of looking at GIR and SG Approach I want to pay more attention to proximity to the hole stats, and identify those players who hit it closer than their peers consistently.

SG Around The Green – This is a long track which will stretch many players. This will result in lots of short shots in and around the green complexes. I want players onside who have shown their long-term short game is up to the test ahead.

SG Putting – Large and Undulating Bentgrass putting surfaces face the players this week, it will be the first time these players will have seen the surfaces here in Delaware, so when doing your research I’d encourage you to look for players with good 36/50 round stats in their favour on this unique surface.

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Best Outsiders /big priced player/ bomb picks / to consider 50/1 and above

  1. Keith Mitchell 70/1*

  • Had a consistent 2022 and showed signs his game is still there in the last few weeks at the Wyndham & St Jude.
  • Ranked in the top 20% Off the Tee last week, 9th in Driving Accuracy & 16th Driving Distance, if he can provide that platform again this week, he has the iron game to contend.
  • One of the best short games around which will come into play on this demanding track.
  • One of the best short games on tour Ranked 7th SG Scrambling over the past 24 rounds on tour, a key skill required this week on this demanding layout.
  • Putts well on the surfaces he faces this week.
  1. Cam Davis 66/1*

  • 4 top 20 finishes in his last 4 events.
  • Gained strokes Off The Tee in each of his last 6 events worldwide, this will be a key stat in my view this week.
  • Gained strokes with Approach play in 12 of his last 13 events, the comfort levels with iron in hand are as good as they can be. On this demanding layout, this is sure to be advantageous.
  • Putts his best on the Bentgrass he faces this week, gained strokes with the flat stick in 9 of his last 11 events.
  • Trending in the right direction I expect a huge performance.

Best Outright Picks

  1. Jon Rahm 12/1*

  • His price is a fair one given the talent he possesses; he is often far too short in the betting.
  • Despite the downturn in form, a fundamental part of the success here at Wilmington Country Club is driving and Jon Ranks 1st in SG Off The Tee over the past 24 rounds showing his long game is still the best in the world.
  • He was ranked in the TOP 10 last week for SG Approach, OTT & GIR. His price is too big for me this week given the talent he possesses.
  • His is ranked 8th in GIR Gained over the past 24 rounds.
  • Despite being a little away from his best, the course this week should suit and given the prize money, the world number 6 should be highly motivated to end the year on a high.
  1. Matt Fitzpatrick 16/1*

  • A Major Champion who will be relishing the opportunity to take on the world’s best in the form of his life.
  • Arrives on the back of a TOP 10 last week, where a cold putter cost him a shot at the championship.
  • A super driver of the ball, one of the most accurate teeing it up this week, and also one of the longest now. Ranked 5TH last week for SG OTT, this stat will be vital this week.
  • Ranked in the top 10 for GIR gained over the past 36 rounds on tour a key factor coming into this week
  • In the form of his life, on a course that should suit, he is a must bet at the top of the Market for me. 
  1. Collin Morikawa 20/1*

  • A quiet 2022 by Collin’s standards, however a win here this week would change that narrative somewhat. He has shown signs of a return to form especially with the driver which was falling him all too often during Major season.
  • Ranked in the TOP 5 for fairways gained last week, looking at the overheads finding fairways will be of paramount importance this week.
  • His approach play improved on recent weeks ranking 8th for GIR gained, he also ranked in the TOP 10 for T2G performance on the week.
  • If he can continue this momentum I expect him to make a good run at this event, on a course that should be beneficial to his skill sets.

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Top 20 picks this week

Tyrell Hatton 

  • A winner of big events in the US already, he has been bubbling under the surface all year round, the last 6 weeks have been his most consistence, however, he still hasn’t reached his peak game-wise.
  • His iron game has been in and out all year, he ranked in the top 20% last week for GIR Gained showing signs he is returning to somewhere near his best with iron in hand.
  • An aggressive iron player who should give himself plenty of birdie looks this week.
  • Ranked in the TOP 10 for SG Putting last week, putting will be a key factor this week.
  • Gained strokes putting in each of his last 12 events, putting on these undulating and super fast green will be important this week.

Keith Mitchell

  • Had a consistent 2022 and showed signed his game is still there in the last few weeks at the Wyndham & St Jude.
  • Ranked in the top 20% Off the Tee last week, 9th in Driving Accuracy & 16th Driving Distance, if he can provide that platform again this week, he has the iron game to contend.
  • One of the best short games around which will come into play on this demanding track.
  • One of the best short games on tour Ranked 7th SG Scrambling over the past 24 rounds on tour, a key skill required this week on this demanding layout.
  • Putts well on the surfaces he faces this week.

*Prices subject to fluctuation 

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