The third and penultimate event of the Fed-Ex Cup play-offs, the BMW Championship, starts this Thursday at Indiana’s Pete Dye-designed Crooked Stick, where John Daly won the PGA Championship in 1991.
The event has been moved from Cog Hill and, as Crooked Stick hasn’t staged a PGA Tour event in more than 20 years, there is very little course form to go on.
What we do know, however, is the fairways are generous and the course, at 7,516 yards, will suit the longer hitter. That being said, Fred Funk won the U.S. Senior Open in 2009 with a 20-under-par total, despite the course playing as the longest in that event’s history.
The reality is we don’t know an awful lot about how the course will play, so current form becomes more important. It is also worth noting those players who have done well this season on Dye-designed tracks, as his courses tend to suit certain players over others.
Adam Scott, at 20/1 with Ladbrokes, is a former winner at Dye’s TPC Sawgrass. He is an exemplary driver of the golf ball, which will stand him in good stead this week. He shot a closing 66 to finish in a tie for seventh last week and move himself into the top 30 in the Fed-Ex Cup standings. He ranks 14th in Driving Distance, sixth in Scoring Average and is due a win.
I also like the look of Keegan Bradley at 25/1 with Ladbrokes. He revels in the biggest events, as he showed with victory at the 2011 PGA Championship and this year’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Last week, he shot a third round 63 after making the cut on the number en route to a tie for 13th. His length will be of benefit this week and he currently ranks first on the PGA Tour in the All-Around Ranking. What’s more, he tied for third at Kiawah Island, a course with many parallels to Crooked Stick.
Bo van Pelt is also a decent price at 50/1 with Ladbrokes. He is one of the most consistent performers on the PGA Tour, with eight top-10 finishes in 22 events this season. He also recorded top tens this year at the TPC Sawgrass and TPC Louisiana, both Dye-designed courses. If there is one criticism of van Pelt it’s that he doesn’t win enough, but this week he competes in his home state of Indiana, which could make all the difference.
Carl Pettersson, at 80/1 with Ladbrokes, is worth a bet, purely because of his results on Pete Dye designed courses this season. He won the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Links, finished in the top ten at TPC Sawgrass and contended at Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course. He also ranks 15th in Strokes Gained – Putting and 15th in Scoring Average.
Robert Garrigus, at 125/1 with Ladbrokes, is a good outside bet. His length off the tee will be an asset at Crooked Stick, where John Daly, a not too dissimilar player, won in 1991. Garrigus has six top 25s, including two top 10s, in his last six starts, and needs a good week to breach the top 30 in the Fed-Ex Cup standings and qualify for the Tour Championship.
BMW Championship advised bets:
2pts each way on Adam Scott at 20/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Keegan Bradley at 25/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Charl Schwartzel at 50/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Carl Pettersson at 80/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Robert Garrigus at 125/1 with Ladbrokes