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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS Course History - 2023 BMW Championship

Jon Rahm PGA DFS lineup picks daily fantasy golf

Hi, golf fans! Welcome back to "Horse For The Course." It's great to be back with you and doing HFTC. Unfortunately, I've been dealing with a herniated disc in my back, which has forced me to limit my desk time over the past month. I do apologize to regular readers of this article, but I'm slowly ramping my schedule back up.

Lucas Glover apparently morphed into Tiger Woods while I was away and has now won the last two events on the PGA Tour. His recent performances have put him right in the thick of the FedEx Cup race, as well as a Ryder Cup spot, and the Playoffs continue this week with the BMW Championship at Olympia Fields.

"Horse For The Course" is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA DFS content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week, check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our excellent PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!


2023 BMW Championship

The former Western Open has undergone multiple changes over the last decade, but has settled in nicely as the BMW Championship in recent years. The BMW has been a staple of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, utilizing rotating venues at well known and well respected golf courses.

This year's edition of the BMW takes us to Olympia Fields, a Chicago-based layout that last hosted the event in 2020. A course that's hosted major championships, Olympia Fields gave the field fits in 2020, with Jon Rahm beating Dustin Johnson in a playoff with a final score of just four-under par for the week. While I don't believe scoring will be that difficult again this week, we can certainly expect a challenging environment for this elite field that features the top-50 players remaining in the FedEx Cup Points Standings.

Course history is admittedly a bit tricky this week, as we only have one recent event at Olympia Fields to evaluate. As a result, I'll also take into account how a player has handled other difficult courses in recent years. The aforementioned Rahm won on this layout in 2020, but Patrick Cantlay enters the week as the two-time defending champion of the BMW Championship. He'll look to three-peat against a field of elite competitors that includes Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland, and more.

You can also find out who the smart money is on by checking out Spencer Aguiar's PGA DFS: Vegas Report every week. Be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!


The Course: Olympia Fields (North Course)

Par 70 - 7,366 Yards, Greens: Bent/Poa Annua, Designed By: Willie Park Jr.

A classical, tree-lined golf course, Olympia Fields has hosted multiple major championships at the professional level, the U.S. Amateur in 2015, and its lone BMW Championship in 2020. The Chicago-area layout gave PGA Tour pros fits in the '20 BMW renewal with Jon Rahm emerging victorious with a score of four-under par on the week.

This is a beefy golf course with both Par-5s stretching over 600 yards and requiring three shots to reach for most of the field. Seven of Olympia Fields' Par-4s measure 450 yards or more, meaning that we'll actually see some mid-irons coming out of the bag this week. These greens are a combination of Bent and Poa, and possess serious contours that make them challenging.

For lack of a better term, Olympia Fields is a "big boy" golf course. As evidenced by the 2020 BMW Championship renewal that featured a playoff between Jon Rahm and Dustin Johnson, this layout will reward elite players that possess a strong major-championship pedigree.


Recent BMW Championship Winners & Scoring Info

  • 2022: Patrick Cantlay (-14)
  • 2021: Patrick Cantlay (-27)
  • 2020: Jon Rahm (-4)
  • 2019: Justin Thomas (-25)
  • 2018: Keegan Bradley (-20)


The Horse

Patrick Cantlay

  • Event Scoring Average: 67.88 (Six career starts) 
  • Notable Course History: T12 (2020)
  • DraftKings Price: $10,500

Patrick Cantlay has won the last two editions of the BMW Championship and comes into the 2023 renewal on the heels of a playoff loss to Lucas Glover last week in Memphis. "Playoff Pat" has proven himself to be quite formidable in the month of August in recent years, winning three playoff events since '21 and very nearly adding a fourth last week.

While none of his BMW Championship wins came at Olympia Fields, the Californian did tee it up on this layout in 2020 and record a rock-solid T12. Olympia Fields suits his controlled skill set perfectly, which should let his postseason prowess remain on full display this week.

Cantlay's length off the tee is an often-overlooked aspect of his game, but he quietly averages just over 307 yards in driving distance. Couple that sneaky length with his patented accuracy and it's no surprise that he grades out second on the PGA Tour in Total Driving this season.


The Ponies

Jon Rahm

  • Event Scoring Average: 67.96 (Six career starts)
  • Notable Course History: Win ('20)
  • DraftKings Price: $11,200

After starting the year off with dominant form that led to four wins and culminated with his second career major victory at the Masters, Jon Rahm's results have noticeably dipped over the summer. A somewhat surprising runner-up finish at the Open Championship last month failed to ignite a spark for Rahm in Memphis, as he closed the FedEx St. Jude with a ho-hum T37.

