As always, the BMW Championship comes packed with plenty of storylines. The top-50 golfers in the FedEx Cup standings are competing with no cut this weekend, and the top 30 in the standings after the event advance to next week’s Tour Championship in Atlanta. Check here the 2023 BMW Championship Odds and golf free picks courtesy of Jazzsports.
This week, the spotlight is on Lucas Glover and Patrick Cantlay. Ironically, the two met in a playoff in last week’s FedEx St. Jude Championship, which Glover won on the first hole after Cantlay dunked his tee shot into the water. The win marked Glover’s second win in a row on the PGA Tour, and he’ll look to be the first person to win three in a row since Dustin Johnson did so in early 2017.
As for Cantlay, he’s won the BMW Championship in back-to-back years—albeit on different courses. If he can win it a third time, he’ll be the first to do so in any single PGA Tour event since Steve Stricker won the John Deere Classic from 2009-11.
Cantlay has even cracked the top three in odds—spots that have been owned by Rory McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler, and Jon Rahm nearly all year in events they’ve all competed in.
This tournament dates back to the Western Open, starting in 1899. Since 2007, the BMW Championship has been the second leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs. Cantlay, Johnson, and Tiger Woods are two-time winners since the name change.
The BMW Championship has changed venues each year since 2012 but has played in Illinois several times. This year will be the second time in four years that Olympia Fields Country Club’s North Course will host the event. The course, 35 miles from Chicago, hosted the BMW Championship in 2020, won by Jon Rahm, and also played host to the U.S. Open in 2003, which was won by Jim Furyk.
Greens are on the larger side, but nearly everyone is protected on three sides. Recent rains slowed the course down, and the rough is extra thick. The course, which measures 7,343 yards and is a par 70, played very difficult in 2020. Rahm’s winning score was 4-under par, and the average score was 71.8—nearly two shots over par.
Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler are the favorites at +700. Of the two, McIlroy is the hotter golfer. Scheffler has uncharacteristically finished outside the top 10 both last week and in July’s Open Championship, which snapped nearly a 2023-long streak of runs inside the top 10.
Despite not winning a major this year, McIlroy has run off eight consecutive top-10 finishes, and three majors are included in that span. After a slow start over the first two rounds at the St. Jude last week, McIlroy finished strong to finish tied for third, one shot behind Glover and Cantlay.
Patrick Cantlay (+1000) turns it on at this time of year. He won this event at the Tour Championship in 2021 and followed that up with a win in this tournament in 2022. Last week, he shot a 64 on Sunday to briefly take the lead in Memphis before Glover came back and tied him to force the playoff. Cantlay was 12th here in 2020, and while he doesn’t have a win in 2023, the 2021 FedEx Cup champ has seven top-four finishes.
Jon Rahm (+1100) remains the FedEx Cup points leader, which will give him an advantage next week in Atlanta if he can maintain that position. A win would do so, just like he did at Olympia Fields in 2020. The Spaniard is in this position after rattling off four wins from January to April’s Masters. He finished a distant second at The Open Championship but was 37th last week, unable to fully recover from an opening-round 73.
Before we get to the other contenders, Lucas Glover comes in at +2500. One would’ve excused him last week for a letdown in Memphis after he let it all hang out the week before to win the Wyndham Championship and qualify for the playoffs. But he continued his torrid pace by winning again. In his last six tournaments, Glover finished in the top six in five of them.
Viktor Hovland (+1500) proved that he could hang with the best of them by winning the Memorial earlier this year, and the excellent state of his short game makes him a contender here.
Tommy Fleetwood (+2000) is staking his claim as the best golfer yet to win on the PGA Tour. After losing in a playoff in Canada in June, Fleetwood finished in the top 10 in four of his next five events, including a tie for third last week in Memphis.
Max Homa (+2000) has the reputation of playing well in his home state of California but struggling in big events elsewhere. He’s starting to shed that reputation, however, after recording his first top 10 in a major at Royal Liverpool last month and followed it up with a sixth last week.
Jordan Spieth (+2500) hasn’t played at Olympia Fields, but last week showed that he can be a threat at any time. After leading following the first round, Spieth finished tied with Homa for sixth at the St. Jude.
Hideki Matsuyama (+2500) has been a top-20 machine, with his latest moving him into the top 50 to qualify for this event. In good news for the Japanese star, he played n this tournament in 2020 and finished third.
There aren’t many longshots in a 50-man field, but we like Corey Conners (+4000). The Valero Texas Open winner is on the bubble to play at East Lake next week (25th in the standings), so he needs a strong performance here, and a sixth last week has put him in position to do so with a little momentum.
After taking Glover last week for the daily double, we just can’t in good conscience do it again this week (sorry, Lucas!). We’re backing McIlroy and Cantlay among the top favorites along with Hovland, and Fleetwood has to win one of these eventually, right?
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