Steve Bamford

Steve Bamford's BMW Championship Tips 2021

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Congratulations if you were on-board Tony Finau at Monday prices up to 60/1 last week at The Northern Trust. The battle between Finau, long-time leader Jon Rahm (10/1) and Cameron Smith (35/1), with the Manhattan skyline in the background was fantastic viewing, and Finau rose to the challenge as he shot -5 on the back 9 to displace Rahm and then beat Cameron in a play-off. A long awaited and well deserved victory for Finau who entered the week 12th in Team USA Ryder Cup standings.

We move onto the 2nd leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs this week, with the top 70 in the standings making their way to Chicago. Patrick Reed looks a serious doubt, having been hospitalised with double pneumonia.

The Western Golf Association organises the BMW Championship, a tournament that traditionally tours a number of the Mid-West’s very best golf courses. 2021 sees a new departure as the BMW Championship is played in Maryland for the first time at course we’ve not seen. Caves Valley Golf Club hosts its first PGA Tour event, after hosting the 2017 Constellation Senior Players Championship on the Champions Tour.

Punters this week should also look closely at the each-way terms which are being made available across this short field, with a huge 7 places each-way at 1/5 odds available with a select number of bookmakers.

Before we go into the detail surrounding the BMW Championship we always have new visitors to Golf Betting System, Welcome and let me point you in the direction of our weekly Golf Betting System podcast (published every Tuesday of the golfing calendar), the Steve Bamford Golf Channel on YouTube and our hugely popular, 6,000+ strong, private Group on Facebook – you can Join Here.

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Course Guide: We visit a completely new venue on the PGA Tour this week – Caves Valley Golf Club. It’s a Tom Fazio design which has hosted a few high profile professional events, including the 2002 Senior U.S. Open. On the LPGA in 2014 it hosted the International Crown team event and as recently as 2017 hosted the Constellation Senior Players Championship on the Champions Tour, won by Scott McCarron.

Caves Valley Golf Club, Owings Mills, Maryland: Designer: Tom Fazio, 1991 with Logan Fazio 2020 renovation; Course Type: Resort; Par: 72; Length: 7,542 yards; Number of Holes with Water In-Play: 5; Fairways: Penncross Bentgrass; Rough: Tall Fescue, Kentucky Bluegrass and Perennial Ryegrass 3″; Greens: 5,200 sq.ft average featuring Pure Distinction Bentgrass; Stimpmeter: 12.5ft.

Widths Fairway Widths (yards): Below are the fairway widths for Caves Valley Golf Club and how they compare to recent courses on Tour:

  • Caves Valley: 25-28 yards.
  • Liberty National: 250 yards from tee: 37 yards wide; 275:33; 300:30 325:31; 350:27.
  • Sedgefield: 250 yards from tee: 29 yards wide; 275:28; 300:26 325:23; 350:22.
  • TPC Southwind: 250 yards from the tee: 29 yards wide; 275:29; 300:28; 325:31; 350:25.
  • Old Greenwood: 35-40 yards.
  • TPC Twin Cities: 250 yards from the tee: 38 yards wide; 275:38; 300:31; 325:30; 350:36.
  • TPC Deere Run: 250 yards from tee: 41 yards wide; 275:40; 300:36 325:33; 350:30.
  • Detroit Golf Club: 250 yards from tee: 34 yards wide; 275:34; 300:35 325:34; 350:33.
  • TPC River Highlands: 250 yards from the tee: 38 yards wide; 275:36; 300:29; 325:29; 350:28.
  • Torrey Pines South: 250 yards from the tee: 26 yards wide; 275:27; 300:25; 325:24; 350:23.
  • Colonial: 250 yards from tee: 27 yards wide; 275:26; 300:27; 325:26; 350:23.
  • Ocean Course – Kiawah Island: Up to 50 yards wide.

Course Designer Links: For research purposes, other Tom Fazio designs include:

  • Atunyote GC – 2007-10 Turning Stone Championship.
  • Conway Farms GC – 2013, 2015, 2017 BMW Championship.
  • Corales GC – Corales Championship
  • Eagle Point – 2017 Wells Fargo Championship
  • Raptor Course Greyhawk GC – 2008/09 Fry’s.com Open.
  • Shadow Creek Golf Course – 2020 CJ Cup.

