By Walker Polivka
The FedEx Cup Playoffs continue this week as the PGA Tour visits Wilmington Country Club for the first time for the BMW Championship. Read on below to see our prediction for who will win the tournament, as well as our top 10, dark horse, and player to fade predictions.
Player to Fade: Tom Hoge- Winner of the 2022 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Hoge has put together a quality season, with 1 win, 5 top 10’s, and 9 top 25’s in 30 starts. However, Hoge has grown cold over the summer months, missing the cut in 7 of his last 8 starts. His stats aren’t particularly bad, but he just isn’t shooting low scores, with 11 rounds of 72 or worse over his last 8 events. There is no cut in this week’s tournament, but we predict that Hoge will finish in the bottom half of the field by week’s end.
Dark Horse: Cam Davis- After a slow start to the season, Davis has stepped on the gas late, with 4 top 10’s and 7 top 20’s in his last 11 starts. There are very few holes in Davis’ game right now, as he is gaining strokes in each of the 6 major strokes gained categories. Even though this is the first time that Wilmington Country Club is on the schedule, it shares many similarities to TPC Southwind, the host of last week’s tournament, including its Bermuda grass greens and its thick, nasty rough. Coming off of a T-13 finish last week, we predict that Davis will keep up his good form and bring home another top 20 finish.
Top 10: Will Zalatoris- Winner of last week’s FedEx St. Jude Championship for his first career PGA Tour victory, Zalatoris has been having a great season, with 1 win, 3 runner-ups, 9 top 10’s, and 13 top 25’s in 23 starts. Currently ranked 1st in Strokes Gained: Approach The Green and 2nd in Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green, Zalatoris is one of the premier ball strikers on tour, which suits him well for a course like Wilmington Country Club, which penalizes a player with thick rough for missing the fairway. There is always a chance that Zalatoris may go into a slight slump following that first career win, but we predict that he will find his way towards the top of the leaderboard again quickly with another top 10 finish this week.
Winner: Tony Finau- There may be no player hotter on tour right now than Tony Finau. Finau has had 3 straight top 5 finishes, including back-to-back wins at the 3M Open and the Rocket Mortgage Classic, and 5 top 5 finishes in his last 8 starts. Coming into the week ranked 5th in the FedEx Cup Standings, Finau is another one of the great ball strikers on tour, ranking 6th in Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green, 8th in Strokes Gained: Approach The Green, and 13th in Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee. Wilmington Country Club isn’t exactly identical to TPC Southwind, but there are enough similarities that players who play well at one course should be able to parlay that into success at the other one. Coming off of a T-5 finish last week, we predict that Finau will climb a few spots higher this week and win the BMW Championship!