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BMW Championship 2021 Golf Predictions: Sticking with Xander

Xander Schauffele is our play to win the BMW Championship at Caves Valley Golf Club this week
Xander Schauffele is our play to win the BMW Championship at Caves Valley Golf Club this week
By J.N. Campbell

Course: Caves Valley Golf Club

Location: Owings Mills, Maryland

Date: Aug. 26—29, 2021

Par: 72, Yardage: 7,542

Purse: $9.5 million, Winner: $1.7 million

Fairways: Bluegrass, Rough: Perennial Ryegrass mix

Greens: Bentgrass

 

Introduction:

Some inclement weather delayed the start of the final round of The Northern Trust. Even if golf fans did not get to see the event (they were not allowed on the course), it was a thrilling down-to-the-wire event involving Jon Rahm, Cameron Smith, and Tony Finau. When Rahm fell by-the-wayside, it was between the last pair. With an extra frame, Smith and Finau squared off, and it was the latter that broke through with a titanic drive. Finau finally exorcised his demons by scoring his 1st Tour win in over 5 years. A remarkable achievement that probably has many bettors saying “Why didn’t he do that when I bet him!”

Now, Finau has a full head of steam coming into Round 2 of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. The field was trimmed from 125, and is now down to 70. When the dust settled on Monday, Finau was up by almost 600 points on Rahm. He can make a further statement this week in the BMW Championship, which begins Thursday. By next Sunday in Maryland, the scene will shift to Georgia where The Tour Championship will find 30 of the best players in the world. Only one can claim the FedEx Cup …

The scene shifts to just outside of Baltimore, Maryland, this will be the 1st PGA event in the area in over 60 years. The Caves Valley Golf Club was elegantly designed by Tom Fazio, and has hosted its share of “Senior” events. The PGA arrives to find the front nine and the back nine swapped, in order to accommodate the droves that will come to watch some great golf. The rough will be just that, as the grounds crew has allowed the stuff to grow rampant. The addition of sand traps will keep players honest. Long drives and accurate 2nd shots will win the day.

How low will they have to go? That is anyone’s guess … my bet is 17 under. As for The Northern Trust plays, we missed on almost every choice. I was pretty pleased with the selection of Max Homa though. He acquitted himself well at some pretty high odds, and ended up T-47 … an impressive achievement. The race for a spot in the Tour Championship is on! 

A few promising prop bets …

Overlooked Alex Noren … (Top 10 +550)

If you watched any of The Northern Trust, then you know the Swede, Alex Noren was pretty game when the chips were down. He has turned in some flashes of brilliance this season (I tabbed him earlier and made a big score), and finishing tied for 4th at the end of Monday was an impressive feat. His 2nd Round 64 was stellar, and that is what really put him into contention right before the weekend. I like his ability, plus when it comes to driving and putting, he can be a lethal marksman. I would expect him to make some noise this week at the BMW. I am hoping his price will be right too, especially to crack the Top 10. When you are hot … you are hot!

Bryson vs. Brooks … (Bryson DeChambeau -134) v. (Brooks Koepka +106)

The war of words between Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka heated up this summer … involving tempers, steel spikes on concrete, and some puffed up egos. Maybe the pair just should have a proper catchup, and bury the proverbial hatchet. When it comes to ability and their current state … who is playing well? Both have their qualities, but I am leaning towards DeChambeau. Both these golfers can mash moonshots from the back tees. There is no question about that. Where this becomes tricky is whether or not Koepka can dance as well as DeChambeau on those glass-like greens. I am not sure he can … Looking at his numbers they are not half as positive as DeChambeau’s. For that reason alone, give me the former SMU grad who is ranked 9th in the FedEx mix. Koepka is not far off, 15th, so this should be a great head-to-head. Metal spikes or not …  

Max Homa as the Sleeper … (Top 20 +320)

If there was a sleeper that awoke this past week at The Northern Trust near Jersey City, then Max Homa would be the near the top of the list. He ended up tied for 47th, when you consider his odds to win the tourney were so high … this was not a poor accomplishment at all. I like his shot-making ability, and he has the correct the approach each week. Dissecting his game, I think he can make significant headway from under 150 yards to the pin. The fact that he hasn’t missed a cut since the Travelers is excellent. He currently sits 30th on the FedEx Cup register. That is pretty impressive considering the company after 31 … My suggestion is to take Homa as a Top 20 candidate. He has the capability to crack that list, and if he can put together some nice rounds, he might find himself in The Tour Championship.

Stick with Xander… (Win +2000)

Why change horses in mid-stream? Maybe you haven’t been on a cattle drive in Montana to know this … it’s a cattleman’s paradise to hear them tell it. Perhaps your only exposure to this quote is playing Oregon Trail on your old PC. Either way, the same applies when backing a certain bet. Stick with what can work … even of it hasn’t. Xander Schauffele is a superior ball-striker, and he knows how to win. His consistency is evident, and he keeps errors to a minimum. During the interrupted Northern Trust, he finished 9 back of the leaders, shooting a disappointing 71 on Monday. I wouldn’t necessarily focus on the negative there … his 2nd Round was unbelievable—62. Stringing together birdies is what he is entirely capable of, and I am convinced the San Diego-product has the ability to bounce back this week. He is not at all out of this chase, and I fully expect him to be in contention on Sunday. This course suits his power game, and his able work around the greens. A Xander rally is possibly …

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Enjoy the final drive to the FedEx Cup! It’s time once again for The BMW Championship …

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