PGA Tour predictions: BMW Championship pre-tournament best bets
With the FedEx Cup Playoffs featuring only three tournaments this season (down from four), we are already one-third of the way through the 2020 “postseason” festivities. But fear not, golf fans! Whereas the playoffs normally conclude the meat of golf’s calendar, in this unusual year we still have two more majors on the schedule (the U.S. Open next month and the Masters in November).
For now, though, the focus remains on the road to Atlanta—where next week’s Tour Championship will welcome the top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings. At the moment 70 players remain, a number that includes Tiger Woods (who was far from his best at The Northern Trust but at least performed well enough to advance to this week’s BMW Championship). Woods is joined in a strong field at this Chicago-based event by Northern Trust champion and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson (a +800 favorite), Jon Rahm (+1000), Justin Thomas (+1400), and Bryson DeChambeau (+1400).
Let’s take a look at the best bets heading into first-round action on Thursday. And be sure to check out our outright winner pick plus daily picks for playoff events and majors on the PGA Tour picks page.
Tiger Woods to beat Adam Scott (-110)
Woods persevered through another unspectacular tournament last week, finishing tied for 58th at The Northern Trust. On the bright side, two of his rounds were encouraging. The 44-year-old opened with a 68 and closed with a 66. On Sunday, he was 5-under through the first seven holes. That stretch, however brief, still shows that Woods is capable of catching fire and being dominant when he does. He is a two-time winner of the BMW Championship in its 13-year history, albeit never at this course at Olympia Fields. As for Scott, he has played only two tournaments since golf returned from the coronavirus hiatus and placed T22 at the PGA Championship before tying with Woods in the 58th spot at The Northern Trust. If Woods is even decent with his putter in Chicago, he should be able to ride momentum from his performance this past Sunday.
Jason Day to finish in the top 10 (+250)
Not unlike the case with Woods, the most important factor for Day heading into the second playoff tournament is that he looked 100 percent physically at TPC Boston. The Australian often struggles with back problems, just like Woods, but nothing has been stopping him from playing well this summer. Day has been a top-10 machine, producing such results in four straight events before finally missing a cut at The Northern Trust. Some time off, however, may not be a bad thing for Day. The 32-year-old triumphed at the BMW Championship in 2015 and should at least come close to doing so again.
Collin Morikawa to finish in the top 20 (-120)
Unsurprisingly, Morikawa struggled to make a quick turnaround at The Northern Trust so soon after his life-changing performance at the PGA Championship. Like Day, the 23-year-old American probably didn’t mind a weekend off. Mentally and physically, Morikawa should be back with a vengeance this week. He has already posted four top-20 finishes this summer (including his PGA triumph, a title at the Workday Charity Open, and a runner-up showing at the Charles Schwab Challenge). Morikawa is quite clearly one of the best players in the world right now and should not have too much trouble being one of the 20 best in a field of just 70 men.