Our Sundays continue to be super sweet! Sweden's standout rookie on the Ladies European Tour came through in a big way this weekend firing a scintillating Sunday 63 to take the title in Ireland. With ten birdies she blew away the field and won by five shots. When a player like this sits at +3000 you just have to take her... all the way to the bank!
We also did very well in Memphis.
Three outright selections finished in the Top 12.
- We made eight outright predictions last week (4 PGA, 4 LPGA). Not one finished higher than 27th and four finished in the Top 5 and a winner.
Our One & Done pick was Will Zalatoris. With two weeks to go in the OAD season, you earned $2.7 million toward your season total. A tremendous hit at this point in the season.
- Will was our third OAD winner of the season.
- We made five "live" bets during the FedEx St. Jude Championship. Our record was 4-1 highlighted by the Top 20 add of Trey Mullinax at +300 finishing 5th.
Rinse, rewind and repeat?
The FedEx Cup playoffs will continue this week with an even stronger field at the BMW Championship. Seventy players were invited, and sixty-eight will tee it up as of writing this newsletter (Out-Smith, Fleetwood). There are nineteen of the Top 20 players in the OWGR in Wilmington, DE, and forty-nine of the Top 70 in the field.
With such a tight field of talent, a brand-new course, and the heightened pressure of the playoffs, we will be going super deep into our approach to determine this week's list of winners. Some may question our ability to come home with a win on a week with so little information, but guess what? That's every week on the LPGA and we have five winners in 2022 and two in the last four weeks!
Wilmington Country Club is our host for the BMW Championship. For the past fifteen years, this tournament has been the precursor to the Tour Championship with a field of seventy of the year's best players. Though the site has shifted nine times, I have noticed some serious trends:
- The average score over fifteen editions has been eighteen under par. Four of the last five final scores were: 27, 25, 20, and 23 under par.
- The BMW has had thirteen different winners. The two repeat champions are Tiger and Dustin Johnson.
- There have only been three playoffs in this event, and they all have happened in the past four years.
- Only four winners have had odds of +4000 or better in the last ten BMWs.
As we begin to break down the course, let's take a quick look at the weather for this week and the probable course conditions:
- Temperatures will be warm this week in Wilmington. The highs will be pushing 90 degrees each day.
- Wind won't keep them cool as the predicted wind speeds through the four days don't get over 12 mph.
There's a chance of some rain over the weekend (Sat - 20%, Sun - 35%).
- Looking back, Wilmington has only received 1.89" of rainfall in the last twenty-six days.
I expect the course to play perfectly for this limited field, with no cut shoot-out. I call it a shoot-out because forty more players go home this week. To secure your spot in that Top 30 for the Tour Championship, you will have to play aggressively. You'll see quite quickly; my outright list reflects guys who like to get after it.
Wilmington Country Club is a 36-hole facility. The BMW will use the South Course. The holes have been rerouted, but the championship layout comes entirely from the South track.
- South Course: Par 71 and 7,534 yards. It is the eighth longest course on tour over the past three years.
- Players will face 91 bunkers and the second largest set of greens on tour (8,100 square feet on average).
- WCC is built on a landscape of rolling hills. Many of the approach shots the men will face this week will be to uphill greens and from uneven lies.
- The club is celebrating its 120th Anniversary this season. Even though it has never hosted an event of this magnitude, it has hosted many elite tournaments.
WCC truly is a special place started by the du Pont family. Every amenity of this facility is first class, starting with the South Course. This field may seem much like a WGC no-cut contest. I can assure you, there's a much higher level of pressure in play. Qualify for the Tour Championship and you get an invite into all of 2023's major championships. That kind of guarantee can be career-changing for at least a third of this field. We watched as Will Zalatoris finally seized his moment last week. Suddenly he became my favorite to win the FedEx Cup. Why do I feel so strongly about his chances...?
- In fifteen FedEx Cup playoffs, there have been 11 multiple tournament winners in the same playoff year.
That's a very interesting piece of information. More than 70% of the FedEx Cup playoff runs have included multiple winners. We all saw it happen last year with Patrick Cantlay. It's dialed-in research that gives us confidence when capping a week like this. Combine that with being on-site at the BMW before I wrote this newsletter, and you know we're extremely prepared to separate the true contenders from the pretenders.
