Be sad or relieved, the FedEx Cup Playoffs and the 2016-2017 PGA Tour season are but one event from extinction at the BMW Championship. (Don't worry, the 2017-2018 season starts October 5).
The Bayerische Motoren Werke Championship returns to Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Illinois, for the third time in the last six years. Jason Day (-22) marched to a six-stroke victory the last time the pros pegged it at the venue.
All 70 players in the field will make it to the weekend (no cut). The current top 20 in the FedEx Cup points standings have likely booked themselves passage to the Tour Championship. The rest of the field, however, will be clawing tooth and nail for a spot at East Lake. Not only does making the TC field mean a much bigger guaranteed payday, but players will earn a spots in next year's WGC-Mexico Championship, Masters, U.S. Open, and Open Championship.
Conway Farms was folded into the PGA Tour's rotation for the first time in 2013. Tom Fazio's design is a 7,209-yard par 71. Jason Day lit up the course to the tune of a 61 in the opening round in 2015, so it's eminently gettable, particularly for longer hitters. The Illinois course looks like (you guessed it) rolling farmland with plenty of undulation and fescue. Greens are smaller than average and sectioned into quadrants. Don't discount the fact that the last two winners here (Jason Day and Zach Johnson) are among the tour's best putters.
In addition to the aforementioned dexterity with the flatstick, aptitude with the driver (distance preferred!) and long-iron play are key at Conway Farms.
Creme de la Creme
Dustin Johnson: $11,500
DJ finished seventh at Conway Farms in 2015. After his Northern Trust Open win two starts ago, the long hitter finished tied for 18th at the Dell Technologies Championship. The tour leader in strokes gained: total, Johnson is a better play than Spieth, who is $300 more expensive. Expect him to devour a course that preferences length off the tee.
Jason Day: $9,600
Winner at Conway Farms in 2015, Jason Day has two top-10 finishes in his last four starts. 39th in strokes gained: off-the-tee. 17th in strokes gained: total. Sixth in birdie average. Day has played quality golf since the British Open and is returning to a course his last time around. He's a value at $9,600...should be more like $10,200.
Paul Casey: $9,200
A veritable metronome the second half of this golf season, Paul Casey is STILL underpriced this week. Ninth-highest salary? Come on. PC is worth at least $10 grand. Top-15 finisher in his last six starts, folks! Casey finished top 25 at Conway Farms in 2015. Do not pass go. Do not proceed to stats. Just roster him!
Kevin Chappell: $8,400
Chappell tied for 23rd at Conway Farms in 2015. Recent form has been respectable: No worse than a T35 finish in his last four starts. He's 35th in strokes gained: off-the-tee. 30th in strokes gained: approach-the-green. 17th in strokes gained: tee-to-green. 15th in eagles.
Charl Schwartzel: $7,600
32nd in strokes gained: approach-the-green. 37th in strokes gained: total, Schwartzel is a quality play at the $7,600 price point. He wasn't in the field at Conway Farms in 2013 or 2015, but T29 and T25 finishes in the first two Playoff Events are indicative of good form. At No. 43 in the points standing, he needs a good performance to punch his ticket for East Lake.
Keegan Bradley $7,300
Keegan Bradley has finished 43rd and 35th in the first two playoff events this season. The Vermont native cracked the top 30 at Conway Farms in 2015. Thus, recent form is respectable and he's shown some aptitude at the course. 35th in strokes gained: tee-to-green. 49th in strokes gained: total. 46th in birdie average.