Fazio has also had re-design input into:

  • Merion – 2013 U.S. Open.
  • Oakmont – 2016 U.S. Open.
  • Quail Hollow – 2016, 2018, 2019, 2021 Wells Fargo Championship & 2017 PGA Championship.
  • Riviera Country Club – Genesis Invitational.
  • Seaside Course at Sea Island – RSM Classic.

Course Overview: Caves Valley Golf Course is an 18 hole, private golf facility located 15 miles northwest of Baltimore, Maryland. The Tom Fazio design, as you would expect, has been consistently ranked as one of the top courses in the state of Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic region. In the hills of Maryland, the reversed tournament layout (this week will see the sets of 9 reversed) features a front 9 which is wooded with plenty of elevation changes. The back 9 is pretty flat, features more water and also features plenty of long Fescue grass for the wayward.

Ultimately though when comparing Caves Valley to Liberty National last week, this course features tighter fairways, although there are fewer problems off the fairway and greens which are 600 sq.ft on average larger. All 4 of the par-5s are sub-600 yards, whilst the par-4s are an interesting mix. It’s rare that you see 3 par-4s at sub-400 yards on the PGA Tour, but here at Caves Valley, the 1st (365 yards), 5th (356 yards) and 11th (356 yards) must look enticing to the longer players in this field. At the other end of the scale though, there are 6 par-4s which measure over 450 yards.

4 par-3s look like a difficult proposition, with the scorecard highlighting 224 yards (3rd), 223 yards (6th), 221 yards (13th) and 192 yards (17th). So par-3 scoring and approach play from +200 yards looks a good route to explore for this particular course.

It’s a guessing game as to just how difficult Caves Valley will play this week, but a look at the 2017 Constellation Senior Players Championship shows to me that we are likely to see another low scoring affair.  Caves Valley is no Olympia Fields which hosted the BMW Championship in 2020, which in essence was a Major Championship venue which featured firm and fast conditions for the most part. And although it’s a 7,500+ yard, Par 72, distance alone won’t bother the best golfers in the world.

At the Senior Players Championship, the course that week played as a 7,196 yard, Par 72, so in effect just under 400 yards shorter than we will see this week on the PGA Tour. Winner Scott McCarron, who ranked 2nd for Driving Distance, won with a winning score of -18/270 by a single stroke from Brandt Jobe and Bernhard Langer at -17/281.

BMW Championship Tips

Winners: 2020: Jon Rahm (-4); 2019: Justin Thomas (-25); 2018: Keegan Bradley(-20); 2017: Marc Leishman (-23); 2016: Dustin Johnson (-23); 2015: Jason Day (-22); 2014: Billy Horschel (-15); 2013: Zach Johnson (-16); 2012: Rory McIlroy (-20); 2011: Justin Rose (-13); 2010: Dustin Johnson (-9).

Tournament Stats: We’ve published some key player statistics for this week’s event that are well worth a look. Naturally they’ll help to shape a view on players who could go well this week, although as noted this year’s renewal is at a new venue: Current Form | Tournament Form | First Round Leader | Combined Stats.

Published Predictor Model: Our published predictor is available here. You can build your own model using the variables listed on the left hand side. Top 10 of my published predictor are Jon Rahm, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, Webb Simpson, Brooks Koepka, Daniel Berger, Cameron Smith and Tony Finau.

Winners & Prices: 2020: Jon Rahm 10/1; 2019: Justin Thomas 16/1; 2018: Keegan Bradley 140/1; 2017: Marc Leishman 45/1; 2016: D Johnson 10/1; 2015: Day 15/2; 2014: Horschel 66/1; 2013: Z Johnson 40/1; 2012: McIlroy 7/1; 2011: Rose 66/1; 2010: D Johnson 33/1. Past 7 Renewals Average: 42/1; Overall Average: 40/1.