*- Wilmington CC was built on an old sheep farm. Don Pedro is the unofficial mascot of WCC. For a cool story of how the club came to be read the story of Don Pedro.
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Winning "live" bets
Last weekend, I posted five live betting adds on social media. We won four of those in-tourney wagers highlighted by Trey Mullinax's Top 20 +300 add on Friday. Trey finished in fifth place. Live betting during the tournament can be the difference between a winning and losing week. If you don't follow RTL on social media, you are missing out. Get to TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter today and click the "follow" button.
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Where's the a Will there's a way
Walking the grounds at Wilmington Country Club, I have a couple of first impressions:
- This is a BIG golf course. Each hole stands alone. There's so much property here. Seeing a course like this for the first time could be intimidating for some.
- The players seem to like a level playing field. The Top 70 who earned an invite are all excited to play a course that nobody has seen before.
- The green complexes here are huge!
- I haven't heard much talk about water trouble this week. It certainly is not prominently featured like TPC Southwind, but where those four penalty areas are placed, they most certainly will affect play.
- There are way more hills in Delaware than I thought.
In my approach week after week, I love to look at the small intangibles. These are the difference makers between contending and winning. First, everyone is a rookie on this course. That stands out in my mind. Second, we don't have a great list of historic comp courses and therefore, player characteristics become even more important. We have the best players in the world on hand, but which of them has a game that really travels? Who has the most Top 10 finishes this season on a variety of courses?
Any player who can contend on different layouts has an advantage this week. When putting together that elusive player profile for Wilmington CC, here's what I feel matters most after walking the course and seeing each player on the practice tee Tuesday:
- Great drivers will have an advantage here. Can you drive the ball well at Detroit Golf Club, Firestone, and Bay Hill?
- These greens are enormous. Big like the Old Course experience last month. If you didn't score well there, then contending this week will be a tough task.
- This course looks like a US Open venue. It won't be nearly as difficult, but it looks like it. It is very similar to playing Torrey in January versus June in a major championship. So similar that I love a Torrey-type player. There's another connection there as well, Torrey's architect Rees Jones' father Robert Trent Jones Sr. designed Wilmington CC.
- I'm not concerned by the difficulty players will face around the green. Will it be tougher than your weekend track? Of course. Overall, it won't be nearly as hard as last week with the bermudagrass.
- Don't believe what you hear on TV, this rough is short enough to play bomb and gauge style golf.
Approaching Wilmington's green complexes will separate the men from the boys. Opportunities gained, proximity to the hole and a polar approach game will matter. By polar, I mean the winner will need a great long iron game for the nine deeper approaches and a sharp wedge game to score on the long Par 5's and shorter Par 4's. Another element of the approach challenge is all the elevation changes you will see on the course. The better the ball striker T2G the better they can handle the multitude of different lies they will face. Let's get into the list of outrights...
- When it comes to the FedEx Cup playoffs, last week's winner is always my first stop for the next event. The fact is this course fits Will Zalatoris' game better than TPC Southwind. Whether it was the driver and wedge game needed to contend at Southern Hills in the PGA or the amazing long game necessary for contending at Torrey Pines, Will checks all those boxes and then some. These greens are not only large but undulating. The only greens we see on tour all year like this are at Augusta National. Last time I checked, Will's record there was solid as well. His confidence is booming, and playoff wins come in bunches. Too close this point, he's Top 5 in the field for Par 4 scoring, T2G, APP, and Opportunities Gained.
- Will's Wake Forest roommate must be excited to play this week. Cam Young grew up in the northeast. WCC is very reminiscent of the courses Cam competed in and won on growing up. He's ranked second in the field T2G and seventh in proximity to the hole. He gained over eight shots against the field T2G last week. He's literally up there with Rahm and Rory when it comes to driving the golf ball. He'll have a huge advantage this week on a course that favors power. The approach game is equally represented in that T2G data. He contends at all kinds of courses and that's the real reason I love him near home on a course nobody has played before. The kid can travel and guess what? His college teammate just won last week. That's the type of motivation that leads to winning for the first time on tour.
Outright winners - BMW Championship
Will Zalatoris (+1600)
Cam Young (+2800)
Pick 3* (+3000)
Pick 4* (+6000)
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Can we get back to back weekends for the third time this season?
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