PGA – A Thinking Man’s Guide: BMW Championship (Premium)
CONWAY FARMS, Chicago
PAR 71, 7100 YARDS
Fairways: Narrow; and Bent Grass
Rough: Bent Grass (much smoother than the Bermudas we’ve been dealing with)
Greens: Bent Grass also
BEST SPOT FOR WEATHER: https://www.windy.com/42.240/-87.890?41.775,-87.890,8,m:ePzadIG
*Don’t use standard web sites for the weather in golf, Windy.com uses four different models from national weather and aeronautic organizations: Countries that launch spaceships, they know wind.
The BMW returns to the Windy City for the first time since 2015. Conway Farms is on the BMW/FEDEX rota; played here every odd year for the foreseeable future. So, if you are using “tournament history”: DON’T….use “course form/history”. All things considered, course history is only marginally relevant this week. The two times The BMW has been hosted here the weather has been so different that opposite types of golfers have found success.
As you can tell from the map above Chicago is a “port city”. A universal characteristic of “port cities” is that they have countervalent winds: Winds that blow the opposite direction at different times of the day so that ships could set out to sea and arrive with relative ease.
(Fun fact you can skip: This is why Chicago is known as both the Windy and the Second city. Its unique geographical location made it the economic hub that opened the West for “trade” because of the ease you could ship large quantities of goods to and from NYC; a little bit of Historical Econ never hurt anyone).
What does this mean for us?…Obviously, we want to take the golfers with the best wind situation; unfortunately, we don’t know what that is, when it will happen, and who it favors: YET!
Therefore, as WE PROFFERED (inside joke) long ago you need to “correlate lineups” based on tee-times and the differing “types” of golfers that we have been talking about all year.
Most of my correlations will center around tee-times, “Long-Ball Strikers” (a proprietary FanVice “course-fit”; article forthcoming) and some bent grass specialists.
For the first time in a long time, we’re not looking at SG:OTT (STROKES GAINED OFF THE TEE). Of the three Par 5’s only one is reachable for Eagle conversions and only by the longest of hitters. Let’s take a look at the remaining “shot bucket” (a term you’ll hear used in golf stats to describe how often shots will occur at varying distances.)
I’m going to keep things simple here because we will have a much better idea during the Wednesday Night Lineup builder show. However, I’m looking at “recent form” as my analytical starting point this week, and then Par 4 BOB (Birdie or Better) and SG >200 yards as my key stats. While distance off the tee will be less important this week, it will be important in terms of ball striking. The fairways while narrow have consistent bent grass rough which is much easier to hit out of. It’s going to feel weird but it’s ok to take boring plodders like Zack Johnson (former winner and Mid-west native) and Ian Poulter (best golfer ever) this week.
EDITOR’S NOTE: As a special feature for our readers, we now offer the Form Guide and infamous “stat sheets” from Timothy Frank aka @FantasyGolfMan – this is something that became a must read for many gamers while it was hosted at FantasyInsiders and we are now proud to offer it to the #FamVice:
Form Guide: click here
Trends: click here
Stat Guide: click here
Strokes Gained: click here
True Ball Striking: click here
PAUL CASEY: ($9,200 Draftkings; 17,200 FantasyDraft)
Casey is my pick to win and I will have a 3X unit wager on this (The Duchess Sour; we don’t do Coors light here man). I’m not going to go through all of his stats. He’s the best golfer to not have won this year (I love you and your Skechers Kuch…so it’s probably a tie). The following is a paragraph I wrote when I forgot who I was:
Jordan Spieth ($11,800 DraftKIngs; 19,600 FantasyDraft)
I love Dustin Johnson. He helped me buy my house one time, still need to send him a bottle of wine, I mean cocaine for that. But he got his win and from what I saw in his game last week, he is still in the doghouse so If I’m paying up I’ll take Spieth. His recent form is still outstanding and his personal drive is so different that DJ’S is palpable). This is why I’m ignoring DJ’S prowess from the inside of 125 yards range. (Only for a paragraph tho DJ, don’t trip bro…wine/cocaine is in the mail)
DUSTIN JOHNSON ($11,500 DraftKings, 19,300 FantasyDraft)
DJ’S wedge game is why he’s getting my nod up top, plus the salary relief. Being the longest hitter on tour, when DJ’S OTT game struggles he has to ball strike from much further out. If he is hitting his tee-shots accurately he could run away with this. The way this course is designed I’m anticipating ample opportunity from inside of 125 yards. His short irons are elite. Also, in terms of recent form, we’re going to treat it mathematically like we treated “course history” two weeks ago; DJ leads the field in terms of SG: Recent Form; 46.34 total. During that time he has 5 finishes in the top 20.
HUDSON SWAFFORD ($6,900 DraftKings, 12,100 FantasyDraft)
Huddy took a bit of break (like six months of straight cuts break, push), but he’s back: His recent form since the Bridgestone: T13, t43, cut, T10, T32. He’s gained 16 strokes on the field since his “victory lap”. He’s coming into form and
PATRICK REED ($DraftKings 8,000; FantasyDraft; 16,200)
This is more of a feel play for me. Earlier this year I published a piece about Reed’s tendencies. He is typified by his or hot-streaks and playing well when he cares. He comes in on a bit of a heater: T6, T20, T2, T36.
WEB SIMPSON ($DraftKings 7,700)
Webber is the ascendant golfer of the past 2 months. A quick glance at the game film ( You can tell the NFL is here, not even sure we can we use that phrase for golf) and stats illustrate that Simpson finally figured out how to anchor his putter without breaking the official rules. A notoriously bad putter since the “anchoring ban”, Simpson is now the 13 best putter on tour. In addition to being top 25 in most recent ball striking stats. Remember, this dude won the US Open when allowed to cheat at putting. A top ten finish and even a win are in the cards this weekend.
In closing, it’s been the best year working with all of you. I’ve learned a ton and I hope I’ve been able to help. Big shout out to the slack and my secret DM’S 😉 Votts, Fighting Irish, FKcoolers, Ponta, bettercallsteve…and the rest of the #pgavicesquad. We crushed it this year. To Ben I say: Try harder, we expect more from you man. And Hotmajik, you’re my dude, so here’s a play just for you: Ian Poulter T5 this week; especially if the wind picks up.
PS I didn’t discuss the other obvious plays that fit within these basic parameters. But I will have plenty of Rickie, Jason Day (superlative course history) and Matsuyama in GPP’S. In addition to some bent grass specialists and some plays that are embedded into the article, best of luck this week.