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BlogWyndham Championship Preview and Picks

Wyndham Championship

August 15 – 18, 2013

Sedgefield Country Club

Greensboro,, N.C.

Par: 70 / Yardage: 7,130

Purse: $5.3 million

with $954,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Sergio Garcia

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 10 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with one of the top-ten in the field: Brandt Snedeker.  There are four players ranked 11 to 25, top-25 players in the field: Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia, Bill Haas and Zach Johnson.  There are five players from 26 to 50 in the rankings, they are Webb Simpson, Hideki Matsuyama, Nick Watney, David Lynn and Boo Weekley.

The field includes 6 of the Top 25 on this year’s PGA Tour money list:  Those players include Brandt Snedeker, Bill Haas, Boo Weekley, Webb Simpson, Zach Johnson and Jordan Spieth

The field includes 7 past champions: Sergio Garcia (2012), Webb Simpson (2011), Arjun Atwal (2010), Carl Pettersson (2008), Brandt Snedeker (2007), Davis Love III (2006, & 1992) and K.J. Choi (2005).

The field includes six players that have won on the PGA Tour this year: Brandt Snedeker (AT&T Pebble Beach, RBC Canadian Open), Derek Ernst (Wells Fargo Championship), Sang-Moon Bae (HP Byron Nelson Championship), Boo Weekley (Crowne Plaza Invitational), Bill Haas (AT&T National) and Jordan Spieth (John Deere),

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the Wyndham Championship field is our performance chart listed by average finish.  One last way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at Wyndham Championship in the last five years or check out our brand new and sortable 8-year glance at the Wyndham Championship.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the Wyndham Championship

Player PGA Championship WGC-Bridgestone Reno-Tahoe Open Canadian Open British Open Sanderson Farms John Deere Scottish Open Greenbrier French Open AT&T National Irish Open Travelers
Zach Johnson
(366.67 pts)
T8
(100)
T4
(120)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T6
(80)
DNP
 
T2
(66.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T58
(0)
Brandt Snedeker
(226.17 pts)
T66
(0)
T33
(25.5)
DNP
 
Win
(132)
T11
(52)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T8
(16.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
Hideki Matsuyama
(219.5 pts)
T19
(62)
T21
(43.5)
DNP
 
T16
(34)
T6
(80)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Bill Haas
(193.17 pts)
T25
(50)
T7
(82.5)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T9
(30)
DNP
 
Win
(44)
DNP
 
DNP
 
Andres Romero
(160 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T2
(100)
T21
(29)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T44
(4)
DNP
 
T41
(6)
DNP
 
T13
(12.33)
DNP
 
T24
(8.67)
Roberto Castro
(159.33 pts)
T12
(76)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T6
(60)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T68
(0)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
2
(33.33)
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
Martin Kaymer
(150.17 pts)
T33
(34)
T9
(67.5)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T32
(24)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T13
(24.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Jason Bohn
(140.67 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T2
(100)
DNP
 
T9
(30)
T22
(18.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
T44
(2)
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
David Toms
(137.33 pts)
7
(110)
DNP
 
T16
(34)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Webb Simpson
(133.33 pts)
T25
(50)
T14
(54)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T64
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T41
(6)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T5
(23.33)
Daniel Summerhays
(133.33 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
T2
(66.67)
T4
(53.33)
DNP
 
T9
(30)
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
Rory Sabbatini
(133.33 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T7
(55)
T12
(38)
DNP
 
T17
(22)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
T9
(30)
DNP
 
WD
(-1.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
Paul Casey
(129.83 pts)
T33
(34)
T27
(34.5)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T24
(17.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Win
(44)
DNP
 
Matt Jones
(123.33 pts)
T40
(20)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T7
(36.67)
DNP
 
T2
(66.67)
DNP
 
T64
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
Jordan Spieth
(114 pts)
CUT
(-20)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T44
(8)
DNP
 
Win
(88)
DNP
 
T23
(18)
DNP
 
6
(20)
DNP
 
DNP
 
William McGirt
(112.67 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T2
(100)
DNP
 
T26
(16)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
69
(0)
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
T30
(6.67)
Boo Weekley
(110.17 pts)
T12
(76)
T33
(25.5)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T58
(0)
DNP
 
T27
(15.33)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Nicholas Thompson
(110 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T28
(22)
DNP
 
4
(53.33)
T12
(25.33)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
T28
(7.33)
DNP
 
T24
(8.67)
Brendan Steele
(103 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
4
(80)
T68
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
T41
(6)
DNP
 
T16
(11.33)
DNP
 
T13
(12.33)
Chad Campbell
(101.33 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
T16
(34)
DNP
 
T7
(36.67)
T15
(23.33)
DNP
 
T41
(6)
DNP
 
T16
(11.33)
DNP
 
T70
(0)
Steven Bowditch
(100.67 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T17
(22)
T12
(25.33)
DNP
 
T2
(66.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
Jonathan Byrd
(94.67 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T2
(100)
DNP
 
DNP
 
WD
(-3.33)
T33
(11.33)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
Stuart Appleby
(91.33 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T16
(34)
T31
(19)
DNP
 
T17
(22)
T33
(11.33)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
T9
(15)
Patrick Reed
(91 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T9
(45)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T7
(36.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
T34
(5.33)
DNP
 
T18
(10.67)
Johnson Wagner
(90 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
10
(40)
CUT
(-10)
T58
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T2
(66.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the Wyndham Championship

