down cross

Conway Farms set to suffer another Zach attack

Spieth can take charge of glamour group

Zach Johnson should be full of beans in Illinois
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Tournament starts 3pm Thursday
Live on Sky Sports Golf from 8pm

The best value on the BMW Championship first-round threeball card may be in the opening match, in which course winner Zach Johnson can outscore Lucas Glover and Sung Kang.

The action starts at Conway Farms, Illinois, at 3pm UK and Ireland time, and Johnson can get his name on the leaderboard immediately. He started with a round of 64 on his way to winning the 2013 BMW at this venue and the layout plays to his strengths. He closed with a 64 for 13th spot in 2015.

Johnson was born in neighbouring Iowa and loves visiting Illinois, where he won the 2012 John Deere Classic. The 41-year-old is winless since the 2015 Open Championship, but his runner-up finish in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational a month ago showed he is still a force at the highest level. This is the most suitable course he has faced in the FedEx Cup playoffs.

Glover has been labouring with a knee injury in the playoffs and has never previously competed in a BMW at Conway Farms. Kang has never qualified for the Tour Championship and shaky recent form suggests his season will end prematurely again on Sunday.

Patrick Cantlay needs to move from 41st spot in the FedEx standings into the top 30 to qualify for the Tour Championship, and can be fancied to go close. The consistently impressive youngster can see off Kevin Na and Francesco Molinari in the 5.28pm threeball, while Jordan Spieth could boss the 4.33pm marquee group.

The putting prowess of Spieth gives him the edge over Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson on an easy track in fine weather. There will be birdie chances aplenty, and Spieth will probably convert most of his. The Texan is arguably the most motivated of the trio, too, having finished runner-up in the first two playoff events.

Z Johnson
3pts 11-8 Betfred, Coral, Ladbrokes
P Cantlay
2pts 13-8 SkyBet
J Spieth
2pts 13-8 Betfair, Power, SkyBet

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Glover has been labouring with a knee injury in the playoffs and has never previously competed in a BMW at Conway Farms
E.W. Terms
Sky bet