THIS week is the penultimate tournament of the PGA Tour, the BMW Championship at Conway Farms GC in Lake Forest, Illinois.
The last time the BMW Championship was played here was in 2013 which was notable for a 59 by Jim Furyk.
Another 59 is unlikely this time as there have been changes, from Bentgrass on the greens, six new bunkers in range from the tees, deeper deepened and an increase in length by 49 yards to 7198.
With a lot of fescue grass you have to hit straight off the tee or there is every likelihood of losing your ball.
The first player who jumps out at me is Open champion Zach Johnson with driving accuracy of 71.54, sixth in the standings. He has a GIR stat of 68.71% (35th), average putting per round of 28.86 (65th) and won here in 2013. For me it puts him up there with a great chance this week.
With nine top-10 finishes, including that win at St Andrews, he has had a good season and with everyone playing four rounds is a solid each-way bet.
Another straight hitter is Jim Furyk, 17th in driving accuracy on the tour (69.08%) and with GIR of 69.79% (16th) he fits the bill. He won the RBC Heritage and has had five top-fives since, which included a T4 two weeks ago in the Deutsche Bank.
In that tournament his driving accuracy was 82.04% and GIR 77.78% which is quite an improvement on his average. He looks to be having a strong finish to the season and is worth a wager.
One man I can’t leave out is Henrik Stenson. Although he blew it big time in the Deutsche Bank when he went into the water with three to play his stats are so good I can’t ignore him.
He is first in GIR with 74.25% and 11th in driving accuracy (69.67%). When you look at his putting stats he is first in putting from 5ft and 3rd putting from 7ft. He’s also 21st in strokes gained:putting. Definitely giving him another chance this week.
Since his T12 at the US Open Matt Kuchar has been showing a bit of a return to form with three top-10 finishes in five starts. Kooch hasn’t won a tournament this year, the first time since 2011, but in the Deutsche Bank his driving accuracy was around 73% and GIR 72% which could go a long way in helping him achieve that elusive win.
In the Open d’Italia I like the look of Soren Kjeldsen. With three T12 finishes in last four outings, including a T2 in the Made in Denmark, Soren has been playing really well. With driving accuracy of 65.3% and GIR of 69.1% he can certainly get his second win of the season.
Zach Johnson 2pts ew (28-1, William Hill)
Jim Furyk 1pt ew (20-1, bet365, William Hill)
Henrik Stenson 1.5pts ew (25-2, 10bet)
Matt Kuchar 1pt ew (40-1, 888sport)
Soren Kjeldsen 1.5pts ew (28-1, Betfred. BetVictor)
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