The Spaniard will try to get some postseason momentum going this week in Chicago, and if his previous performance at Olympia Fields is any indicator, it's a prime breakout spot. Rahm captured the 2020 BMW Championship held on this layout in dramatic fashion, besting Dustin Johnson with a monster 70-footer in a sudden-death playoff.

This brutish Olympia Fields layout certainly suits his profile. Rahm's elite combination of distance and accuracy off the tee places him ninth in this field in Good Drives Gained. He's also one of the Tour's better mid-to-long iron players, ranking seventh in the field in Proximity from 175-200 yards and ninth from 200+ yards.


Hideki Matsuyama

  • Event Scoring Average: 68.92 (Nine career starts)
  • Notable Course History: T3 ('20)
  • DraftKings Price: $9,400

The Japanese superstar heads to the BMW Championship with a full head of steam following a beautiful final-round 65 last weekend in Memphis, a score that vaulted him into the top 50 of the FedEx Cup Points Standings and kept his postseason hopes alive. Matsuyama could very well ride that wave of momentum to a notable performance this week on an Olympia Fields layout on which he scored a T3 in the 2020 edition of the BMW.

It's no surprise that Matsuyama has been one of the best iron players on the PGA Tour this season. He currently ranks 11th on Tour in SG: Approach and sixth among this week's entrants in Overall Proximity. 'Deki has now gained strokes on Approach in nine of his last 10 starts, picking up an average of five strokes T2G per outing over that same number of tournaments. His elite ball striking should once again pay dividends on this major-like Olympia Fields design.


Did you know RotoBaller has a Premium DFS PGA subscription? Like what you read today? You can show your support for Joe by using the discount code NICE when purchasing a PGA Premium Pass. You get 10% off and full access to all of our Premium PGA articles, DFS tools, and Lineup Optimizer! You also get access to weekly betting picks from Spencer Aguiar, one of the top betting minds in the industry.


Tyrrell Hatton

  • Event Scoring Average: 69.32 (Three career starts)
  • Notable Course History: T16 ('20)
  • DraftKings Price: $9,000

In the midst of perhaps the most consistent season of his career, Tyrrell Hatton's upside has been enhanced by a surge in his ball striking in 2023. The sometimes-surly Englishman has gained strokes T2G in every start this year which has resulted in top-20 finishes in 11 of his 16 2023 tournament appearances.

His improved ball striking - in addition to an all-world short game - makes him a player to keep an eye on this week at Olympia Fields. Hatton logged a stout T16 in the 2020 edition of the BMW Championship held at the Chicago-area course. A disappointing T43 last week in Memphis can be chalked up to what amounted to his worst statistical putting week of the season. Look for Hatton to get back on track with the flat stick this week.


Byeong Hun (Ben) An

  • Event Scoring Average: 69.33 (Three career starts)
  • Notable Course History: T12 ('20)
  • DraftKings Price: $7,500

One of the best stories of the season, Ben An has battled his way from the Korn Ferry Tour in 2022 to the top 50 in the FedEx Cup Points Standings and the BMW Championship this year. The story may not yet be over, as An, who is currently at 38th in the standings, could possibly play his way into the season-ending Tour Championship with a strong performance this week.

The South Korean has now scored top-three finishes in half of his last four starts. In addition to that recent form, An should feel a level of comfort at Olympia Fields this week, a layout where he posted an impressive T12 in the 2020 BMW. He's sneaky long off the tee and ranks second to just Rory McIlroy in this week's field in Driving Distance over the last 24 rounds, which I always consider an advantage on a long course such as Olympia Fields.

While his irons can be streaky, An has very real upside when the approach game is clicking, such as his runner-up finish at the Wyndham that was powered by strong iron output (+5.4 strokes). At $7,500 on DraftKings, he's a value option that jumps out this week thanks to his blend of recent form and history on this layout.


Win Big With RotoBaller

Golf is back, and it's time for you to win big with RotoBaller! Our PGA DFS Premium Package features several savvy analysts and proven DFS winners.

Our very own Joe Nicely recently took down a big DraftKings DFS tournament for the Travelers Championship. And as an encore, RotoBaller subscriber @tenndolly2 won $100K on FanDuel with the help of Joe and the rest of our Premium PGA team: Between all the incredible Premium PGA DFS content and tools we put out each week, and our Premium Slack Community where we chat with our subscribers before lineups lock, RotoBaller PGA subscribers are armed with the tools, analysis, and advice to win big.

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