The FedEx Cup Playoffs provide some of our final opportunities to get in on the head-to-head, full-round matchups for the 2019 season, so we might as well take advantage of the last week for standard scoring at the BMW Championship in Medinah.
Next week, the Tour Championship will engage in Year 1 of its new system for the playoff finale, allowing players with the highest rank in the standings to start the 30-player tournament with what are essentially free birdies. If the Tour Championship started today, then No. 1 player Brooks Koepka would step to the first tee with a 10-under score. The scores will stagger from 10-under all the way down the standings to the final five players in the field at No. 26 through No. 30, who will all start the Tour Championship at even par.
It’s nuts, and it’s going to make following the championship even more difficult from a betting perspective. That’s why we’re really going to soak in the head-to-head battles between stars at the BMW Championship, starting with a play on last week’s winner.
Patrick Reed (+105) vs. Webb Simpson
Patrick Reed has the kind of mentality that rests comfortably in the idea that there is no golfer on the planet better than Patrick Reed. While other golfers might wear red and black as a nod to Tiger Woods, Reed really might believe that he is on Big Cat’s level. But while Reed’s confidence has always been there, the best results of the season have mostly come here in the late parts of the season. After last week’s win, I expect no drop-off in motivation, as Reed tries to beat out Player of the Year frontrunner Brooks Koepka for the $15 million prize at the end of the playoffs.
Bryson DeChambeau (-110) vs. Tony Finau
I am expecting DeChambeau to be extra motivated given the extensive coverage he received during a slow play debate that broke out at the Northern Trust. After initially confronting Koepka’s caddie at the putting green, DeChambeau says a meeting with the four-time major winner smoothed things over. But Koepka isn’t the only one singling out Bryson’s slow play, and I’m expecting that he’s going to be particularly dialed in going up against the top 70 players in the world to show the value of his thorough approach to the pre-swing routine.
Adam Scott (+120) vs. Patrick Cantlay
Scott shot a 65 on Sunday at the Northern Trust, tied for the lowest round of the day, to finish in fifth place and move seven spots up to No. 14 in the FedEx Cup standings. With that finish his spot in the Tour Championship is guaranteed, making it Scott’s first appearance at East Lake since 2016. Scott has found some of his best form in years this season with top-10 finishes at the U.S. Open and PGA Championship along with a runner-up at the Memorial, and now it’s time to finish strong and make a run at the $15 million prize.