Weather Forecast: The latest weather forecast for Caves Valley GC, Maryland, is here.

We move to 200 miles south-west to Baltimore, Maryland for this week’s BMW Championship and the weather should be far more settled. Think hot (33-34 degrees Celsius), still conditions and a golf course which took on 68mm of rain last week. Watered greens would seem a requirement in this heat, so I expect the typical BMW -20 or below scoring this week.

Recent Player Strokes Gained Rankings: These top 25 in the field rankings are based on an 8-tournament window that stretches back to the Rocket Mortgage Classic / Irish Open, which includes PGA Tour, European Tour events and the Olympics. Players’ rankings are based on performance relative to the rest of the field:

  • Top 25 SG Off The Tee: 1) Jon Rahm; 2) Bryson DeChambeau; 3) Scottie Scheffler; 4) Brooks Koepka; 5) Viktor Hovland; 6) Joaquin Niemann; 7) Patrick Cantlay; 8) Corey Conners / Justin Thomas; 10) Keith Mitchell; 11) Collin Morikawa; 12) K.H. Lee; 13) Sam Burns / Paul Casey / Tony Finau / Sungjae Im / Rory McIlroy / Phil Mickelson; 19) Sergio Garcia; 20) Louis Oosthuizen / Hudson Swafford; 22) Abraham Ancer / Sebastian Munoz / Carlos Ortiz; 25) Keegan Bradley / Max Homa / Hideki Matsuyama / Cameron Smith.
  • Top 25 SG Approach: 1) Jon Rahm; 2) Shane Lowry; 3) Paul Casey; 4) Xander Schauffele; 5) Louis Oosthuizen; 6) Cameron Smith; 7) Keegan Bradley; 8) Daniel Berger; 9) Charley Hoffman; 10) Talor Gooch; 11) Sam Burns; 12) Russell Henley / Viktor Hovland; 14) Jhonattan Vegas; 15) Max Homa; 16) Hideki Matsuyama; 17) Abraham Ancer / Sebastian Munoz; 19) Cameron Tringale; 20) Corey Conners / Sungjae Im; 22) Marc Leishman / Collin Morikawa; 24) Joaquin Niemann / Scottie Scheffler / Justin Thomas.
  • Top 25 SG Around The Green: 1) Jordan Spieth; 2) Cameron Smith; 3) Kevin Na; 4) 4) Patrick Cantlay / Si Woo Kim; 6) Harris English; 7) Matt Jones; 8) Harry Higgs; 9) Shane Lowry; 10) Ryan Palmer; 11) Keegan Bradley; 12) Billy Horschel / Joaquin Niemann; 14) Abraham Ancer; 15) Brian Harman / Brooks Koepka / Aaron Wise; 18) Sergio Garcia / Louis Oosthuizen; 20) Max Homa; 21) Patton Kizzire / Alex Noren / Carols Ortiz; 24) Russell Henley / K.H. Lee / Jhonattan Vegas.
  • Top 25 SG Tee to Green: 1) Jon Rahm; 2) Cameron Smith; 3) Russell Henley; 4) Keegan Bradley / Justin Thomas; 6) Paul Casey / Louis Oosthuizen; 8) Patrick Cantlay; 9) Daniel Berger / Shane Lowry; 11) Kevin Na; 12) Sam Burns / Sebastian Munoz / Scottie Scheffler; 15) Xander Schauffele; 16) Joaquin Niemann; 17) Jhonattan Vegas; 18) Corey Conners; 19) Hideki Matsuyama; 20) Max Homa / Maverick McNealy; 22) Viktor Hovland / Sungjae Im; 24) Charley Hoffman / Collin Morikawa.
  • Top 25 SG Putting: 1) Harris English; 2) Cameron Smith; 3) Cameron Tringale; 4) Tony Finau; 5) Mackenzie Hughes; 6) Abraham Ancer / Branden Grace; 8) Alex Noren; 9) Cameron Davis / Charley Hoffman / Ryan Palmer; 12) Sam Burns / Kevin Na / Joaquin Niemann; 15) Carlos Ortiz / Xander Schauffele; 17) Kevin Kisner / Lee Westwood; 19) Justin Thomas; 20) Stewart Cink; 21) Patrick Cantlay; 22) Dustin Johnson; 23) Viktor Hovland / Louis Oosthuizen / Harold Varner III / Jhonattan Vegas.
  • Top 25 SG Total: 1) Jon Rahm; 2) Cameron Smith; 3) Kevin Na; 4) Louis Oosthuizen; 5) Sam Burns; 6) Justin Thomas; 7) Patrick Cantlay / Cameron Tringale; 9) Harris English; 10) Joaquin Niemann / Xander Schauffele; 12) Tony Finau / Charley Hoffman / Shane Lowry / Maverick McNealy; 16) Keegan Bradley; 17) Scottie Scheffler / Jhonattan Vegas; 19) Paul Casey / Russell Henley; 21) Alex Noren; 22) Abraham Ancer; 23) Sungjae Im; 24) Cameron Davis; 25) Viktor Hovland / Lee Westwood.

