This week’s BMW Championship, the second leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, will take place at Wilmington Country Club, a par-71 layout that will stretch just past 7,500 yards. Bombers should have an edge at Wilmington, given the generous width of the fairways and the soft conditions that have resulted from heavy rains over the past few weeks. The greens at Wilmington are among the largest we’ll see all year, and players won’t be missing many of them.
On this relatively unfamiliar course, we should keep it simple and focus on overall ball-striking and birdie rate with an increased emphasis on driving distance. Here are a few players to target at the BMW Championship:
Rory McIlroy $10,500
McIlroy ranks first this week in both driving distance and birdies, and he has finished 19th or better in 17 of his past 20 events. Plus, we are getting a cheaper-than-expected price because he narrowly missed the cut last week. McIlroy has made a career out of dominating events that cater to his elite driving, and I expect this to be another one of those tournaments. All signs point to Rory contending at Wilmington.
Cameron Young $8,900
Young is second in the BMW field in driving distance, trailing only Rory, and he’s top 10 in birdies. He has had an astonishing seven top-three finishes this season, vaulting him to 17th in the world. We are getting a relatively cheap price for him this week because he finished 31st at the FedEx St. Jude Championship. But let’s dig deeper and see how he played in Memphis. He gained nine strokes combined off the tee and on approach while losing 5.5 strokes putting. Give him an average putting week and he would have placed top five and garnered a salary of $9,500 this week. So don’t overthink it and play Cam Young. After Will Zalatoris got his first win last week, Young could be the next young star to pop his victory cherry.
Taylor Pendrith $7,400
Pendrith is seventh in the field in driving distance and has played great golf since returning from injury, finishing 13th or better in five of six starts. $7,400 seems awfully low for a player in excellent form who makes a ton of birdies.