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The BMW Championship: Take it to the Max

Written by: Dave Tindall
Updated August 16, 2023
11 min read
  • This is the middle event of the three-tournament FedExCup Playoffs 
  • Only the top 50 on the standings take part
  • Olympia Fields near Chicago plays host

The BMW Championship Odds

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Rory McIlroy


Scottie Scheffler


Jon Rahm


Patrick Cantlay


Viktor Hovland


Xander Schauffele


Collin Morikawa


Jordan Spieth


Max Homa


Tommy Fleetwood


The BMW Championship Picks

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Golf BMW Championship Predictions

BMW Championship Intro

A six-shot win for Brian Harman at The Open Championship; a seven-shot triumph for Lee Hodges in the 3M Open; back-to-back wins for Lucas Glover at the Wyndham Championship and FedEx St. Jude Championship… golf has taken an unlikely turn over the last month. 

Glover’s second win hoisted him to fourth in the FedEx Cup standings and what a time to make that leap.

This is the second event of the three-tournament Playoffs, leaving just this tournament and next week’s season-ending TOUR Championship at East Lake.

Glover is now the nearest challenger to the ‘Big Three’ of Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler, and Rory McIlroy, who occupy Nos. 1, 2, and 3 in the points list.

While they battle it out to head to the season finale in the top spot - Rahm is currently 148 points ahead of Scheffler in second - others have a different goal.

The field was whittled down from 70 to 50 after the St. Jude Championship but 20 more players will get cut this week.

Sam Burns currently sits on the bubble at 30th.  

This event has moved around although this is the sixth time in the last 11 years it’s been contested in Illinois.

Host course, Olympia Fields, has hosted just once and it’s very much the outlier when looking at winning scores in this event.

Totals of 20-under or lower have been commonplace but Rahn and Dustin Johnson fought out the playoff last year after both had posted 4-under. Just three other players broke par.

A grueling week had an incredible ending as Rahm drained a 66-foot putt to win the playoff.     

BMW Championship Winners


Champion and winning score


Patrick Cantlay (United States) -14 (Wilmington, DE)


Patrick Cantlay (United States) -27 (Caves Valley, MD)


Jon Rahm (Spain) -4 (Olympia Fields, IL)


Justin Thomas (United States) -25 (Medinah, IL)


Keegan Bradley (United States) -20 (Aronimink, PA)


Marc Leishman (Australia) -23 (Conway Farms, IL)


Dustin Johnson (United States) -23 (Crooked Stick, IN)


Jason Day (Australia) -22 (Conway Farms, IL)


Billy Horschel (United States) -14 (Cherry Hills, CO)


Zach Johnson (United States) -16 (Conway Farms, IL)

Olympia Fields Course Notes

  • Olympia Fields’ North Courses is a par 70 measuring 7,366 yards
  • Jim Furyk won the 2003 US Open at Olympia Fields with 8-under
  • Jon Rahm holds the course record: 64 (final round, 2020)
  • The greens are a mix of Bentgrass and Poa Annua 
  • The 18th hole played +0.326 strokes over par in 2020

Favorites to win the BMW Championship

Rory McIlroy (+700)

Rory has a habit of turning on the afterburners in the post-season and closed with a 65 to finish just one shot out of the playoff at last week’s FedEx St. Jude Championship. The Northern Irishman ranked 3rd for SG: Tee To Green at TPC Southwind while, at this course, he was 12th in 2020. 

Scottie Scheffler (+700)

After an incredible run of high-class consistency that produced a run of seven straight top fives, Scheffler has cooled with 23rd in the Open Championship and 31st at TPC Southwind last week. Once again, the putter was his Achilles Heel (-2.950 SG: Putting) and he shows no signs of turning that around despite switching blades. A closing 66 lifted him to T20 here in 2020.  

Jon Rahm (+1000)

Rahm will be delighted to see the tournament return to Olympia Fields after his dramatic win here three years ago. After tied for second place in The Open at Hoylake, a sluggish first-round 73 left him too much to do at TPC Southwind last week although he closed 67-67-68 for T37. He still leads the FedEx Cup standings but the pack is closing in.

Make it Max

After the surprise results of late, perhaps this is the week where one of McIlroy, Rahm or Scheffler comes to the fore.

Or, having won the last two editions and lost a playoff last week, maybe Patrick Cantlay’s converging trends shouldn’t be overlooked.

Cantlay is only +1000 so preference is for Max Homa at +2500.

After winning at Torrey Pines in January - his fifth victory since February 2021 - Homa is coming on strong again.

Confidence fuelled by some strong play in the UK which saw him take 12th in the Scottish Open and 10th in The Open Championship, Homa kicked on again with a top six at St. Jude.

His strong long game makes him an ideal fit for this challenging par 70 and he’ll be putting on his preferred Bentgrass-Poa greens.

With the flatstick looking solid and Scheffler and Rahm not quite firing (Rory’s best chance may be next week’s TOUR Championship), Homa can slip in and get the win.  

Rose to Beat Day

Justin Rose admitted his swing wasn’t quite there at Hoylake and it showed up in a missed cut.

But after a sluggish start at TPC Southwind last week, something clicked again and he fired 67-61-68 to snatch a place in the top 20.

With momentum on his side, I’ll back the Englishman - an underdog at +100 with DraftKings Sportsbook - to beat Jason Day in a 72-hole match.

Rose has course form too after posting fifth place at Olympia Fields in 2020.

Day was way down the field in 64th in that event and didn’t make the top 50 last week so Rose has a double edge. 

Henley to Land Top 10

Coming in with good form has been the recipe for success at Olympia Fields so, with that in mind, Russell Henley is this week’s Top 10 bet at +260 with DraftKings Sportsbook.

The four-time PGA Tour winner was runner-up at the Wyndham Championship two weeks ago and followed that with sixth place at TPC Southwind on Sunday.

All parts of his game look good and he made the top 25 here in 2020. It’s fair to expect more this time.

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How to Watch The BMW Championship

  • Tournament: BMW Championship
  • Location: Olympia Fields, IL 
  • How to Watch: Thursday-Friday 2 p.m.-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday 1 p.m-3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3 p.m.-6 p.m. (CBS). Sunday 12 p.m.-2 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2 p.m.-6 p.m. (CBS). And all four days on Sky Sports.
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Dave Tindall

109 Articles

Dave Tindall is former golf editor at SkySports.com and Golf365.com and has been writing betting previews for the PGA Tour and European Tour since 1997. He has also written for a range of betting companies, including William Hill and Betfair, as well as being a regular columnist for Rotoworld, The Guardian, Sporting Life and Planet Sport. His other area of speciality is football while he's also covered cricket and tennis.

Email: [email protected]

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