The second leg of the PGA Tour’s three-tournament FedEx Cup Playoffs begins Thursday with the BMW Championship. Patrick Cantlay is the defending champion.
That doesn’t matter, however, since the event is at a new venue. For the first time, the PGA Tour is holding a tournament in Delaware. Wilmington Country Club, a Par 71, 7,534-yard layout designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. will be the host this year.
Rory McIlroy is the favorite for the second consecutive week at +1000 in the BMW Championship Odds. He was also the top pick to win the first FedExCup Playoff event, last weekend's FedEx St. Jude Championship, but ultimately missed the cut.
Winning the BMW Championship should put a player in the Top 10 of the FedExCup standings. Just look at Will Zalatoris, who captured the FedEx St. Jude Championship and went from 12th to first.
Who will win the BMW Championship? Find out in our outright predictions, which include a favorite, a sleeper, and a longshot.
BMW Championship outright picks
Picks were made on 8/15/2022 at 10:15 p.m. ET.
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BMW Championship outright picks
Among the favorites: Matt Fitzpatrick (+1,600)
How much faith do you have in putting down favorite money for Rory McIlroy after he missed the cut at the FedEx St. Jude Championship last week?
The answer should be little to none. Because even if the Irish golfer bounces back from his 1-under, two-round score at an attackable TPC Southwind, McIlroy is only getting +1,000 for the BMW Championship.
Instead, I’ll take the +1,600 that Matt Fitzpatrick is fetching. He’s playing better golf and had a T5 finish last week, shooting rounds of 68, 66, 67, and 68. If he produces similar scores at Wilmington Country Club, he’ll be hoisting the trophy on Sunday.
Fitzpatrick has played in three events since winning the US Open in June. He tied for sixth at the Scottish Open, had a T21 at the Open Championship, and last week’s fifth-place finish at the FedEx St. Jude Championship.
The 27-year-old Englishman is first on the tour in both strokes gained total and strokes gained tee-to-green, and trails only McIlroy in scoring average. He is a respectable 80th in driving distance at 302.3 yards and finds the fairway off the tee 64% of the time, good for 47th on the tour.
The short game is solid as well. He is seventh in sand save percentage and he is second in strokes gained around the green. His putting is decent at 60th.
About the only knock on Fitzpatrick is that he has won just one PGA Tour event. He does have seven international victories, though, so he knows how to win. Look for him to have a big week.
Sleeper to watch: Joaquin Niemann (+4,000)
The problem with Joaquin Niemann usually isn’t how he’ll start off a golf tournament, it’s how he will finish.
The 23-year-old from Chile is fifth on the tour in Round 1 scoring average at 68.55. Round 2 he is 32nd at 69.75.
It’s the third and fourth round that seems to go sideways for Niemann. On Saturdays, he is going in the wrong direction, averaging 70.44, which ranks 110th on tour. Sunday is a bit better at 70.19 (90th) but by then it’s often too late.
Last week, Niemann got his worst round out of the way early, shooting an even-par 70 in the opening round. He then went 66-65-69 to finish T13 and move up two spots on the FedExCup Playoffs standings to 19.
Two stats that definitely work in his favor this week are putting and ball striking. He is 16th in putting average but is also 106th in three-putt avoidance, a stat he has to improve upon this week for any success.
Off the tee, Niemann is 35th in driving distance and 61st in greens in regulation.
If he keeps the ball in the fairway, an issue that has plagued him at times this season, he will be in the mix on Sunday.
Longshot worth a look: J.T. Poston (+9,500)
Quick — and no peeking — how many tournaments has J.T. Poston won? Yes, he has won a PGA Tour event, actually two of them. The latest was the John Deere Classic in July.
He also has two career second-place finishes and 10 more Top 10s. He is a worthy longshot and the value is pretty strong.
At the FedEx St. Jude Championship, he finished T20, shooting rounds of 64, 72, 68, and 68, respectively.
The 29-year-old doesn’t really excel in any category but he does enough to keep him in tournaments. A Jack of all trades, as it were. He is sixth in Round 4 scoring average at 68.15, so if he can keep himself in the hunt through the first three rounds, finishing shouldn’t be an issue.