Path to Victory: Below are the end of round positions for the last 11 winners of this event:

  • 2020 – Jon Rahm: Round 1: 51st, Round 2: 39th, Round 3: 6th.
  • 2019 – Justin Thomas: Round 1: 1st, Round 2: 4th, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2018 – Keegan Bradley: Round 1: 12th, Round 2: 3rd, Round 3: 6th.
  • 2017 – Marc Leishman: Round 1: 1st, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2016 – Dustin Johnson: Round 1: 3rd, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2015 – Jason Day: Round 1: 1st, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2014 – Billy Horschel: Round 1: 4th, Round 2: 3rd, Round 3: 3rd.
  • 2013 – Zach Johnson: Round 1: 2nd, Round 2: 3rd, Round 3: 4th.
  • 2012 – Rory McIlroy: Round 1: 1st, Round 2: 2nd, Round 3: 3rd.
  • 2011 – Justin Rose: Round 1: 1st, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2010 – Dustin Johnson: Round 1: 6th, Round 2: 4th, Round 3: 2nd.

Shots From the Lead: Below are the last 11 winners and where they were positioned in terms of shots from the lead during the tournament:

  • 2020 – Jon Rahm: Round 1: 8 back, Round 2: 7 back, Round 3: 3 back.
  • 2019 – Justin Thomas: Round 1: level, Round 2: 2 back, Round 3: 6 ahead.
  • 2018 – Keegan Bradley: Round 1: 4 back, Round 2: 3 back, Round 3: 3 back.
  • 2017 – Marc Leishman: Round 1: 2 ahead, Round 2: 3 ahead, Round 3: 5 ahead.
  • 2016 – Dustin Johnson: Round 1: 2 back, Round 2: level, Round 3: 3 ahead.
  • 2015 – Jason Day: Round 1: 4 ahead, Round 2: 5 ahead, Round 3: 6 ahead.
  • 2014 – Billy Horschel: Round 1: 1 back, Round 2: 2 back, Round 3: 3 ahead.
  • 2013 – Zach Johnson: Round 1: 1 back, Round 2: 3 back, Round 3: 3 back.
  • 2012 – Rory McIlroy: Round 1: level, Round 2: 1 back, Round 3: 1 back.
  • 2011 – Justin Rose: Round 1: 2 ahead, Round 2: level, Round 3: 4 ahead.
  • 2010 – Dustin Johnson: Round 1: 4 back, Round 2: 2 back, Round 3: 1 back.

