Newton Square, PA
Aronimink Golf Club - Par 70 - 7,267 yards
Field - Top 70 in FedExCup standings
Purse - $9M
A one-man show in the form of Bryson DeChambeau has been on display throughout the first two legs of the FedExCup Playoffs as the pool of remaining contenders for East Lake has been cut from 125 to 70 since the Northern Trust. Instead of rambling on about biomechanics and air tolerances like the Tour’s Bill Nye protege might, it’s time to turn our focus to the BMW Championship, hosted by a hidden gem in the Philadelphia area called Aronimink Golf Club after Conway Farms played host to Marc Leishman’s record-setting victory in 2017. The field features 69 of the top-70 in the FedExCup standings following the withdrawal of Daniel Berger, whose chronic hand/wrist injury forced a premature ending to his 2017-18 campaign. Nearly the entire field will be a tad short on preparation time as the Dell Technologies Championship didn’t conclude until Labor Day, but the likes of Rickie Fowler (oblique) and Francesco Molinari (rest) are making their returns to tournament action.
2017 - Marc Leishman
2016 - Dustin Johnson
2015 - Jason Day
2014 - Billy Horschel
2013 - Zach Johnson
2012 - Rory McIlroy
2011 - Justin Rose
2010 - Dustin Johnson
2009 - Tiger Woods
Key Stats to Victory
Taming Philly’s Treasure
The buzz surrounding Aronimink Golf Club sure makes it sound like a daunting challenge awaits with undulating greens, long par-threes and a plethora of bunkers (176 of them) to name a few features. But a trend this season, maybe more so than others, has been the world’s top players simply outplaying and overpowering what were originally expected to be demanding confrontations with tough layouts. This won’t turn into a birdie fest, but the field’s elite ball strikers will have the best chance at glory after famous architect Gil Hanse re-designed the course in 2016 to make the fairways wider and the greens larger. Speaking of the lengthy par-threes and dog-leg par-fours, long-iron play and SG: Approach becomes key when discussing advantageous characteristics at Aronimink GC. Look for GIR percentage to be a primary indicator of position on the leaderboard as the top 70 players in the FedExCup standings earn a glimpse at the site of the 2027 PGA Championship. As for the weather, scattered showers are expected at some point Friday and Saturday, which could ultimately tame the effects of undulating greens as the course softens up.
Yahoo Value Picks - based on $200 salary cap
Cream of the Crop
Dustin Johnson - $51
Johnson was scorching hot during Monday’s final round at TPC Boston as he picked up momentum heading into the BMW Championship, cashing birdies on nine of his last 18 holes to leap into a tie for seventh. Despite a mediocre first three days by his standards at the Dell Technologies Championship, the world No. 1 still managed to rank top-5 among the field in both SG: Off-the-Tee and SG: Tee-to-Green per usual. With so much value near the bottom of the board this week, you should not feel bad about picking the highest-priced player given he ranks first on Tour in SG: Total.
Justin Rose - $47
Prior to Hanse’s redesign in 2016, Rose excelled on this U.S. Open-esque venue with a win at the 2010 AT&T National followed by another top-15 in 2011 at the event. The Englishman is coming off a runner-up finish at the Dell Technologies Championship, marking his sixth top-10 in 10 starts dating back to a victory at the Fort Worth Invitational. Currently top-4 in both the FedExCup standings and OWGR, Rose ranks ninth in SG: Tee-to-Green, second in birdie average, 17th in scrambling and ninth in putting from inside 10 feet.
Bryson DeChambeau - $38
He’s slated to enter the TOUR Championship at No. 1 in the FedExCup Standings regardless of his finish at the BMW Championship, which might bring his focus level and determination into question this week, but then again it is the golf scientist we’re talking about here. The back-to-back champion at the Northern Trust and Dell Technologies Championship is riding a high after being named to the Ryder Cup alongside fellow captain’s picks Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. DeChambeau’s ownership at this price could be inflated, but he ranks seventh on Tour in SG: Tee-to-Green, seventh in birdie average and sixth in proximity from over 200 yards, and no one is hotter.
Hideki Matsuyama - $33
Take advantage of Matsuyama residing at the average price of $33 before his cost inflates, as the 18th-ranked player in the world is finally rounding into form with finishes of T4-T15-T11 in his last three starts. He even uncharacteristically ranked top-3 among the field in both SG: Putting and putts per GIR at TPC Boston, while also notching a birdie on eight of his final 18 holes.
Patrick Cantlay - $32
Cantlay has been so consistent with six consecutive finishes of T27 or better, but we’re still waiting to see him pair his elite ball striking with any sort of short-game execution as he continues to struggle on and around the greens. Nonetheless, he’s fourth on Tour in SG: Tee-to-Green, 11th in GIR percentage, 18th in proximity from 175-200 yards and posted a T20 at the 2011 AT&T National. His time is coming.
Marc Leishman - $29
The defending champion managed to salvage a top-25 at last week’s Dell Technologies Championship despite an uninspiring short-game performance, but he ranked top-20 in both SG: Off-the-Tee and SG: Approach. Leishman is second on Tour in proximity from 150-175 yards and fifth in par-three scoring, which should serve him well at Aronimink.
Adam Scott - $24
Severely underpriced compared to other DFS sites, Scott is a no-brainer as the puny cost has not caught up to his form. The former world No. 1 posted back-to-back top-5s at the PGA Championship and Northern Trust, having finally found the groove with his putter during the first leg of the playoffs as he led the field in SG: Putting before taking a step back at TPC Boston. His ball-striking prowess makes him dangerous at Aronimink, but the flat stick will be a deciding factor when it comes to potentially taking home the hardware. Also of note, Scott finished T3 at the 2011 AT&T National, held on the same course.
Cameron Smith - $20
A streaky Smith coming off consecutive top-3s at the minimum price on the board? Yes, please. The 25-year-old Aussie is in the midst of one of his peaks and carded just five bogeys throughout his entire week at TPC Boston. He ranked ninth among the field in SG: Putting, 12th in SG: Off-the-Tee and fourth in scrambling at the Dell Technologies Championship as multiple aspects of his game are working in unison.
Brandt Snedeker - $20
Snedeker withdrew from the Northern Trust due to back spasms following his win at the Wyndham Championship, but the 37-year-old didn’t seem to be bothered last week en route to his T31 in Boston. A win at Aronimink would make it tough for captain Jim Furyk to leave Sneds off the Ryder Cup team, as the veteran ranks 16th on Tour in SG: Putting and 14th in SG: Around-the-Green. He placed T16 at the AT&T National in 2010, also held here.
Strategy Tips on Yahoo this week
With no cut on the horizon for this 69-entrant field, take a stab at a couple ball strikers either at or near the minimum price in order to stack several big enchiladas at the top. Unlike most weeks, there’s an abundance of value in the $20 price range, and players such as Matsuyama and DeChambeau make for superstar candidates to fill in the holes between the studs and duds.