The FedEx Cup field is down to 70, with one final cut to be made before next week's Tour Championship finale. Paul Krishnamurty fancies the following three outsiders to progress up the points list at the BMW Championship...
"In terms of the profile of his game and recent form, Knox should enjoy a good week. He ranks 11th for ball-striking against this field and has only once hit fewer than 70% of greens in regulation since June."
While the whole concept of the FedEx Cup is to produce a dramatic finale where anyone can win a life-changing $10M bonus, at this stage one has to assume the winner will be pretty obvious.
Next week, when the field for the Tour Championship is reduced to the top-30 on the points list, pretty much everyone in with a realistic mathematical chance will be a big-name. The current top-five - who will head to East Lake meaning victory in that event will also mean overall race victory - could barely be stronger.
Jason Day and Jordan Spieth are certain to be among them along with probably two, perhaps all three of Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson and Bubba Watson. Of the top-ten, only Charley Hoffman would have been considered an outsider at the start.
Nevertheless, there is much jostling for position to be done at Conway Farms this week, not least among players trying to get into that top-30. Those already within that range can significantly improve their mathematical chance next week with a high finish. The following trio are all at big odds, yet fancied around this layout and capable of achieving various targets.
Back Danny Lee 4u @ 75.074/1
Place order to lay 16u @ 15.014/1
In truth, I expect this week's leaderboard to be very high-class. A ball-strikers' course like Conway Farms usually allows the cream to rise to the top, and I think both Steve Rawlings and Dave Tindall are bang on the money with their respective outright picks, Zach Johnson and Jim Furyk.
The claims of those two frontline candidates rest on their relentless driving accuracy and good putting. Here's another player at much bigger odds who has similarly been excelling in both areas of late. Sitting 14th on the list, Lee is already secure of an East Lake place but he is well capable of reaching the top-ten.
Regarded as a big prospect since a teenager, Lee has improved leaps and bounds over the summer. Since winning the Greenbrier, he's landed three more top-six finishes and the New Zealander hasn't ranked below 13th for driving accuracy in his last five starts. Against this field, he ranks seventh in putting average over the past three months.
Back Russell Knox for a Top Ten finish 4u @ 9.89/1
These are nervous times for players right around the top-30 cut-line, and it remains to be seen whether the extra pressure will act as an incentive or a negative for someone like 29th placed Knox. In terms of the profile of his game and recent form, he should enjoy a good week.
Good recent form is usually essential criteria for betting during the play-offs, and top-20s at both The Barclays and Deutsche Bank read well on that score. So do his stats. Knox ranks 11th for ball-striking in this field, (most of his superiors here are elite players), and has only once hit fewer than 70% of greens in regulation since June.
Considering there's only 70 players in this field, a top-ten is well within reach.
Back Daniel Berger 2u @ 350.0349/1
Place order to lay 8u @ 70.069/1
Finally a truly rank outsider, who might have been a Find Me a 100 Winner pick if this event had been chosen instead of the Italian Open. Daniel Berger started 2015 looking like one of the best rookies on the tour, finishing runner-up in the Honda and registering a spate of top-25s. Though he went right off the boil, 12th place at the BMW could signal a timely return to form.
Against this elite field, he ranks top-15 in both greens in regulation and scrambling - two telling categories expected to be significant at Conway Farms. From 46th place, he needs a fantastic week to make East Lake, but then again, the whole point of these play-offs is that a player like Berger can turn things around very quickly.
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