Patrick Reed took down the first FedEx Cup Playoff event last week and now we move on to event #2, the BMW Championship.
This week the BMW will be held at Medinah outside Chicago. With Medinah playing host this week, I’m sure we won’t be reminded at all what happened the last time the Ryder Cup was held there. Nope, not one mention at all.
Anyway, none of us nailed our picks last week so our playoffs are all off to about as good a start as our regular season went. In case you are new here, or just want to catch up on our record from the year, here is how we finished in the regular season standings:
|(2019 – 20 Events)||Correct||Incorrect|
|Two Inches Short||*3||17|
We clearly aren’t experts.
* Two Inches Short won our bracket challenge even though he didn’t pick the WGC-Match Play winner.
And here is how we are looking after the first playoff event:
|(2019 – 20 Playoff Events)||Correct||Incorrect|
|Two Inches Short||0||1|
We clearly aren’t experts.
Now, on to this week’s picks…
Dan Hauser (@DanHauserGolf)
In his relatively short career, Brooks Koepka has already done just about everything. He’s essentially turned the majors into his personal playground. He’s won WGC events, European Tour events, regular PGA Tour events, a Ryder Cup, AND a Presidents Cup.
You know what Brooksie hasn’t done yet though? Win a FedEx Cup Playoff event.
I was going to save Brooks for next week’s Tour Championship but after Patrick Reed’s win last week Brooks is going to have a little extra motivation to treat this week like a major and get the win to guarantee he goes into East Lake with the top spot in the rankings and the 10-under starting score that comes with that position.
There are few guys on Tour that are basically a lock to win when they hold a lead and for the most part Brooks is one of them. If a win this week guarantees that he starts next week with a lead, I think that is all the motivation Brooks will need to take down the field this week.
Two Inches Short (@TwoInchesShort)
Is this the week Jordan Spieth finally puts it all together and gets his first win since 2017? Probably not, but we’re picking him to win this week’s BMW Championship anyway. He’s too good of a player and there have been signs of life as of late. Plus it is the playoffs and the kid is a grinder.
It’s been a struggle as of late for the 3-time major champ and the scrutiny is fully warranted. After winning TEN times from 2015-2017, he’s been borderline awful this year pretty much everywhere besides on the greens. Off the tee, he ranks 190th in driving accuracy (53%) and is 181st in GIR (63%). But he does rank 3rd in strokes gained putting. Why? Because golf!
For some reason, weekends have given him the biggest fits. It’s not like he’s missing cuts, he’s just straight-up sucked on Saturdays and Sundays where he ranks 174th and 192nd in scoring average respectively. However, a T6 finish last week at the Northern Trust is a step in the right direction.
Spieth currently sits 44th in the FedEx Cup standings. In order to get into the Tour Championship (and potentially earn a Presidents Cup captain’s pick), he’s going to need a big week which will require him to play 4 solid rounds fo golf. If he’s able to keep it together and hit a few more fairways and greens, you got to like his chances. You know we do.
Michael Shamburger (@mshamburger1)
I am honestly not sure what to make of this new points reset and handicap system for the TOUR Championship. I don’t think it’s fair to handicap guys who have played extremely consistently all season long and led the FedExCup standings when there is $15 million on the line. I understand the attempt to make it more interesting, but Tiger was 20th heading in the FEC standings last season heading into East Lake and he finished second, just 41 points behind Justin Rose, so it’s not like guys near the lower end of the 30 players in regular season standings didn’t have a chance at winning the FEC.
While I’d love to go with Tiger because he’s won at Medinah multiple times in his career, I’m still not sure what to make of him at this point, so, this week I think I’ll take a wildcard and go with Webb Simpson.
Simpson finished T6 in 2018 at Aronimink and T9 in 2017 at Conway Farms. Simpson has played Medinah before as a member of the 2012 Ryder Cup team, but he didn’t fare too well.
However, Simpson has had a spectacular 2019 season that includes a third place finish at the RSM Classic, T8 at Tournament of Champions, T5 at the Masters (his highest major finish since winning the 2012 U.S. Open at Olympic Club), T2 at the RBC Canadian Open, 2 at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, and 2 at the Wyndham Championship.
While he isn’t the longest hitter on the Tour (ranks 156th in driving distance and 91st in SG off-the-tee), he has shored up every aspect of his game, including his putter since being forced to switch from anchored putting.
10th in SG approach to the green
11th in SG around the green
13th in SG putting
14th in SG tee-to-green
5th in SG total
So, look out for Webb this weekend.
Dan is the co-founder of The Stiff Shaft and the website’s Senior Writer. A South Florida native, Dan has been covering golf since 2013 and playing it his entire life. He is still waiting for his first hole-in-one.