Incoming form of winners since 2010:

  • Jon Rahm: 6th Northern Trust/13th PGA/52nd St Jude/1st Memorial.
  • Justin Thomas: 12th Northern Trust/12th St Jude/11th Open/9th Scottish Open.
  • Keegan Bradley: 49th Dell/34th Northern Trust/42nd PGA/4th Canadian Open.
  • Marc Leishman: 3rd Dell Tech/MC Northern Trust/13th PGA/41st Bridgestone.
  • Dustin Johnson: 8th Deutsche/18th Barclays/MC PGA/2nd Canadian Open.
  • Jason Day: 12th Deutsche/1st Barclays/1st PGA/12th Bridgestone.
  • Billy Horschel: 2nd Deutsche/ MC Barclays/47th Wyndham/59th PGA.
  • Zach Johnson: 27th Deutsche/5th Wyndham/8th PGA/4th Bridgestone.
  • Rory McIlroy: 1st Deutsche/24th Barclays/1st PGA/5th Bridgestone.
  • Justin Rose: 68th Boston/6th Barclays/MC PGA/33rd Bridgestone.
  • Dustin Johnson: 57th Deutsche/9th Barclays/5th PGA/15th Bridgestone.

First Round Leader Analysis: First round leader(s), their wave and winning score since 2019. Full First Round Leader stats are here.

  • 2020 – Matsuyama – Group 22 – 3/67 – 40/1.
  • 2019 – Kokrak/Thomas – Group 16/Group 7 -7/65 – 55/1 & 20/1.
  • 2018 – McIlroy/Woods – Group 9/Group 2 -8/62 – 22/1 & 33/1.
  • 2017 – Leishman – AM -9/62 – 40/1.
  • 2016 – Castro – AM -7/65.
  • 2015 – Day -10/61.
  • 2014 – McIlroy/Spieth/Woodland -3/67.
  • 2013 – Snedeker -8/63.
  • 2012 – DeLaet/McIlroy/Simpson/Van Pelt -8/64.
  • 2011 – Rose -8/63.

For the record, here’s the breakdown of pure Bentgrass green PGA Tour victors in the field since 2008:

  • 7 – Rory McIlroy.
  • 6 – Dustin Johnson.
  • 5 – Jordan Spieth.
  • 4 – Kevin Na, Webb Simpson, Justin Thomas.
  • 3 – Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau, Lucas Glover, Hideki Matsuyama, Phil Mickelson.
  • 2 – Keegan Bradley, Stewart Cink, Sergio Garcia, Brian Harman, Chris Kirk, Marc Leishman, Xander Schauffele, Jhonattan Vegas.
  • 1 – Daniel Berger, Cameron Champ, Tony Finau, Charley Hoffman, Billy Horschel, Kevin Kisner, K.H. Lee, Joaquin Niemann, Charl Schwartzel, Kevin Streelman.

The BMW Championship – now the second leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs – has a number of trends that are intriguing.

In an event where the focus of the media and watching public is as to who will make it to the Tour Championship, recent champions are split down the middle when it comes to FEC starting position. Jon Rahm (9th in 2020), Justin Thomas (15th in 2019), Keegan Bradley (52nd in 2018), Marc Leishman (7th in 2017), Billy Horschel (20th in 2014), Zach Johnson (27th in 2013), Justin Rose (34th in 2011) and Dustin Johnson (16th in 2010) all arrived at the BMW with decent enough immediate form, however it didn’t directly translate to a top 5 FEC position. However the other 4 BMW champions since the Playoff structure was put in place back in 2009 have all been elite, in hot form and high in the FEC standings.

Tiger Woods in 2009 won his fifth title of the season, at 2/1, when ranked 2nd in the FEC standings. Jason Day and Rory McIlroy were both Number 1 in the FEC standings and had won previous Playoff tournaments at The Barclays and Deutsche Bank prior to winning the BMW at 15/2 and 7/1 respectively. And in 2016 Dustin Johnson, who had previously won the U.S. Open and Bridgestone Invitational, went on to win the BMW at 10/1 when ranked 3rd in the FEC standings.

Keegan Bradley broke a very strong trend 3 years ago, entering the BMW Championship with moderate direct form of 49th at the Deutsche Bank and 34th at the Northern Trust. Every other BMW winner in the Playoff era has had a top 11 finish within their past 2 Tour outings, and this really highlights this comment made by Nick Watney prior to the BMW in 2013, “Out of 70 guys, there’s kind of…there’s a big gap between guys playing really well, like you said, and guys struggling.

