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BMW Championship at Wilmington Country Club Preview

Patrick Cantlay

Patrick Cantlay

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Network

The FedExCup Playoffs continue this week as the PGA TOUR hops from Memphis to Philadelphia.

Well, not quite Philly, but just 35 miles away in Wilmington, Delaware.

The field was trimmed from 125 to 70 this week and so far we have just two golfers set to miss out. Tommy Fleetwood is a DNP, similar to last week, while Cameron Smith was a Monday WD citing a hip injury. That puts the field size at 68 golfers as of Monday afternoon.

Only the top 30 in the FedExCup standings will advance onto East Lake at week’s end.

The Course

Wilmington Country Club’s South Course is set to host this week’s event.

The Robert Trent Jones. Sr. design is making its debut on the pro stage but we have seen it host some notable amateur events including the 2013 Palmer Cup which saw Justin Thomas and the Americans rout the European squad 20.5 to 9.5 at week’s end.

Touching on the basics, we see a par 71 on the card that tips at 7,534 yards. Rather lengthy for a par 71 with a lot of that coming on the par 5s which all stretch out past 580 yards (582, 634, 649).

Off the tee, golfers will see tree-lined but not tight fairways. There is some room to work with if you aren’t splitting the uprights. A 2021 renovation had bunkers strategically added at the key choke points for these pros.

Water comes into play on four holes, all of those being approach shots. That should put a bit of an emphasis on steady iron play.

When not worried about rinsing their approach shots, golfers should find plenty of greens in regulation this week as the 8,100 square feet average green sizes are well above TOUR average in terms of size.

Those greens are heavily undulated and prepped to run at 12.5 feet on the stimp, which is certainly speedy even by PGA TOUR standards.

Diving into the agronomy side, the pros will see bentgrass fairways and greens with four-inch bluegrass and fescue rough.

The overall scoring environment is likely to play easy. Just look at the last decade of BMW Championship results. The winner has reached 20-under or better in six of the last seven BMWs. Recent editions out East include the 2018 BMW at Aronimink where Keegan Bradley (-20) bested Justin Rose and last year at Caves Valley where Patrick Cantlay and Bryson DeChambeau both reached 27-under for the week.

It’s really hard for a course to protect par in the summer without destroying their course. That’s especially true when a course is hosting its first PGA TOUR event. They generally err to the side of caution which often results in an easy scoring environment.

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Correlated Courses

We don’t have historical data this week but looking at hole-by-hole yardage, location, and grass types here are some potential courses that could point us in the right direction:

Aronimink GC
Muirfield Village GC
Caves Valley
Firestone CC
TPC Summerlin

We’re looking for mid-to-long length courses with any combination of large, undulating, speedy, bentgrass greens. These courses all passed a few of those tests.

The Weather

Thursday: Sunny with a high of 84 degrees. Calm winds.

Friday: Sunny with a high of 86 degrees. Calm winds.

The weather looks ideal to start the week with some potential precipitation over the weekend.