This article is part of our FanDuel PGA series.
Aronimink Golf Club (7,237 yards, par 70)
$1,620,000 and 2000 FedEx Cup points to the winner
NEWTOWN SQUARE, PA - In recent years the TOUR had reserved a week off prior to the BMW Championship, but this year the playoffs forge on three straight weeks before breaking prior to the TOUR Championship. Just 70 players remain in the FedEx Cup race with two events to go before we find out the 2017-18 season-long FedExCup champion. Serving as a rotational host for the first time in this event, Aronimink Golf Club is no stranger to high-level golf. In fact, it held the 1962 PGA Championship, 1977 U.S. Amateur, 1997 U.S. Junior Amateur, 2003 Senior PGA Championship, and most recently the old AT&T National in 2010 & 2011. All 70 remaining players plan to play this week, including Rickie Fowler returning from an injured oblique and Francesco Molinari returning after a planned week off. Following this week, the last and most significant cut down from 70 to the final 30 occurs. After sweeping the first two legs of the FedExCup playoffs, Bryson DeChambeau is assured his current #1 standing heading into the TOUR Championship regardless of performance at this week's BMW Championship. DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson, and Justin Rose are locks for top-5 at East Lake meaning they control their own FedExCup destiny in two weeks, but all others are competing for this same opportunity or at least a spot in the TOUR Championship field. In the last few years, around 2-4 players have earned their way into the TOUR Championship field from outside the top 30 by their strong play at the BMW Championship. At highly-renowned Aronimink, expect plenty of fireworks and drama to unfold as the season hits its home stretch.
Recent Past Champions
2017 – Marc Leishman
2016 – Dustin Johnson
2015 – Jason Day
2014 – Billy Horschel
2013 – Zach Johnson
2012 – Rory McIlroy
2011 – Justin Rose
2010 – Dustin Johnson
2009 – Tiger Woods
2008 – Camilo Villegas
Key Stats to Victory
• Strokes Gained: Total
• Strokes Gained: Putting
• Average Finish in first two playoff events
Aronimink's most recent events, the 2010 & 2011 AT&T National, tell us that SG: Putting is a key differentiator this week. The champions from those events, Justin Rose and Nick Watney, saw putting as the biggest portion of their scoring advantage. In fact, the top 5 finishers from those two years at Aronimink saw about 54% of their scoring advantage from putting, contrasting largely to the typical PGA TOUR average of 36%. Obviously, there's more to it than just putting, but when the field strength is so quality and every player is elite at ball striking, the flatstick becomes the great difference maker. Beyond the granular stats, look at how well each player has fared the last two weeks – DeChambeau is an obvious hot hand but others have trended well the first two legs and deserve strong consideration.
FanDuel Value Picks
Dustin Johnson, $12400 – DJ's overall talent make him great for any venue and this week is no different. He always checks all the statistical boxes, and after a strong 64 to finish out last week en route to a top-10, he's eager to position himself for his first FedExCup crown. Though he can't catch FedExCup leader DeChambeau this week – even with a win – he'll be a force at Aronimink as he prepares to peak for the upcoming TOUR Championship and Ryder Cup events.
Bryson DeChambeau, $12000 – The winner of the first two legs of the playoffs is red hot and showing no signs of slowing as we head into the final stretch. He's guaranteed to be leading the FedExCup going into the TOUR Championship – which may cause him to overlook this week – but he's playing so well right now he could find himself in contention on auto-pilot. Don't necessarily expect another win but with four guaranteed rounds DeChambeau should be a great shot for a top 10.
Justin Rose, $11600 – What's not to like about Rose this week? He just finished runner-up at the Dell Technologies last week, he won at Aronimink in 2010, and followed it up with a top-15 in 2011 at the same course. He strategic, polished ballstriking combined with his season-best 14th rank in Strokes Gained: Putting ensure he'll be around on Sunday afternoon. Don't miss out on this surefire option in your lineups.
Jason Day, $11100 – Day missed the cut at the Dell Technologies Championship last week, but TPC Boston didn't exactly fit his game well. He's capable of competing anywhere, but Aronimink's strategic challenge and prerequisite of good putting are right up Day's alley. Day finished top-10 back in 2010 when the AT&T National was at Aronimink, so there's surely some favor for him there. Prior to last week's missed cut, Day quietly put up five-straight top-20s, though nothing better than 10th. This is the week where he'll have a decent shot at cracking the top-5 for the first time since THE PLAYERS.
Longer Shots Worth a Risk
Tony Finau, $10800 – Finau's consistency this season certainly warrants a Ryder Cup pick as he finds himself ranked fourth in the FedExCup Standings heading into this week. The long hitter has notched an impressive 10 top-10 finishes this season, topped only by Dustin Johnson's 11. Considering his recent form of back-to-back top-5s in the first two legs of the FedExCup playoffs, Finau represents both upside and safety this week.
Patrick Cantlay, $9900 – Cantlay started poorly last week with a 73 but shot in the 60s the last three rounds to regain his momentum. The youngster has emerged as one of the best ball strikers on the PGA Tour, but struggles at times with the putter. Though Aronimink doesn't necessarily fit his game, Cantlay should find himself inside the top-20 with four guaranteed rounds and represents a good value this week.
Marc Leishman, $9200 – The defending BMW champion will look to go back-to-back despite a course rotation at the BMW. Leishman is no stranger to Aronimink, posted a top-10 back in 2010, so expect him to be comfortable and hungry to improve his 22nd rank in the FedExCup heading into the TOUR Championship.
Tyrell Hatton, $9200 – Hatton has put together three consecutive top-20 finishes in deep fields the last few weeks, signaling he's in great form. He earned his way in to the BMW this week with a T12 at the Dell Technologies and will need another great finish to crack the TOUR Championship top 30. He'll likely need a top-5 finish, but his form indicates he has upside for exactly that at Aronimink. The Englishman putted great in the middle rounds last week so let's hope he can replicate that instead of the dismal putting he had in Monday's final round.
Strategy Tips for this week (based on 60k standard salary cap)
All 70 players get four rounds this week, so all strategies hold weight. Studs n' Duds, a more balanced approach, or anything in-between have relatively equal chance of success. In tournaments, the contrarian move might be a more balanced roster that doesn't include the top five in the FedExCup standings. In head-to-heads and less top-weighted contests, it's probably best to stick with 2-3 top guns and fill in with "bottom-of-the-barrel" options. In any case, enjoy the season's 70 best players vie for FedExCup stardom in the penultimate playoff event!