Weekly PGA Preview: BMW Championship

Weekly PGA Preview: BMW Championship

This article is part of our Weekly PGA Preview series.

BMW Championship

Olympia Fields Country Club
Olympia Fields, IL

The PGA Tour heads to Chicagoland for the second leg of the FedExCup Playoffs -- the BMW Championship.

Who would have thought that entering the season's penultimate event, Lucas Glover would be the talk of the golfing world? Glover, a one-time major winner, has been a fairly steady player on the PGA Tour for nearly two decades, but he was -- to put it politely -- an afterthought in 2023, until he wasn't. Not only did he win his way into the FedExCup Playoffs, he's now fourth in the standings, with a very real chance to win the FedEx Cup. In addition to that, he has a chance to make his first Ryder Cup team at the age of 43. 

This is truly one of the most unique stories I've seen in my three decades following this sport. The question now becomes, can Glover keep this going? Heading into the FedEx St. Jude Championship I was fairly certain that Glover would flame out. After all, he'd already achieved a major goal of making the playoffs, so what was left for him? Apparently he had his sights set a bit higher than I thought, because now everything is in reach. Motivation will not be an issue at Olympia Fields, as all of these seemingly unachievable goals are possible if he can find a way to play well for two more weeks. I don't know if he's got it in him, but I'm excited to see how it plays out.

All odds via FanDuel Sportsbook as of 6:00 PM ET Tuesday.


Patrick Cantlay shot a final-round 69 on his way to a one-stroke victory over Scott Stallings.


Rory McIlroy (13-2)

There was a lot of attention paid to the top-5 streak the next golfer on the list was on, and that overshadowed McIlroy's top-10 streak, which now sits at eight straight tournaments. Unlike Scheffler, though, McIlroy mixed in a win during his streak, which in my mind means quite a bit. If anyone in the Big 3 is poised to make a run at the FedEx Cup this year it's McIlroy. He played well here in 2020, posting a T12. Keep in mind that the only time most of these guys played this course was that year, when this event was held here. The rest of the event history can be tossed, as this tournament rotates courses yearly.

Scottie Scheffler (7-1)

I'm not sure what was more shocking this past week -- Glover winning or Scheffler placing outside the top 30. It had been nearly 10 months since Scheffler last finished outside the top 25, but to everyone's surprise he did no better than a T31 in Memphis. Perhaps the grind finally got to him. How else do you explain that result from a guy who finished no worse than T5 in seven of his eight previous events? Scheffler is certainly positioned to rebound, but there is little reason to bite at this price. Let's not forget that even when he was on fire he wasn't winning.

Jon Rahm (9-1)

I get that he's Rahm -- one of the best three golfers in the world -- so he has to be among the favorites. But in reality, he hasn't done much of anything since the Masters. Did I write that exact line last week, because it feels very familiar? Once again Rahm started slowly this past week, only to flash his best form later in the week after it was too late. Rahm is certainly capable of winning any time he tees it up, but unless he rediscovers how to get off to a fast start he's not beating a field like this. His odds should not be below 10-1 right now.


Tommy Fleetwood (22-1)

He's going to get a win on the PGA Tour, right? Common thought is that if you give yourself enough chances, eventually you will break through. However, Fleetwood is really testing that theory, as he continues to put himself in the mix, only to fall just short. Is this the week he finally reaches the winner's circle? Well, there are only 50 players in the field, and this is a pretty reasonable price, so he might be worth a look here.

Collin Morikawa (28-1)

Outside of a stretch to begin the calendar year Morikawa has lacked any kind of consistency, but call this a hunch, as I think he's about to close things out in style. While he never really threatened in Memphis, he would have been in good shape if not for one so-so round of 70 on Friday. Morikawa nearly won last month in Detroit, and I think he's poised to find a win before the end of the season.

Hideki Matsuyama (35-1)

Matsuyama has also had a tough time with consistency, but he's coming off a quality closing round in Memphis and played well here in 2020. Matsuyama has a lot of work to do to get into the top 30, as he sits in 47th place entering this event. I'm not sure if the pressure helps of hurts in this case, but he played his way into this event by placing top-20 last week, so that's surely a good sign.


Lucas Glover (40-1)

I realize I'm probably a week late, but the guy is simply on a roll right now, and if we take out the law of averages there's no reason to believe he can't continue to play well and perhaps even win again. Glover has been on a heater since switching putters, so maybe that truly unlocked his best game and that's all there is to it.

Russell Henley (40-1)

I like to focus on current form rather than course history at this time of year, and that holds true with this pick, as Henley is on a bit of a hot streak himself. He finished runner-up to Glover at the Wyndham Championship and placed T6 this past week.


Highly-chosen Pick: Tommy Fleetwood - It's always tough to figure out the percentages at this time of the year because we don't know who's left. I can't imagine many OAD players have any of the Big 3, so who's left? If you have Fleetwood, this would be the time to use him.

Moderately-chosen Pick: Lucas Glover - This is a tough call because I think we needed to see Glover play well this past week to be convinced he was the real deal. But now it may be too late. Then again, with only 50 players teeing it up and most of the best ones already gone, your options are probably limited.

Lightly-chosen Pick: Russell Henley - I used Henley a while back, but there's a chance you didn't. If so, this looks like a good spot to deploy him if you don't have any of the top players left. Like Glover, though, this might be a situation where you're using him a week too late.

Buyer Beware: Wyndham Clark - Things can change fast in this game. As recently as a week ago I had plotted out my final two picks, with Clark being one of them. However, after his T66 in Memphis, I don't see how I can use him in this spot. The same would hold true for anyone else out there with a decent alternative.