The latest FedEx Cup Playoffs structure should now start to come into its own. We have cut 55 players from the original 125 qualifiers, so the top 70 move onto the second of 3 Playoff events. Many will be motivated to ensure that they qualify for the Tour Championship next week which opens the door to invitations to the 2022 Masters, U.S. Open and Open Championship.  We had 6 players move into the top 70 last week, with 2 players – namely Charley Hoffman and Sungjae Im – breaking into the top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings.

Kevin Kisner (31st), Si Woo Kim (33rd), Marc Leishman (35th), Alex Noren (43rd), Sergio Garcia (44th), Lee Westwood (46th), Shane Lowry (47th), Webb Simpson (52nd), Paul Casey (54th) and Phil Mickelson (70th), all have work to do this week if they want a slice of the Tour Championship action next week.

For those higher up the rankings, things start to get serious this week. The Tour Championship sees a FedEx Cup Starting Strokes Index used, with the FedEx Cup standings leader starting the next week at -10, FEC Number 2 at -8, FEC Number 3 at -7, FEC Number 4 at -6 and Number 5 at -5. This then cascades down to those ranked 26th to 30th starting at Even. Previously at the Tour Championship, any player ranked 1-5 had the same chance of taking the overall FedEx Cup title by winning the title.

My selections are as follows:

Justin Thomas 3pts EW 20/1 (7EW, 1/5) with William Hill

Justin Thomas is first up for me and at 5th in the FedEx Cup standings, he really needs to keep pushing if he wants to grab the coveted number 1 position going into East Lake.

I was impressed with him last week at Liberty National, where his standard weaknesses were actually his strengths. His driving improved throughout the week and importantly is long enough to help cover bunkers and cut doglegs around Caves Valley this week. Meanwhile his approach play was adequate, whilst his around the green game was extremely poor – something we rarely see from Thomas. But he gained significantly on the greens for the first time since the U.S. Open back in June, after returning to an old putter, and for the first time in 2021 we saw a balanced performance where he ranked 14th for Strokes Gained Tee to Green and 11th for Strokes Gained Putting.

We move to Baltimore this week to a pretty stock Par 72 where I think scoring will be possible, which is always a positive for JT in my eyes. With hot, humid and still conditions looking likely, I think this set-up will be more to Justin’s liking and he will arrive at Caves Valley, which I think he will really like, with growing confidence. The winner of the 2019 BMW Championship at Medinah, which propelled him from 15th in the FEC to 1st going into East Lake, Justin will know that a strong week here in Maryland can set him up for a fantastic end to the season.

The 2017 PGA Championship winner at the Tom Fazio-renovated Quail Hollow, Thomas does tend to disappoint in Majors at short prices, but these premium PGA Tour events are where he undoubtedly thrives. A 4-time Bentgrass green winner across the Deutsche Bank, CJ Cup (x2) and Medinah, I’m looking for a huge week from the 28 year old. RESULT: T22

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Bryson DeChambeau 2pts EW 28/1 (7EW, 1/5) with William Hill

I also get the feeling that the nature of Caves Valley could play into the hands of Bryson DeChambeau this week.

A course where driving distance and drive carry can really be your friend, DeChambeau undoubtedly has the tools to access the par-5s and the shorter par-4s here, plus it’s been noticeable, especially at Liberty National last week, that Bryson has been working at his ball striking and especially his weakness – with wedge in hand.

Always the sort who’s great with his longer approaches – 9th for Greens in Regulation 200+ yards, 2nd for Proximity from 200 yards and above – Bryson’s wedge approaches in New Jersey were far crisper than we have seen for a period of time. 4th for Strokes Gained Off the Tee and 20th for Strokes Gained on Approach, we just need the putter to warm up. Now the green complexes at Liberty National are known for being quite severe, so flatter surfaces this week could well help DeChambeau who at 9th in the FedEx Cup standings will want to jump significantly heading into East Lake.

