Jon Rahm, who was in position to start his FedExCup Playoffs run with a win at The Northern Trust, looks to defend his BMW Championship title after a dramatic playoff win over Dustin Johnson last season.
Tony Finau moved into pole position in the FedExCup with his final-round 65 and playoff victory over Cameron Smith as the Top-70 in the FedExCup standings tee it up on Thursday.
World No. 1 Rahm moved from fifth to second in the standings after bogeying two of the last four holes at Liberty National while Dustin Johnson, who lost in a playoff to Rahm but went on to win the FedExCup last year, missed the cut by a shot last Friday.
Course & Field
Course: Caves Valley Golf Club
Length: 7542 yards (Par 72)
Architect: Tom Fazio
We are off to the second leg of the playoffs ass we get a first look at Caves Valley Golf Club in Maryland designed by Tom Fazio in the early 1990s and renovated by his son Logan last year.
The course looks, at first glance, like a ball-strikers paradise with narrow fairways (25 yard average), protected by relatively long rough (3 inches), trees, water and good bunkering.
The greens are small bentgrass greens where some of them are perched up protected by bunkers, rough and some shaved run-off areas.
With many of the greens being particularly shallow distance control and a good short game is essential as even the best approach players will miss greens this week.
With this being the first pro event held here, it’s difficult to know for sure how it will play but my hunch is that it will be somewhat tricky but with four par 5s we should still see a winning score somewhere in the teens under par.
Here are some of the things I will be looking at/for:
- Strokes gained approach
- Strokes gained around the green
- Proximity from 200+ yards
- Par 5 scoring
- Fairways gained
Wagered: +35.61 units
Wagered: 346 units
Won: 524.92 units
Result: 178.92 units
Waste Management: Brooks Koepka 41-1, Genesis Invitational: Max Homa 56-1, The Players Championship: Justin Thomas 19-1, Valero Texas Open: Jordan Spieth 11-1, Palmetto Championship: Garrick Higgo 36-1
The Masters Champion had it going several times last week but just as he was about to really get in the mix a double or triple bogey derailed his chances.
If we dig into the stats, it was his irons that let him down and I see that as a positive as one of the best iron players in the world should be able to adjust that to this week.
That we are once again on small bentgrass greens should play into his strong around the green game and mitigate his putting deficiencies on his preferred surface.
Leave a comment
Follow GolfKristiansen on Twitter