And then there were 70.
The PGA Tour season is down to the final two playoff events–including this week’s BMW Championship–as players vie for the FedEx Cup title.
And with that title comes a $15 million bonus to the last man standing. Oh, and just making the 30-man field for the finale next week guarantees a $395,000 payout for the man who finishes last in the Tour Championship.
But first, players need to get into that top-30 field by finishing well this week at the BMW. The tournament will be held at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, MD.
For the players at the top of the FedEx Cup standings, it’s no problem getting into that final event. But for players ranked, say, No. 25 through 70, it’s go-time.
There will be more shuffling this week than dealers do at a blackjack table in Vegas. Players will move in and out of the top-30 with every shot, every missed putt, every penalty stroke. It’s that tight.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at who has the most to gain–as well as the most to lose–during this week’s event.
Odds To Win The BMW Championship From FanDuel
|2021 BMW Championship Odds||FanDuel|
Those At The Bottom Have Nothing To Lose
Everyone’s guaranteed to play four rounds this week as there is no cut so it will be a payday for everyone.
But to get into the top-30 and that guaranteed $395,000 payout for just showing up next week, some players are going to have to go very low this week to move up.
And for those way down that list, it’s likely going to take a victory to keep the season going.
Which player has the momentum and the drive to possibly pull out a much-needed victory?
We’re glad you asked.
Look No Further Than No. 3 In The Standings
That’s where Cameron Smith, at +2500 this week, currently resides. His season has been a yo-yo…some ups and some downs. Now is the time to keep the momentum of last week’s tournament going.
Sure he lost to Tony Finau in a playoff at the Northern Trust, but he’s trending in the right direction as the playoffs continue. He could pull it off this week.
He’s been top-five in his last two events and just missed out on a bronze medal at the Olympics right before his last two events. Before his recent run there was a win at the Zurich Classic but he also had back-to-back missed cuts.
It may be obvious, but it’s all going to depend on how his first nine holes of the tournament go. If he’s on a birdie roll, watch out as the optimism will rise. If he’s struggling out of the gate with a hangover following last week’s loss, it won’t be a good sign.
The Top Of The Rankings Is The Place To Be
It’s always a lot more comfortable near the top of the FedEx Cup standings.
The reasoning is there is a little leeway for a few errors. A three-putt here or an untimely bogey there won’t be as devastating as if you’re in the top-20, you’re going to head to Atlanta and the Tour Championship.
That’s where Justin Thomas at +1800 comes into play. He’s simply been consistent week-in and week-out.
Not great as he’s been in the past, but still consistent.
He won the Players Championship before hitting a recent string of non-JT type of play but last week’s effort may have him on the right track.
He wound up T-4 in the first playoff event despite a couple of errant shots that proved costly. That’s been his MO of late. Before last week’s T-4, he had no top-10 finishes in his last 11 events. There were finishes between T-13 and T-42.
Paydays for sure but no standout weeks…until the playoffs started.
A Roller Coaster Season For Jon Rahm
First the good news for Jon Rahm. He’s ranked No. 1 in the world and is No. 2 in the FedEx Cup rankings. He’s got 13 top-10s in 19 tournaments where he made the cut and he’s made more than $7.5 million on the golf course in this wraparound season.
That’s all well and good for Rahm, the favorite this week at +650. But here’s where one of those asterisks comes into play as his results could have been better.
He had a six-stroke lead after three rounds of the Memorial Tournament and was likely already working on his post-round quotes when a positive COVID test forced him to withdraw costing him more than a million dollars and 500 FedEx Cup points.
A recent second positive COVID test cost him a shot at Olympic gold so he’s got to be hoping all the bad luck is behind him.
But is it all behind him? Rahm held the lead for just about the entire week at the Northern Trust before Finau caught him with an impressive final nine holes of the tournament and went on to beat Smith in a playoff for his first title in five years.
But a victory by Rahm this week heading into the Tour Championship would be another step in finishing off an impressive season in high style that might cement him as the Player of the Year.
One Choice…Just For The Heck Of It
Sometimes there’s just something about a player that sticks out. Even when he’s not at the top of his game, he’s got enough game to turn a poor week into a good week or a good week into a great week.
We’re thinking that just might be the case with Keith Mitchell at +15000 this week. The reasoning is simple as he wasn’t even supposed to be in the picture this week. He came into last week at No. 101 and was still outside of the top-70 with three holes left on Monday before he went birdie-birdie-birdie to finish and come in at No. 63.
Heading into the Tour Championship, all players want is a chance and now Mitchell has just that chance.