Horses for Courses: BMW Championship

Tom Fazio has had plenty of looks this season on TOUR. We’ll start there to try and crack the code here. Caves Valley hosts for the first time on TOUR and plays 7,542 yards to Par-72.

Sweet snap Shawn!

As Rob Bolton pointed out in his Power Rankings column, the statue of limitations for horses for courses has lapsed for most in the field this week. I’ll give gamers a few angles to look at when putting their lineups together that will hopefully shed some light.

RELATED: Power Rankings | Expert Picks

Caves Valley is a Tom Fazio design and will stretch 7,542 yards and play to Par-72. Bentgrass greens will average 5,200 square feet while the fescue/Bluegrass/ryegrass rough will top out at three inches. The scorecard shows three of the four Par-3 holes stretching over 220 yards with the “shortest” one listed at 193.

Course Designer

Tom Fazio has been a very popular name in this column all season long. While every course he’s designed that has been used on TOUR is not EXACTLY THE SAME, we can gauge who might prefer his design styles. Here’s a look at the tracks and winners he’s provided so far:

CJ CUP AT SHADOW CREEK – Par 72 – 7,527 yards
Greens: Bentgrass
Rough: Bermudagrass
Winner: Jason Kokrak
Runner-Up: Xander Schauffele

Masters Tournament – Par 72 – 7,475 yards
Greens: Bentgrass
Second cut: Ryegrass
Winner: Dustin Johnson
Runner-Up: Cameron Smith, Sungjae Im

The RSM Classic – Par 70 – 7,005 yards
Greens: TifEagle Bermuda
Rough: Bermuda
Winner: Robert Streb
Runner-Up: Kevin Kisner

Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship – Par 72 – 7,670 yards
Greens: Paspalum
Rough: Paspalum
Winner: Joel Dahmen
Runner-Up: Sam Ryder, Rafael Campos

Masters Tournament 2021 – Par 72 – 7,475 yards
Greens: Bentgrass
Second cut: Ryegrass
Winner: Hideki Matsuyama
Runner-Up: Will Zalatoris

Wells Fargo Championship – Par 72 – 7,521 yards
Greens: Champion Bermuda
Rough: Bermuda over-seeded with Ryegrass
Winner: Rory McIlroy
Runner-Up: Abraham Ancer

Palmetto Championship at Congaree – Par 72 – 7,655 yards
Greens: Champion Bermuda
Rough: Bermuda
Winner: Garrick Higgo
Runner-Up: 6 tied one shot back

I’ll also point out that Caves Valley Superintendent Kyle Steidel was the previous man in charge at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Jack’s place also plays Par-72 at just over 7,500 yards with very similar green sizes and bentgrass/bluegrass/ryegrass combos.

When Fazio was busy reading Quail Hollow Club for the 2017 PGA Championship (won by Justin Thomas) his Eagle Point Club in Wilmington was used instead. Playing Par 72 and stretching 7,471 yards, Brian Harman held off Dustin Johnson and Pat Perez on A4 Bentgrass greens for the title.

Fazio’s Conway Farms was also used for the BMW Championship in 2013, 2015 and 2017. The course in the Chicago suburbs played to Par-71 and almost 7,200 yards. 007 bentgrass greens covered the putting surfaces.

2013 winner: Zach Johnson (-16); Jim Furyk (3rd) posted 59 in Round 2.
2015 winner: Jason Day (-22) won by six.
2017 winner: Marc Leishman (-23) won by five.

Ghosts of Cave Valley’s Past

2002 US Senior Open – Par 71 – 7,005 yards
Winner: Don Pooley (-10; playoff)
Runner-up: Tom Watson
Notes: Only nine players finished in red figures.

2005 NCAA Men’s Championship
Winner: Georgia Bulldogs (Kevin Kisner and Chris Kirk)
Notables: Alex Noren (39th), Dustin Johnson (MC), Webb Simpson (MC).

2007 Palmer Cup
Team USA: Billy Horschel, Brian Harman, Dustin Johnson, Chris Kirk and Webb Simpson.

2017 Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship – Par 72 – 7,196 yards
Winner: Scott McCarron (-18) – Led the field in Par-5 scoring (-12).

Notes: Top 13 players were 10-under or better. … Just EIGHT rounds OVER PAR from the top 25 players. … TPC Twin Cities only allowed more birdies that season. … Only one event allowed more eagles. … 27 of 78 players hit 80 percent or better Fairways for the week. … 27 of 78 players hit 75 percent or better GIR for the week. … Larry Mize posted the low round of the week, 64. … 5 players posted 65.

Key stat leaders

Top golfers in each statistic on the 2020-2021 PGA TOUR are listed only if they are scheduled to compete this week.

Ball Striking
1Jon Rahm
2Collin Morikawa
3Keegan Bradley
4Corey Conners
5Emiliano Grillo
7Sergio Garcia
8Sungjae Im
9Jason Kokrak
13Daniel Berger
14Paul Casey
14Kevin Streelman
17Joaquin Niemann
17Xander Schauffele
19Viktor Hovland
21Patrick Cantlay
22Hudson Swafford
23Webb Simpson
25Abraham Ancer
29Stewart Cink
31Hideki Matsuyama
34Louis Oosthiuzen
37Sam Burns
Strokes Gained: Approach the Green
1Collin Morikawa
2Paul Casey
3Justin Thomas
4Russell Henley
5Keegan Bradley
6Jon Rahm
7Daniel Berger
8Corey Conners
10Charley Hoffman
11Hideki Matsuyama
12Emiliano Grillo
15Xander Schauffele
17Sam Burns
18Viktor Hovland
19Shane Lowry
21Brooks Koepka
23Stewart Cink
26Kevin Streelman
27Jordan Spieth
28Talor Gooch
29Abraham Ancer
30Tony Finau
31Patrick Cantlay
Par-5 Scoring
1Xander Schauffele
2Jon Rahm
2Cameron Smith
4Bryson DeChambeau
5Harris English
6Webb Simpson
7Ryan Palmer
8Sergio Garcia
9Brian Harman
9Sam Burns
9Brooks Koepka
13Viktor Hovland
13Joaquin Niemann
13Max Homa
13Carlos Ortiz
17Collin Morikawa
17Hideki Matsuyama
17Daniel Berger
17Louis Oosthuizen
17Jordan Spieth
17Jason Kokrak
25Scottie Scheffler
25Justin Thomas
FedEx Cup Event Winners (Entered this Week)
Dustin Johnson 6
Rory McIlroy5
Justin Thomas 2
Bryson DeChambeau2
Billy Horschel2
Phil Mickelson2
Tony Finau1
Jon Rahm1
Keegan Bradley1
Marc Leishman1
Xander Schauffele1
Jordan Spieth1
Chris Kirk1
Webb Simpson1
Charley Hoffman1

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