7 of his 8 career PGA Tour wins have come on Bentgrass (3 wins) or Bentgrass Poa Annua (4 wins) putting surfaces. 8th at the WGC St Jude Invitational where he was 2nd going into Sunday, Bryson is undoubtedly showing signs of life presently and I think the calmer, warmer, windless conditions this week at Caves Valley will help him to challenge again at the top of the leaderboard. RESULT: 2nd, Lost Play-Off

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Keegan Bradley 1pt EW 80/1 (7EW, 1/5) with William Hill

Keegan Bradley has a huge amount to play for this week. At 32nd in the FedEx Cup standings, a top 7 (here’s hoping) finish undoubtedly gets him a spot in the Tour Championship and with that would come invitations to the 2022 Masters, U.S. Open and Open Championship.

And he was there or thereabouts last week at Liberty National, getting himself into the top 10 on the leaderboard on Sunday and grabbing a Projected FEC top 30 spot into the bargain, before finishing with bogeys at 15 and 16 to drop back slightly. T11 though with the likes of Patrick Cantlay and Shane Lowry for company was hardly a disgrace and I think that Keegan will like Caves Valley when he arrives there.

A course with 4 reachable par-5s and 3 par-3s measuring over 220 yards should fall into the wheelhouse of Bradley who’s a bit of a wizard from Tee to Green  – he ranks 5th across the whole Tour season. Positive across driving, approaches and around the green, clearly the putter is Bradley’s weakness, but last week saw him gain almost 3 strokes on the greens.

4th for Total Driving, he also ranks 1st for Greens in Regulation from +200, 25th for Proximity from 200-225 yards and 20th for Proximity from 225-250 yards. And with Bradley we also have a player who has positive associations with the BMW Championship, having won the title in 2018 at Aronimink. 4th and 16th for Strokes Gained Tee to Green and Strokes Gained Total in my 8-week trackers, he’s well worth an each-way punt in my opinion. RESULT: T60

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Cameron Champ 1pt EW 100/1 (7EW, 1/5) with Betfred

Cameron Champ should also like the test ahead at Caves Valley.

11th at the John Deere Classic, 1st at the 3M Open, 31st at the WGC St Jude Invitational and 27th at last week’s Northern Trust, Cameron has jumped from 123rd to 65th in the Official Golf World Rankings across the past 6 weeks, and at 49th in the FedEx Cup standings a run this week in Maryland could see him penetrate the top 30 and book a second consecutive trip to East Lake.

His approach play is excellent right now and clearly ranking at 3rd for Driving Distance and 4th for Driving Distance – All Drives, he has the power to carry fairway bunkers and seriously cut doglegs this week around Caves Valley. Happiest with approach yardages beyond 175 yards, this week’s set-up with long par-3s, driveable par-4s and reachable par-5s would seem to be in Cameron’s wheelhouse and on the whole, he’s been making his fair share of putts since the start of July. RESULT: T66

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Max Homa 1pt EW 125/1 (7EW, 1/5) with William Hill

I’ll close with Max Homa. At 30th in the FedEx Cup standings he sits right on the bubble with the Tour Championship temptingly close to his reach. For a player of Homa’s popularity and workman-like background, a first ever trip to East Lake would be very popular, but he’s clearly clinging on and needs a great week in Maryland. And there are a couple of reasons why I think he could deliver returns at triple-digits this week.

Positive across all Tee to Green facets last week in New Jersey, Max across my 8-week Strokes Gained trackers ranks 25th for Off the Tee, 15th for Approach, 20th for Around the Green and 20th for Tee to Green. A week of neutrality or better with the flat stick would undoubtedly see the 30 year-old Californian towards the top of the BMW leaderboard. Plus I’m also thinking he may well like this Tom Fazio design, as he seems to be a Fazio specialist.

He won his maiden PGA Tour title at Quail Hollow in 2019, which as we know is a Fazio renovation, with his Fazio prowess also coming out with 5th (2020) and 1st this year at Riviera Country Club, which again has had plenty of Fazio work done on it since 2008 and over recent years. With his liking for big tournament and big boy golf courses, Max, if he can cope with the mental side of things, may well like the set-up this week in Maryland. RESULT: T63

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Odds and bookmaker offers correct at 14:20BST 24.8.21 but naturally subject to fluctuation.