Expert Picks for BMW Championship
Only the top-70 players are eligible for this week's FedExCup Playoff event, the BMW Championship. There is no cut this week or at the season finale, the TOUR Championship, where the top-30 in points will advance to. Over the years, Cog Hill Golf & Country Club in Lemont, Ill. has been the primary host of this event but the 2008 edition was played at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, Mo.
Webb Simpson [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #19
After leading the Tour in All-Around Ranking for much of the year, Simpson is now on top of both the FedExCup standings and the money list thanks to a pair of wins over his last three starts. In his last 10 events, Simpson owns nine finishes of 16th or better. He ranks third in both birdie average and scoring average. Simpson was a runner-up on two occasions earlier in the season and has all the talent to be an elite fixture on Tour for years to come.
Luke Donald [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #3
Coming off a T3, Donald has now finished inside the top-20 in five straight starts, including a share of second at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Donald has been on fire nearly all season, leading all players in scoring average. Last year, he entered the final round of the BMW Championship inside the top-15 but slipped to finish T37. Donald finished T10 at Cog Hill in 2009 and is running out of time to capture his first stroke play championship on Tour this season.
Last week’s T42 at TPC Boston was Stricker’s worst finish of the season. He finished eighth at Cog Hill last year and owns a third-place finish from 2007. Stricker still ranks first in both strokes gained – putting and birdie average and is second in scoring average. Prior to the start of the playoffs, Stricker had finished inside the top-20 in 11 consecutive starts with a pair of wins.
In addition to being the defending champion of this event, Johnson won at The Barclays to begin the playoffs before finishing T42 at the Deutsche Bank Championship. DJ ranks second in birdie average and third in driving distance. The consistency isn’t always there from week to week but Johnson is typically worth the risk.
Brandt Snedeker [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #4
Since 2007, Snedeker owns a pair of top-15 finishes at Cog Hill in three starts. More importantly, his infamous putting skills have been as sharp as ever over the last two weeks, leading him to two straight T3 finishes. Snedeker now sits second in strokes gained – putting, 14th in scoring average and 15th in All-Around Ranking.
Jason Day [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #35
Although he’s finished outside of the top-50 the last two years at Cog Hill, Day has been playing great golf lately. Over his last dozen stars, the Australian has two runner-up finishes with three other top-fives and a total of eight finishes inside the top 15. Day is ninth in scoring average, 10th in both birdie average and strokes gained – putting, and eighth in All-Around Ranking.
Adam Scott [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #7
In three career starts at Cog Hill, Scott owns a top-five and two other finishes of 21st or better. Over his last four starts of the season, the Australian owns a win from the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and a pair of finishes inside the top-10. Thanks to his run of great play, Scott is up to second in All-Around Ranking.
Matt Kuchar [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #9
In the last two events at Cog Hill, Kuchar has finished T3 and T10. After missing two cuts earlier this year, Kuchar has finished 25th or better in four straight starts, highlighted by a runner-up performance at The Barclays. He currently ranks fifth in scoring average, 13th in birdie average and sixth in All-Around Ranking.
Charl Schwartzel [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #16
After skipping The Barclays, Schwartzel returned to Tour play and finished T21st at TPC Boston. Now 27th in the FedExCup standings, the South African ranks sixth in scoring average and will need to remain in the top 30 to advance to the TOUR Championship. Despite playing a limited stateside schedule, Schwartzel has 10 top-25s in 14 starts and three top-10s, including a win at the Masters.
Phil Mickelson [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #10
Last year's T8 marked Mickelson’s first top-10 at Cog Hill since he began playing here back in 1992. Lefty is coming off his first top-10 since earning a share of second in The Open Championship back in mid-July. Phil ranks 12th in scoring average, 17th in birdie average and 14th in All-Around Ranking.
Nick Watney [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #23
After starting the playoffs in first place, Watney has slipped to seventh following an awful round of 80 at the Deutsche Bank Championship left him to finish T61. Last year at Cog Hill, Watney finished a career-best 15th but will need to do more to get back into the hunt. He’s got the skills to do just that, currently fourth in both scoring average and All-Around Ranking.
Jim Furyk [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #27
At one point, it appeared last year’s FedExCup champion and Player of the Year would not have a chance to defend his crown. However, now that Furyk has finished inside the top 10 in two of the three playoff events thus far, he’s 35th in points and needs to pick up five spots to advance to the TOUR Championship. At Cog Hill, Furyk has played excellent, winning here in 2005. Since 1997, he owns five top-fives and eight top-10s in 11 starts.