This article is part of our FanDuel PGA series.
Course: Olympia Fields Country Club (7,343 yards, par 70)
Winner: $1,710,000 and 1,500 FedExCup points
After witnessing one of the most dominating performances in a long time last week at the Northern Trust in the form of a 30-under-par, 11 shot stomping of the field, Dustin Johnson will be going for his third career BMW Championship victory. He will also be looking to break a tie with Rory McIlroy for most career FedExCup playoff victories, as both currently have five. With the win last week DJ stole the No. 1 ranking the FedExCup standings from Justin Thomas, who is the defending winner of this event. The second of three playoff events will once again be held in Illinois, but this time at Olympia Fields, the site of Jim Furyk's lone major victory back at the 2003 U.S. Open. The field was cut from 125 to 70 this week, which will mean there will be no cut in this event. Notable players outside the top-30 in the standings that need to have a good week to make the TOUR Championship next week include Patrick Cantlay (37th), Adam Scott (38th), Gary Woodland (39th), Jason Day (50th), and Tiger Woods (57th). It's also a big week for players near the top of the standings, as to No. 1 seed will enter East Lake with a two shot lead at 10-under-par over the rest of the field and on down. Expect this week to be another birdie fest, as the winner in each of the last five editions of this event has finished with an aggregate score of at least 20-under-par. Temperatures will peak over 90 degrees on Thursday, but then come down under 80 degrees on the weekend. A stray shower or two would not surprise and winds are expected to be in the 10-15 mile per hour range throughout the duration of the event.
2019 – Justin Thomas (Medinah)
2018 – Keegan Bradley (Aronimink)
2017 – Marc Leishman (Conway Farms)
2016 – Dustin Johnson (Crooked Stick)
2015 – Jason Day (Conway Farms)
2014 – Billy Horschel (Cherry Hills)
2013 – Zach Johnson (Conway Farms)
2012 – Rory McIlroy (Crooked Stick)
2011 – Justin Rose (Cog Hill)
2010 – Dustin Johnson (Cog Hill)
Key Stats to Victory
There is very little course history to consider this week as only four players in the field this week played Olympia Fields at the U.S. Open back in 2003, with those being Tiger Woods, Charles Howell, Paul Casey, and Adam Scott. This course also hosted the 2015 U.S. Amateur where Bryson DeChambeau took home the trophy, but even then it's really had to take a lot from the handful of players that played this course five years ago. Olympia Fields is a pretty beefy course, as at 7,366 yards it's the longest non-major par-70 the PGA Tour has seen since Firestone C.C, which stretched to 7,400 yards. With rough expected to reach four inches, a player that can hit it long and straight will have quite an advantage this week. The greens are pretty average in size, but many of the slopes and subtleties that the players will be unfamiliar with will put more of an emphasis on precision with the irons. It's hard to have a bad putting week and contend, but I will tend to look on the side of ball striking form coming into the event as a teller of who might be there on Sunday afternoon.
FanDuel Value Picks
Dustin Johnson ($12,000)
I mean this is a pretty easy one. His ownership will likely take a leap this week, but very few recently have been as good at sustaining a heater as Dustin Johnson. All you have to do is look back to 2017 when he won in three straight starts. After a T2 at the PGA Championship and then an 11-shot win in Boston, Johnson could be in the process of putting together much the same stretch. The 22-time PGA Tour winner gained over 18 shots from Tee-to-Green last week and he is putting as well as he has in his entire career.
Bryson DeChambeau ($11,600)
I got on the Bryson train last week, but it did not pay off as he ended up missing the cut. Now dropping to fourth in salary this week with likely a lower total ownership share after that MC, I think you get even more value here. DeChambeau will be able to feed off the good vibes of winning the U.S. Amateur here in 2015 and his game in 2020 should be tailor-made for this course as a long and straight hitter. The putter was the main issue last week, but I'll trust his season averages of seventh in SG: Putting and ninth in one-putt percentage.
Collin Morikawa ($11,100)
The PGA Championship winner was a bit rusty in his first start back last week, missing the cut in Boston. The main issue last week was his approach play, which is shocking considering how good he's been in that area since he's come out on Tour. I don't see any reason to be concerned about it, and all it really does is lower his salary and ownership total this week. The only other time Morikawa missed a cut in his professional career, he won the very next start out at the Workday Charity Open.
Harris English ($10,300)
English is still criminally undervalued in strong fields like this considering his numbers this season. After a runner-up last week in Boston, the Georgia product now ranks sixth in SG: Total and eighth in scoring average overall. As far as balance all the way through the bag, not many are better this season than English who is 16th in both SG: Putting and SG: Tee-to-Green. He has just one finish outside the top-25 in his last ten starts.
Longer Shots with Value
Viktor Hovland ($10,000)
Hovland is another excellent young ball striker. This season he ranks 18th in SG: Off-the-Tee, eighth in SG: Approach, and 21st in SG: Tee-to-Green. The former Oklahoma State standout has worked hard on his putting and now ranks 13th on Tour in putts per GIR. Hovland has made the cut in all nine of his starts since play resumed, which includes six top-25s. Olympia Fields should be a perfect venue for him to take advantage of what he does best.
Alex Noren ($9,100)
After reaching the top-10 in the OWGR, Noren struggled for a solid two years to get his game back to competitive form. Now he is playing his best golf in some time with finishes of T3-T9-T22-T8 in his last four starts. The Swede has now moved up to 34th on Tour in SG: Total with an impressive short game leading the way. Noren was also top-five last week in GIR's. There is still plenty of value at just over $9,000 this week.
Russell Henley ($8,800)
Henley stays in right about the same salary range he was a week ago when he collected his second straight top-10 finish. His ball striking continues to shine, as he ranks third in both SG: Approach and GIR percentage. Like I said last week, if Henley has a solid putting week he is going to be around on Sunday. At TPC Boston he ranked 22nd in SG: Putting and T13 in putts per GIR. Another week on the greens like that at Olympia Fields and those top-10's might turn into top-five's or even better.
Ryan Palmer ($8,700)
His Age 43 season has been one of his better ones no doubt. Palmer sits 22nd in the FedExCup standings with 10 top-25's in 17 starts this season. He is turning it on at the right time with finishes of 2nd-T15-T43-T8 over his last four starts. Palmer is a great driver of the ball, which will play to his benefit at Olympia Fields. He ranks top-30 on the season in SG: Tee-to-Green, scoring average, and birdie average. Palmer was also top-10 last week in Boston in putts per GIR.
Strategy Tips This Week
Based on a Standard $60K Salary Cap
With all players in the field guaranteed to get four rounds, it gives you a chance to be a little more aggressive and go after players who have the firepower, but may not always put up the most consistent finishes. I also don't think a missed cut last week is anything to put a whole lot of stock into, as you can tell with my additions of DeChambeau and Morikawa. I still think ball striking should dominate at Olympia Fields, but a putter that is hot right now certainly has a lot of value as well. Similar to last week, I'm going to continue to stay from Rory McIlroy, Patrick Cantlay, and Tiger Woods at their current prices until the show a reason for optimism. The field is pretty deep overall, so if you're trying to front-load your salaries some other intriguing options for me near the bottom of the player pool include Byeong Hun An, Talor Gooch, and Adam Hadwin.