Fantasy Golf: BMW Championship Preview


FedExCup Playoffs

Event No. 3

BMW Championship

Crooked Stick Golf Club, Carmel, Indiana.


You’ll find more trees framing the course than those in play this week.

Week III of the Playoffs features the current top 70 on the FedExCup Points list.

Everyone who’s eligible is in attendance this week.

Remember, if there are any WD’s, the field will NOT replace that player.

The Tour heads back to central Indiana for the second time in five years and will present, as the BMW usually does, a track that isn’t inherently familiar to the field. Half the field played here in 2012 but that was the first time Crooked Stick had hosted the event. The advantage of a few practice rounds and four tournament rounds won’t tip the scales for me as did course history at the DBC last week. The DBC has been played on that course since 2003 and that does matter.
Crooked Stick was sopping wet last time around and the big boy ball-strikers were leading the way.

Top 15 from 2012

Rory McIlroy, -20
Lee Westwood, -18*
Phil Mickelson, -18*
Robert Garrigus, -17
Tiger Woods, -17*
Dustin Johnson, -16
Adam Scott, -16
Vijay Singh, -15*
Jim Furyk, -14*
Ryan Moore, -13
Bo Van Pelt, -13*
Zach Johnson, -12
Chris Kirk, -12
Ian Poulter, -12*
Bubba Watson, -12
*DNQ this week
There’s not much riddle to the above.
The guys who crush it off the tee and paint GIR for a living out-numbered the short and steady folks (Furyk, Moore, Zach Johnson).


Drive In, Drive Out

No. 35: Scott Piercy (T-37 here in ’12)
No. 34: Jason Kokrak (on MAYJAH FIYAH)
No. 33: Smylie Kaufman (rookie made his first cut in four tries last week)
No. 32: Fabian Gomez (top 10 last week at DBC)
No. 31: Daniel Berger (only rookie to make it to East Lake last year)

No. 30: Brooks Koepka (if he’s showing for the Ryder Cup he needs to get it going)

No. 29: Jhonattan Vegas (remarked on Twitter last week he was banged up)
No. 28: Matt Kuchar (last time he missed East Lake was 2009)
No. 27: Bubba Watson (make it nine straight BMW’s)
No. 26: William McGirt (nose bleeding in a career year)
No. 25: Sergio Garcia (finished T-24 in 2012)

There are your Cliff’s Notes. #URWelcome. Remember, only the top 70 advance.

Here’s what EVERYONE needs this week:


2015-16 Winners (at time of victory)



In 2014-15 there were 14 players in their 20’s who won tournaments. They accounted for a whopping 24 victories in 47 events.


Under-30 Winners (13 different winners from 15 events)

Emiliano Grillo, 23;
Smylie Kaufman, 23; Shriners
Justin Thomas, 22; CIMB
Peter Malnati, 28; SFC
Jordan Spieth, 22; HTOC, DEAN & DELUCA at Colonial
Hideki Matsuyama, 23; WMPO
Jason Day, 28; API, WGC-Dell Match Play, THE PLAYERS
Danny Willett, 28; Masters
Branden Grace, 27; RBC Heritage
Daniel Berger, 23; FESJC
Si Woo Kim, 21; Wyndham
Patrick Reed, 26; Barclays
Rory McIlroy, 27; DBC


Prime-Time Players

The guys between 30-39 years of age produced 16 multiple champions in 17 events last season.


Winners, 30-39 (22 players from 24 events)

Russell Knox, 31; HSBC Champions, Travelers
Graeme McDowell, 36; OHL Mayakoba
Kevin Kisner, 31; RSM Classic
Fabian Gomez, 37; Sony Open
Jason Dufner, 38; CB Challenge
Brandt Snedeker, 35; Farmers Insurance Open
Vaughn Taylor, 39; AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Bubba Watson, 37; Northern Trust Open
Adam Scott, 35; Honda Classic, WGC-Cadillac Championship
Charl Schwartzel, 31; Valspar
Jim Herman, 38; Shell Houston Open
Charley Hoffman, 39; Valero Texas Open
Brian Stuard, 33; Zurich Classic
James Hahn, 34; Wells Fargo Championship
Sergio Garcia, 36; AT&T Byron Nelson
William McGirt, 36; Memorial
Dustin Johnson, 31; U.S. Open
Billy Hurley, III, 34; Quicken Loans National
Aaron Baddeley, 35; Barbasol Championship
Jhonattan Vegas, 31; RBC Canadian Open
Jimmy Walker, 37; PGA Championship
Ryan Moore, 33; John Deere Classic


Old Guard

There were only four winners last season from 47 events (Furyk, Cejka, Love III and Harrington). Sentimentality and name recognition has no place in fantasy golf, folks.

