Showdown: Are We Set For A Repeat Performance Between Spieth And Thomas?

After a week off, the PGA Tour is thankfully back in business with the BMW Championship awaiting the world’s top 70 players.

With a smaller field, there will be no cuts this week in the final tournament before the season finale at the Tour Championship. Two weeks ago, we saw Justin Thomas chase, and ultimately overtake, Jordan Spieth for the victory at the Dell, and you’d expect they will be the frontrunners again as FedEx Cup points are at a premium.

We don’t have a ton of course history to analyze for the BMW as it flip-flops to different locations each year, but Conway Farms Golf Club has hosted the 2015 and 2013 versions of the event. Zach Johnson won in 2013, while Jason Day dominated the field in 2015 for his fourth win in his last six starts that year.

For key stats, it will be a mixture of the basics (strokes gained tee-to-green and putting), and another 25% of the model used is built on birdie rate. Day won with a 22-under score two years ago, so players who historically go REALLY low are at an advantage – greens have also been added in regulation and strokes gained approach as minor stat categories.

Here is where Conway Farms GC winners have finished in the following categories (sorted in descending order – 2015 then 2013):

Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green – 1st, 7th
Strokes Gained: Putting – 8th, 2nd
Birdie Rate – 1st, 4th
Green in Regulation – 6th, 3rd
Strokes Gained: Approach – 3rd, 12th

Note: All stats below courtesy of FantasyNational.com are based on the last 24 rounds.

The Favorites

Jordan Spieth (6-1)

SG: T2G – 1st
SG: P – 21st
Birdies – 1st
GIRs – 8th
SG: APP – 5th

Spieth is the favorite to win this week, and he will probably do so as he ranks first in the stat model. He played in both Conway Farms events since 2013, finishing no lower than 16th in eith start, and has placed runner-up twice in three weeks; he’s due for another win.

Justin Thomas (11-1)

SG: T2G – 7th
SG: P – 5th
Birdies – 13th
GIRs – 35th
SG: APP – 10th

Following his win at the Dell Technologies Championship, you’ve got to like JT’s chances again this week. His recent form is unmatched (1st, 6th, 1st dating back to the PGA Championship), and has easily has the potential to outpace the field by a few strokes.

Paul Casey (18-1)

SG: T2G – 2nd
SG: P – 27th
Birdies – 6th
GIRs – 2nd
SG: APP – 1st

If you’ve been following along weekly with these picks article, you already know we are going to pick Paul Casey every tournament until he wins. Since the Travelers, Casey has the following results: 5th, 11th, 5th, 13th, 5th, 4th. Now watch, he’ll probably finish 3rd this week then 2nd at the Tour Championship and have another winless season. But hey, it’s important to remain optimistic, and all he needs is a solid Sunday round.

The Sleepers

Henrik Stenson (25-1)

Left Florida and Irma behind. Stay safe!

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SG: T2G – 32nd
SG: P – 3rd
Birdies – 3rd
GIRs – 4th
SG: APP – 11th

Stenson took not one but two weeks off after sitting out the Dell Championship, so he’ll be well-rested entering Thursday. The Swede has five-straight top 20s, including a win at the Wyndham Championship, and sets up very well for this golf course. When the stat model was changed to the last 12 rounds on FantasyNational.com, Stenson actually moved up to first overall with all key stats in the top eight.

Marc Leishman (40-1)

SG: T2G – 13th
SG: P – 26th
Birdies – 34th
GIRs – 13th
SG: APP – 14th

After missing the cut at The Northern Trust, Leishman surprised some folks two weeks ago by contending with Thomas and Spieth. That alone is good reason to buy into the Aussie for the BMW – an excellent value play at 40-1 odds.

Kevin Na (70-1)

SG: T2G – 26th
SG: P – 23rd
Birdies – 12th
GIRs – 51st
SG: APP – 3rd

Look, Kevin Na probably won’t win this week, but there’s a lot to like here with the current form he’s in. He actually graded fifth in the model thanks to well-rounded stats, and since missing the cut at the PGA Championship, Na has two top six finishes in his last three starts. If you play daily fantasy golf on sites such as Draftkings, he’s the bargain player you want in your lineup.