The second leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs kicks off on Thursday as the PGA Tour visits Delaware’s Wilmington Country Club for the first time for the 2022 edition of the BMW Championship.
The postseason field has been cut from 125 to 70, and following his breakthrough victory at the FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind, 26-year-old Will Zalatoris sits atop the playoff standings, 124 points ahead of world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler.
But despite getting that first PGA Tour victory, Willy Z isn’t the betting favorite this week, although he is among the top 10.
The Robert Trent Jones-designed South Course at Wilmington Country Club is unfamiliar to these players, which could lead to some engaging scenarios in the battle to get into the top 30 for next week’s Tour Championship.
So how do Sportscasting’s golf experts see the BMW Championship playing out?
2022 BMW Championship predictions
Luke Norris: Xander Schauffele — The reigning Olympic gold medalist didn’t have the greatest week at TPC Southwind, tying for 57th, but has two wins in his last four starts. And Schauffele already knows what it takes to win a playoff event. He adds a second this week.
Jack Dougherty: Cameron Young — Will Zalatoris finally got over the hump last week, so it’s the perfect time for his college teammate to score his first win after five runner-up finishes this season.
Luke Norris: Adam Scott — The former world No. 1 hasn’t won a PGA Tour event in two and a half years but has been in the top 15 in three of his last five starts, including a tie for fifth last week. Something tells me he’ll like this golf course.
Jack Dougherty: Wyndham Clark — Wilmington Country Club is going to play extremely long at more than 7,500 yards, which should benefit the bombers off the tee. Wyndham Clark ranks fifth on the PGA Tour this season in driving distance, and he was in the mix last weekend until a Sunday 72 knocked him out of contention.
Most likely bust
Luke Norris: Sepp Straka — With all due respect to how Sepp Straka got himself into a playoff with Will Zalatoris at TPC Southwind, it was a fluke. He missed six consecutive cuts leading into the FedEx St. Jude Championship, and I don’t see a repeat performance from last week coming.
Jack Dougherty: Matt Fitzpatrick — Matt Fitzpatrick is one of the shorter hitters in this field, so he may struggle to post low numbers unless he plays flawlessly from tee to green.
Luke Norris: No. 16 — The uphill 16th at Wilmington can play as long as 393 yards but will likely be turned into a drivable par-4 for a round or two. A bunker sits about 85 yards short of the green and cuts into the right side of the fairway, which could make for some interesting club selections.
Jack Dougherty: No. 15 — There’s nothing quite like a long par 3 (226 yards) on a Sunday afternoon. We’ll find out where everyone’s nerves are with a long iron in their hands and a $2.7 million check within reach.