Winners, 40-plus

Greg Chalmers, 42; Barracuda Championship
Henrik Stenson, 40; The Open Championship

Chad Campbell was the only player in the top 21 who fit this category. Is it a young man’s track or a young man’s game? Or both?



Last year the only rookie to pick up a first-place check was Canadian Nick Taylor. This season it took ONE EVENT to match that total.


Emiliano Grillo;
Smylie Kaufman; Shriners

After winners in the first two events of the season, it’s been 43 straight events without one of the newbies collecting a trophy.

Let it be noted that Grillo has:

*Changed his pronunciation of his last name to Gree Low halfway through the year.
*Made the cut in all four majors.
*Finished T-2 in his first Playoff event.

Rookies in the FEC

Remember, 2014 was the only year a rookie has NOT found a spot in The Tour Championship. Here are your choices for this year:

Smylie Kaufman, No. 26   No. 34  No. 33
Emiliano Grillo, No. 32   No. 6  No. 8
Patton Kizzire, No. 58  No. 72 No. 82
Harold Varner, III, No. 82  No. 87 No. 75
Brett Stegmaier, No. 101
Michael Kim, No. 115
My money is on Grillo as he’ll see three weeks in a row on Bentgrass and that won’t bother him as much as three weeks in a row on Bermuda. Kizzire and the rest will need something very special to make the leap into the top 30.

Ed. Note: Written before the first Playoff event.


First-Time Winners

Rookies, journeyman, up-and-comers, I’ll keep track of them all. It’s a life-changer.

First-Time Winners on Tour

2013: 12
2014: 10
2015: 11
2016: (16 and counting)

Emiliano Grillo (
Smylie Kaufman (Shriners)
Justin Thomas (CIMB)
Peter Malnati (SFC)
Russell Knox (WGC-HSBC Champions)
Kevin Kisner (RSM)
Tony Finau (PRO)
Jim Herman (SHO)
Danny Willett (Masters)
Branden Grace (RBC Heritage)
Brian Stuard (Zurich Classic)
William McGirt (Memorial)
Daniel Berger (FESJC)
Billy Hurley, III (QLN)
Greg Chalmers (Barracuda) in his 386th event!
Si Woo Kim (Wyndham)


Each week, when possible, I’ll try and reward those of you who take the time to read my columns with thoughts on a few players who didn’t make the cut, for whatever reason, in my preview column.


Last Week:

Kevin Streelman: T-57 was a made cut but that’s about it; can’t have two rounds here over par and only one in the 60’s.

Vijay Singh: 70-75 MC reinforces that investing in 50-somethings isn’t necessarily a bright idea this time of year.

Brendan Steele: He’s never MC in five straight in Boston but he was DFL. Remember, DFL > MC but not by much!

David Lingmerth: T-63. Hahahaha.


This Week:

Every single player, all 70 of them, received comment.

You’ll have to check my preview for the details but for those of you who made it this far, here’s a couple to take home with you:

Patrick Reed (Win, T-5)

Adam Scott (T-4, 4th)

Jason Day (T-4, T-15)

Gary Woodland (T-4, T-15)

Ryan Moore (T-7, T-8)

Jason Kokrak (T-7, T-8)

Jordan Spieth (T-10, T-21)

Tony Finau (T-12, T-24)

Ryan Palmer (13th, T-24)

Louis Oosthuizen (T-18, T-8)

Dustin Johnson (T-18, T-8)

Brian Harman (T-22, T-24)



Check out ALL of the ins-and-outs in my Golfweek preview

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