The 2018 BWM Championship preview with Skeeter McGillicuddy
This Bryson fellow is starting to annoy me with his same length clubs and his Hoganesque look – and his winning – again. At 35/1 there is no way we were on Bryson at the Dell Tech and while he won we had our chances. Sadly Rory and Tyrrell did all they could to squander excellent positions both being just one off the lead on Monday and in the perfect place to put pressure on DeChambeau. Alas both failed to deliver.
The BMW moves to Aronimink in Pennsylvania which boasts such gems as Merion and Oakmont and has secured it aim of hosting a major having secured the 2027 PGA. An old style par 70 its been taken back to its Donald Ross original design with big fairways and greens by the ubiquitous Gil Hanse.
With such a close turnaround – 3 days – and with the bubble now moving to 30 for the Tour Final at Eastlake there are all those nasty subplots and this week we may have to give them credence. A host of big names are ranked 20-30 and it’s a slippery slope to 31st + in a highly motivated 70 man field. In that precarious position include Rory, Tiger, Ricky and Jordan. It would leave a nasty taste to make the Ryder Cup team and then have to sit out the Tour Championship.
Aronimink has hosted two tour events but is now far removed from those with the makeover – wider fairways, bigger greens – that it might pay to ignore previous course form. Add in there are now 175 bunkers where there were only 75 and it reads like a different course.
DeChambeau heads the Fed Ex but must be running on empty and his price at 16/1 is nothing to get excited about. Dustbin looks to be focused on holding off Koepka for his coveted number one spot. Rose loves these greens but seemed to be all over the shop while finishing 2nd at the Dell Tech and is always too short for me. Thomas is hard to fathom and easy to stay off at the price. Finau looks too desperate to win in the US and Day didn’t surprise me by missing the cut. Tiger cruises into contention and then, like Rory and Tyrrrell, hits a wall. Hideki looked like he was running over the top of the filed and then missed a tiddler and went backwards. Jordan is harder to fathom. He talks a good game and it looks on the verge of brusting forth only for him to rack up one or two damaging scores just when he looks set to fire. Seemingly striding into contention on Monday four bogeys in eight holes killed his run. At 20/1 he’s tempting..tempting.
As for Tyrrell he was unluky to lose his ball in round three when 100 + people were looking in the wrong place. I found it strange that Sky didn’t get their man on the ground to pin point where his ball was. He recovered admirabley and while his chance to win was blown with predicatbale histrionincs on Monday it sort of made it all worth while – especially his comment about the cheese on his ball on the 18th in round three. He may well bounce back but he’s shorter this week.
Rory McIlrory 2 pts e/w at $17
Keegan Bradley 1pt e/w at $126
Aaron Wise 1pt e/w at $101
Emiliano Grillo 1pt e/w at $81
Rory“will win for us one day…..one day”. Rational or pig headed? Going in for Rory once again might be considered the later but while the finish was lame he did get into contention without ever getting his A game into gear. Once he got close he needed to close and a bit of chasing saw him miss three fairways on the trot…the chase followed by the chase. At 16/1 on this wide-open course with his improved wedge play in a restricted field Rory looks a factor (as always).
Keegan Bradley…. Last week: was given the Claude Rains treatment by TV last week when he went seven over the front nine on Sunday. Trying to chase down DeChambeau after his epic Saturday round didn’t pay off and he was actually under par deep into the back nine. He’s not been in contention for a while and who could blame him for his approach high on confidence, as he must have been post his 62 on Saturday? As mentioned previously….a 2nd, 4th and fifth this season represent this three time tour winners’ best season since 2014. While his overall strokes gained putting figure suggests a player who is really struggling he has managed to putt well on occasions including a solid 1.305 at the Canadian open – his last event. We’ll be trusting he has a week on the greens but one thing we can rely on is his long game. Long (ish), he’s accurate off the tee (68.11% for 17th), and hits greens (69.64% for 28th). Off the back of his closing 64 at Glen Abbey and his comments about his putting he goes to Bellrive with as much confidence he’s had for years.” That was for the PGA and we now know that he’s still scoring well and is not afraid to go low…which he’ll need around TPC Boston. Consider his recent form over the last 3 events: 8 rounds in the 60’s including a 64 and a 62 with a scoring average of 68.75 including that 78! I’m inclined to forgive him his mad nine on Sunday and take the 100/1 on offer.”
Bradley had a lame weekend after a solid opening two rounds sitting at 6 under. He’s not going to make the Ryder Cup team and needs a strong finish to make Eastlake so with that singular motivation and no cut he can play with freedom. Still driving it well, hitting greens, and scoring, I see no reason to not jump straight back on this horse at 125/1
Aaron Wise…. Last week: “come on down to Oddy town. This kid looks about 14 but he can play. A swing to die for he is already a winner on the USPGA Tour lets not forget. Like Bradley I think he got excited to be in the mix last Sunday and pushed too hard. What’s not to like about that? To hell with 2nd. Wise is the 52nd best player on the planet and 15th in the Fed Ex. He missed the cut at the PGA after a poor opening round but he has 7 of his last 10 rounds in the 60’s averaging 68.8. Already winner this year he has a 2nd a 6th and last weeks 5th that only serve to illustrate what a talent he is – a talent delivering. Across the board positive stats, and not afraid at 22 to go for it, plus the ability to go low he looks destined to be a top 10 player and now is the time to ride that wave.”
Wise just made the cut at the Dell Tech before a meltdown on Sunday. A bogey at the simple first was then compounded with a triple at the soft par 5 2nd. He tried to play himself into the round but a knifed bunker shot did for him and a 6 over 77 followed. Monday saw him at his best with a bogey free 7 under 64. I think we have to remember he isn’t interested in 2nd and is ranked – even after last weeks effort – 18th on the Fed Ex list. With no Ryder Cup baggage and virtually assured of a place at Eastlake he can go out and attack for fun. And he’s 100/1…really…..in a limited field off the back of a 64?
Emiliano Grillomight strike some as a long lost son so long has it been since he appeared here. We’ve long since eulogised about the boy and while he’s yet to deliver for us he has shown us glimpses of his immense talent. A really solid 11 under at the Dell Tech including a 64 on Sunday (round three) was his best effort since his 3rd at the Frort Worth Initational in May. Lying 29th in the Fed Ex rankings he’ll be under pressure to sustain that run and make Eastlake but off the back of 4 solid rounds he must be confident. Stats wise it’s the 11th ranked in Strokes Gained Putting at 0.574 that impresses easily surpassing his last 3 years efforts all of which were negative. Add in really solid tee to green play, ranked 13th overall in strokes gained total, his all round game looks impressive.