The BMW Championship is the traditional third-leg of the Fedex Cup Play-offs, and this year’s renewal sees the tournament return to Crooked Stick, last used in 2012 when Rory McIlroy beat Phil Mickelson and Lee Westwood by two-shots.
It was a high-class leaderboard that year, with Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, Dustin Johnson and Vijay Singh making the top-8, and the only anomaly was Robert Garrigus – which tends to lend itself to the identikit winner probably having to smash his tee-shots in excess of 300-yards.
It’s certainly no surprise to see Rory McIlroy at the head of the betting market this week after his victory in the Deutsche Bank, and the only question is whether he’ll be motivated for back-to-back victories (as he achieved in 2012). He may well conserve his energy for the Tour Championship but, with a new confidence in his putting stroke after some serious work with a putting guru, he could possibly win this in auto-pilot – and I’m happy to play at a course he’s already proved himself at.
Phil Mickelson and Ryan Moore, two other players who performed well the last time the BMW Championship was played here also deserve to go in this week’s portfolio. Mickleson may not be as consistent as he once was, but time and time again he comes back to life at courses at which he’s previously played well, and he still has the prerequisite length to make an impact. A missed-cut last week will also have him chomping at the bit, and he actually led McIlroy going into the last round in 2012.
Ryan Moore may not trip off the tongue in the same way as Mickelson, but his 10th placed finish here in 2012 showed he can handle the course. He was second after the first two rounds in 2012 and, though he faded over the weekend, he is a much better closer now, something he proved recently with victory at the John Deere. He’s also maintained his good form by finishing 7th and 8th the last two weeks.
Another player who’s tied with Moore for those positions the last two weeks is Jason Kokrak, and this is a guy who can seriously get it out there off the tee. However, he’s more than just a bomber, and he looks the three-figure value this week.
Rory McIlroy 4 Points Win @ 11/2 (Various Bookies)
Phil Mickelson 1 Point Each-Way @ 40/1 (Various Bookies)
Ryan Moore 1 Point Each-Way @ 50/1 (Boylesports, Betfred, Betvictor)
Jason Kokrak 1 Point Each-Way @ 125/1 (Boylesports)