This Week: Jordan Spieth - I realized I still have Spieth at my disposal, so I'm not going to complicate things by looking elsewhere. Spieth this week and McIlroy next week sounds good to me. While I like having options at the end of the season, I think I played a little too loose throughout this season, going with lesser-named golfers when bigger names were available. You never want to see any of the top guys on your bench at the end of the year, and I think there are a couple I should have found a spot for somewhere along the line.

Previous Results

TournamentGolferResultEarningsRunning Total
FedEx St. Jude ChampionshipBrian HarmanT31$116,000$13,099,623
Wyndham ChampionshipJ.T. PostonT7$223,060$12,983,623
3M OpenHideki MatsuyamaT30$46,744$12,760,563
Open ChampionshipCameron SmithT33$84,112$12,713,819
Genesis Scottish OpenLudvig AbergMC$0$12,629,707
John Deere ClassicSepp Straka1$1,332,000$12,629,707
Rocket Mortgage ClassicChris KirkT14$160,000$11,297,707
Travelers ChampionshipHarris EnglishT60$44,600$11,137,707
U.S. OpenBrooks KoepkaT17$284,167$11,093,107
RBC Canadian OpenTommy Fleetwood2$981,000$10,808,940
The Memorial Tournament pres. by WorkdayCollin MorikawaWD$0$9,827,940
Charles Schwab ChallengeJustin RoseT12$178,350$9,827,940
PGA ChampionshipTony FinauT72$26,500$9,649,590
AT&T Byron NelsonAdam ScottT8$277,875$9,623,090
Wells Fargo ChampionshipMatt FitzpatrickT35$99,600$9,345,215
Mexico OpenBrandon Wu3$531,300$9,245,615
Zurich Classic of New OrleansBilly HorschelT11$93,633$8,714,315
RBC HeritageCameron YoungT51$49,133$8,620,682
Masters TournamentScottie SchefflerT10$432,000$8,571,549
Valero Texas OpenMatt KucharT3$525,100$8,139,549
WGC-Dell Technologies Match PlayTyrrell HattonT59$76,500$7,614,449
Valspar ChampionshipAdam HadwinMC$0$7,537,949
THE PLAYERS ChampionshipXander SchauffeleT19$275,000$7,537,949
Arnold Palmer Invitational pres. by MastercardKeith MitchellT24$163,000$7,262,949
The Honda ClassicShane LowryT5$288,120$7,099,949
The Genesis InvitationalMax Homa2$2,180,000$6,811,829
WM Phoenix OpenJon Rahm3$1,380,000$4,631,829
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AmJoel DahmenT41$31,950$3,251,829
Farmers Insurance OpenJason DayT7$282,750$3,219,879
The American ExpressSungjae ImT18$110,000$2,9327,129
Sony Open in HawaiiCorey ConnersT12$138,908$2,827,129
Sentry Tournament of ChampionsRussell HenleyT30$208,500$2,688,221
The RSM ClassicMackenzie HughesMC$0$2,479,721
Cadence Bank Houston OpenTaylor MontgomeryT57$19,236$2,479,721
World Wide Technology Championship at MayakobaTom HogeMC$0$2,460,485
Butterfield Bermuda ChampionshipSeamus Power1$1,170,000$2,460,485
THE CJ CUP in South CarolinaRickie FowlerT34$54,180$1,290,485
ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIPMaverick McNealyT12$222,310$1,236,305
Shriners Children's OpenMatthew NeSmithT2$712,000$1,013,995
Sanderson Farms ChampionshipDenny McCarthyT39$31,995$301,995
Fortinet ChampionshipSahith TheegalaT6$270,000$270,000


Upper Range: Rory McIlroy ($12,300)
Middle Range: Hideki Matsuyama ($10,300)
Lower Range: Denny McCarthy ($8,800)


Previous Results

Wyndham ChampionshipJ.T. Poston5
3M OpenTony Finau4
Open ChampionshipCameron Smith3
Genesis Scottish OpenThomas Detry2
John Deere ClassicZach Johnson1
Rocket Mortgage ClassicTom Kim0
Travelers ChampionshipBrian Harman4
U.S. OpenBrooks Koepka3
RBC Canadian OpenCorey Conners2
The Memorial Tournament pres. by WorkdaySahith Theegala1
Charles Schwab ChallengeJordan Spieth0
PGA ChampionshipXander Schauffele14
AT&T Byron NelsonK.H. Lee13
Wells Fargo ChampionshipRickie Fowler12
Mexico OpenJon Rahm11
Zurich Classic of New OrleansPatrick Cantlay10
RBC HeritageCameron Young9
Masters TournamentScottie Scheffler8
Valero Texas OpenMatt Kuchar7
Valspar ChampionshipSam Burns6
THE PLAYERS ChampionshipJustin Thomas5
Arnold Palmer Invitational pres. by MastercardTyrrell Hatton4
The Honda ClassicShane Lowry3
The Genesis InvitationalAdam Scott2
WM Phoenix OpenHideki Matsuyama1
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AmMaverick McNealy0
Farmers Insurance OpenLuke List3
The American ExpressAndrew Putnam2
Sony Open in HawaiiHarris English1
The RSM ClassicJason Day0
Cadence Bank Houston OpenRussell Henley0
World Wide Technology Championship at MayakobaBilly Horschel4
Butterfield Bermuda ChampionshipRussell Knox3
Shriners Children's OpenMatthew NeSmith2
Sanderson Farms ChampionshipDenny McCarthy1
Fortinet ChampionshipChez Reavie0

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Greg Vara
Vara is the lead golf writer at RotoWire. He was named the FSWA Golf Writer of the Year in 2005 and 2013. He also picks college football games against the spread in his "College Capper" article.
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