The penultimate event of the 2019 season is upon us. This week, the Tour has set up camp just outside Chicago for the BMW Championship at Medinah Country Club. Medinah has hosted multiple majors, most recently the 2012 Ryder Cup.
As a Chicago-area local, I went out Tuesday morning to see how the course is playing and try to discern which players are dialed in. At 7,600 yards, Course No. 3 at Medinah will demand driver on a majority of holes. The fairways are narrow and should get firmer as the week progresses. The rough is thick within 10-15 yards of the fairway but is pretty forgiving if you miss by more than 15 yards, as the fans have matted down the areas covered by the trees.
The key to success at Medinah will be overall ball-striking. I don’t see anyone who misses a lot of fairways or greens being able to contend. I would expect the winner this week to be dialed in with the driver, setting up easier approaches.
Let’s look at a few options for DraftKings and One-and-Done leagues:
Rickie Fowler $8,800
This price is just too low for Fowler. His lack of recent success can be attributed to a less-than-stellar short game. If he returns to form in that area, he could contend this week. He has been striking the ball well, gaining strokes on approach in 11 of the past 12 events and gaining strokes off the tee in eight of the past nine. He has quietly played well in big events this year, notching two top 10s in majors. I followed Fowler in the practice round today for his first eight holes, and he played miles better than his partners Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas.
Jason Kokrak $7,800
I’m going with Kokrak again this week. He is the only player in the field who is top seven in both Strokes Gained: Approach and Off-the-Tee over his past 50 rounds. That consistency from tee to green should yield plenty of birdie opportunities this week. He comes into this event on the heels of a sixth- and a 12th-place finish.
Got any studs left? Use them. But if you need a longer shot, here are two players to consider:
Casey will go under the radar a bit this week because he took last week off. His game is based on accuracy and precision from tee to green, which should serve him well at Medinah. I watched him play a few holes on Tuesday, and he was absolutely striping it.
Honest Abe played great last week, gaining 13.7 strokes tee to green. If he continues that solid ball-striking at Medinah, he could contend. I followed his group for a few holes as well today, and it seemed like he still had the driver and irons dialed in.