Menu

BMW Championship: Leishman can bank Medinah win

Australian Marc Leishman
Australian Marc Leishman looks an attractive bet
Join today
View market

It's the middle event of the FedEx Cup Playoffs on the PGA Tour and Dave Tindall has three picks for the BMW Championship at Medinah...

"The positive spin is that, in his last six starts, Leishman has a top five at Memorial and a top three at St. Jude."

Main Bet: Marc Leishman each-way @ 80/1

At Liberty National last week, Patrick Reed won The Northern Trust for the second time in four years and I'm hoping Marc Leishman can win this event for the second time in three.

The Aussie took the title at Conway Farms in 2017 with 23-under, powering to a five-shot victory over Rickie Fowler and Justin Rose.

That followed a top three in the Dell Technologies the week before so he has previous in the Playoffs.

With three top sixes in the last six Opens and some big displays at Augusta National, I like Leishman on iconic golf courses and Medinah is certainly one of those.

It's the price of 80/1 that really widens my eyes so we need to ask why he's those odds in a field of just 70.

The answer is some very mixed form.

The dim view is that he's missed two of his last three cuts and was a non-factor in the rush of month-by-month majors.

And yet, the positive spin is that, in his last six starts, Leishman has a top five at Memorial and a top three at St. Jude - again, both on highly-respected courses.

Speaking at St. Jude a few weeks ago, he said: "Yeah, really pleasing. It's a big event, it's a tough golf course. It's just nice to see a few putts go in and a few shots going where I'm looking.

"Yeah, I hadn't been playing terrible, but just I haven't been playing like that. So it's nice to stand over an iron shot and feel like you're actually going to hit a really good shot. I was happy with that, excited for the Playoffs now.

"I've never been to Medinah, but I love Chicago."

That comment, of course, reflects that he won this event there two years ago.

I also considered Jason Kokrak and Abraham Ancer at 66s but both are still maidens. Leishman has won big events and is a bigger price.

Billy Horschel also came seriously in to my thinking at 50s but there is another 66/1 chance I like.

Next Best: Ryan Moore each-way @ 66/1

RYAN MOORE 1280.jpg

It was a long time between drinks - seven years to be precise - but form from the 1999 USPGA at Medinah certainly held up well when the famed Illinois course hosted the tournament again in 2006.

Tiger Woods won both events, Sergio was second and fifth while Mike Weir was 10th and fifth. Even Hale Irwin, who won the 1990 U.S. Open at Medinah, was in the top five at halfway in 1999 despite being 54.

In other words, if there's some form from the 2006 edition, I'm not afraid to use it!

That justification out of the way, there are other reasons for picking Ryan Moore this week.

Moore was tied ninth in the 2006 USPGA at Medinah and it remains his best finish in the event.

Dragging the argument to the current day, he looks like a player coming in to form at just the right time after tied 18ths at his last two events - the John Deere Classic and The Northern Trust.

The former was also held in Illinois while the latter was just last week.

Unlike at the 2012 Ryder Cup when the Americans virtually eliminated the rough to gain some serious home advantage (it worked for two days but, crucially, not three!), keeping it in play looks much more important this year.

Moore is gun-barrel straight, topping the Driving Accuracy stats at the John Deere and ranking eighth in that category at Liberty National last week.

I also like the fact that we've seen him shine in the Playoffs before. In 2016, the American made the top eight at The Barclays and now defunct Deutsche Bank before finishing runner-up to Rory in East Lake.

Tipsters and punters tend to make a big deal of having played well at a course before but Moore reiterates it a lot and his record backs it up.

"It's nice to go to a golf course that you feel good on, you like the tee shots and you've had that success. You definitely draw on that a little bit," he said at TPC Deere Run last month - a course where he took victory in 2016 - and I'm hoping he gets those same good vibes on his return to Medinah.

Final Bet: Ian Poulter each-way @ 50/1

Let's talk about the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah. Or the 'Miracle of Medinah' as we Europeans fondly refer to it.

That was one of the most incredible comebacks in sport and the Europeans taking part here who were on that team must surely get a huge buzz when they set foot on the property again.

Justin Rose captured the final two holes to win a pivotal match against Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy arrived late after a timings mix up and yet still cruised to victory in the singles while Francesco Molinari halved his match with Tiger to secure the win.

But if I'm going down the 'inspired by Medinah' route, it has to be Ian Poulter who gets the vote.

Poults finished as leading scorer that week with four points and was the key man in turning the contest around when it all looked dead and buried.

Perhaps some will just dismiss that week as a one-off fluke and yet Poulter had enjoyed previous success at the course having posted tied ninth at Medinah in the 2006 USPGA.

Poulter is always better when in the role of man on a mission as he showed when winning in Houston last year to book an 11th hour visit to the US Masters.

This time, his goal is to crack the top 30 heading for next week's season-ending Tour Championship.

He sits 43rd in the FedEx Cup standings (up from 60 last week) so needs one final push.

The Englishman is certainly finding form at just the right time and in his last two starts has finished tied eighth in the St. Jude Invitational and tied 10th at The Northern Trust.

He ranked in the top five for SG: Approach and SG: Tee to Green at Liberty National and second for SG: Putting at St. Jude so, if he can combine those, Poulter could have a huge week.

Take the 50/1.

They are my three selections, but I wouldn't put anyone off having a look at Rose in the enhanced win-only market at 20s.

Dave's 2018/19 PGA Tour P/L (based on £5 ew per selection outrights, £10 win top 5s/10s)

Staked: £1140
Returned: £831.75
P/L: -£308.25

2017/2018:
P/L: +£362.84

2016/2017:
P/L: +£1179.89

Dave Tindall,

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles