After Tony Finau won the first leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs in the Northern Trust, the top-70 players head to Owings Mills, Maryland for the BMW Championship.
The second leg of the postseason will eliminate all but the top-30 on the point list, with those advance headed to the Tour Championship.
The ultimate prize is the FedEx Cup and the lucrative $15 million dollar prize that goes along with it.
This championship is being held at the Caves Valley Golf Club, which is hosting a PGA Tour event for the very first time.
Last year, Jon Rahm sank a long distance putt to defeat Dustin Johnson in a playoff at the BMW at Olympia Fields, and he enters this week as the overwhelming favourite to go back-to-back.
There are some intriguing names that will not be attempting to bring Rahm down as they failed to qualify, including major champions Bubba Watson, Adam Scott and Jason Day.
Phil Mickelson, who won the 2021 PGA Championship, is the last golfer on the bubble to advance to this tournament.
Just two Canadians will be competing in the second leg of the playoffs.
Corey Conners is in the best position at 20th after a T-8 showing at the Northern Trust.
His odds are +4000 to claim his second PGA Tour title.
Mackenzie Hughes will need a huge week to continue forward to East Lake, as he sits 65th.
Oddsmakers have Hughes slotted at +12500 to claim his second title, making him a big long shot.
Here's our first look at the field for the BMW Championship.
Betting Odds To Win 2021 BMW Championship – Top 15
Jon Rahm +650
Justin Thomas +1800
Xander Schauffele +1800
Jordan Spieth +2000
Collin Morikawa +2000
Dustin Johnson +2200
Brooks Koepka +2500
Bryson DeChambeau +2500
Tony Finau +2500
Cameron Smith +2500
Patrick Cantlay +2500
Rory McIlroy +2800
Louis Oosthuizen +2800
Viktor Hovland +3300
Scottie Scheffler +3300
Rory McIlroy a FedEx Cup Stalwart
Rory McIlroy is no stranger to having success in the FedEx Cup playoff events, as he’s won five titles in his career.
That’s the second most all-time, behind only Dustin Johnson, who has earned six titles.
McIlroy has won two FedEx Cups in his career also, taking the 2016 and 2019 iterations.
Before last week’s middling finish at the Northern Trust, he had two strong results, a T-12 at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and a T-4 at the Olympics, where he lost a seven-man playoff for the bronze medal.
This year’s Wells Fargo Champion is third in both strokes gained: tee-to-green and ball striking in his last twelve rounds.
For the season, he’s fourth in birdie average and fifth in SG: off-the-tee.
At times his putter can be an issue, but he’s coming off a week that he gained 3.4 strokes over his competitors on the greens.
With +2800 odds, the Ulsterman has intriguing odds compared to the top of the board, particularly because he has a penchant to save his best for the postseason.
Past Five Winners of the BMW Championship
2020 Jon Rahm -4 (playoff over Dustin Johnson)
2019 Justin Thomas -25 (3 shot win)
2018 Keegan Bradley -20 (playoff over Justin Rose)
2017 Marc Leishman -23 (5 shot win)
2016 Dustin Johnson -23 (3 shot win)
*No tournaments were contested at Caves Valley Golf Club
Fore Your Information
Sam Burns +5000
25-year-old Sam Burns has had a breakout season on the PGA Tour, one that has yielded his first title at the Valspar Championship.
He nearly added to his trophy case just two starts ago at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, losing in a playoff to Abraham Ancer.
In the last five worldwide starts, Burns has racked up four top-25 finishes.
He has seven top-10’s and four top-3’s on the campaign that has seen him become much more consistent.
He’s tied with Rory McIlroy for fourth in birdie average, and is 15th in SG: putting.
In his last eight rounds, Burns is fourth in total strokes gained and seventh on the dance floor, which should provide plenty of chances to go low.
He’s ready to take the next step in his career, and he’s shown he’s capable of playing with the titans of the sport.
Given his recent play, his +5000 odds are awfully enticing, which were the exact same pre-tournament odds that eventual champion Tony Finau had last week.
Diamond in the Rough
Erik van Rooyen +9000
Erik van Rooyen is hardly a household name to casual golf fans, but in the last month, he’s been turning heads, including just last week in the playoff opener.
Three starts ago, the South African won the Barracuda Championship for his first tour title to go along with his one European Tour triumph in 2019.
He followed that up with a respectable showing at the Wyndham Championship, but he did even better at the Northern Trust.
The 31-year-old was in the hunt to win for the second time in three events, as he was in the final group on Monday, starting just a shot back.
He was in the mix on the back nine before an untimely quadruple bogey sunk his chances on the eleventh hole.
Van Rooyen was able to battle back for a seventh place showing, proving he has a lot of grit and tenacity.
Asking him to take down a stacked field might be too tall a task, but at least he only has to beat a limited number of his contemporaries.
A more realistic potential winning option would be him in the top 5/10/20 markets (+1400, +550, +150), and they provide interesting value.