Player PGA Championship WGC-Bridgestone Reno-Tahoe Open Canadian Open British Open Sanderson Farms John Deere Scottish Open Greenbrier French Open AT&T National Irish Open Travelers
Paul Haley II
(-43.33 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
Donald Constable
(-43.33 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
John Huh
(-42.67 pts)
CUT
(-20)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T28
(7.33)
DNP
 
T79
(0)
Si Woo Kim
(-40 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Padraig Harrington
(-40 pts)
CUT
(-20)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
T54
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
T72
(0)
Charlie Beljan
(-38.33 pts)
CUT
(-20)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
WD
(-1.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
Derek Ernst
(-38 pts)
CUT
(-20)
T57
(0)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T44
(2)
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
Andres Gonzales
(-36.67 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
T54
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
Eric Meierdierks
(-36.67 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
T54
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
Jin Park
(-36.67 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
T65
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

The PGA Championship:

After the PGA I got into my car and drove down to Niagara Falls.  The car ride gave me time to reflect on Jason Dufner’s win and how really well he hit the ball.  He made it look easy on Sunday, setting himself up with good shots into the greens and then getting par and moving on.

I wonder how Jason would of been if he was pressed, frankly nobody really pressed him so that had to be helpful for him.  Again I don’t think he’s that great of a putter and possibly that would of reared it’s ugly head if he needed to make some more putts.  But as it was Dufner was able to play within himself, build on a lead going into the final two holes and had the luxury of still winning with bogeys on 17 and 18.

The PGA has had it’s share of odd winners, guys there were in the right place at the right time to win but never did anything afterwards.  A couple of names to throw at you is Y.E. Yang, Shaun Micheel and Rich Beem.  Jason Dufner will never be like them, he will win again many times and could win another major.  One thing about Jason we are realizing what a really great guy he is and could be a great winner for the PGA Tour.  The reason, just about ever winner and taking it a step further most of the players on the PGA Tour are very stiff and don’t show any real personality.  Jason as stoic as he is showed another side of him this week.  It started right after he finished by giving his wife a pat on the butt and continued in his truthful press interview in which we saw a fun loving guy.  Dufner and his wife flew home on a private jet and were met at Auburn airport by several hundred people, even though it was after midnight.  He spent the day at home and then went off to New York and became probably the first player on the PGA Tour to go on the Howard Stern show.  Would of loved to of seen Tim Finchem’s reaction to some of his answers to Stern on things like it takes 43 cans of beer to fill the Wanamaker Trophy and how Rory Sabbatini is not very popular among his pears.  All of this shows a human element that we don’t see everyday on the PGA Tour.  These guys are not robots that are programmed by the PGA Tour, it’s nice to see one of them being this way.  Now I don’t know if this will work, I have to think that Finchem isn’t happy about his players going on the Howard Stern show but frankly, it will open up more opportunities for Dufner.  If I was looking for a spokesperson I would love it to be Dufner, who I think can reach a lot of people in a way that Phil Mickelson or Bubba Watson does.  The future will tell, but I think Jason Dufner will be very good for a very stale PGA Tour.

The Buzz:

So here it is, for a good share of those in the field of the Wyndham this could be the end of the line.  In the past this was the last week for those to make it into the FedEx Cup playoffs, those in the top-125 move on, the others, they just waited out for the playoffs finishing and they had four events to get into the top-125 of the money list and save there Tour cards for the following year.

The system is drastically different.  The Wyndham is now the last regular tour event for 2013, so for many it’s a two edge sword.  Not only are they looking to finish in the top-125 and move onto the FedEx Cup playoffs, but for those that don’t finish in the top-125 they have lost there PGA Tour cards.  This year is a bit different, they are not only taking the top-125 of the FedEx Cup list but also the top-125 off the money list also.  But after this year the money list will no longer determine exemptions in future years.

So what happens to those that don’t finish in the top-125?  A more expanded hell that is now called the Web.Com Tour finals.  Before it was the PGA Tour Qualifying tournament which if you made it to the final leg (there was three for the unfortunate that had go through all three stages) it was six days of golf in which 25 cards were on the line for the 144 player field.  So if you had a bad first day or first couple of days, that was it you wouldn’t be able to recover and had to endure the Buy.Com Tour for a year.

Now the pain of qualifying is based on four events over five weeks.  So in a way the torture is greatly expanded but in a way you have more chances to qualifying.  Here is how it runs.  For those that are not in the top-125 of the FedEx Cup point totals, those between 126 and 200 get into the four tournament Web.Com Tour finals.  The events are the Hotel Fitness Championship in Fort Wayne, Ind., (Aug. 29 — Sept. 1), the Chiquita Classic in Charlotte, N.C. (Sept. 5-8), the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship in Columbus, Ohio (Sept. 12-15) and then the Web.Com Tour Championship played at the Dye Valley course at the TPC Sawgrass.

Those between 126 and 200 will be joined by the top-75 money winners off the Web.Com Tour.  The premise is that 50 cards will be given out.  The top-25 of the Web.Com money list will receive a card, so for those that have played the tour all year they will have a big advantage over the PGA Tour players because the PGA Tour players will have zero dollars while those on the Web.Com Tour will have there money.  But with each event having a bigger purse with first place of $180,000 those PGA Tour regulars will be able to make up the difference quickly.

The other 25 cards will go to players who earn the most cumulative money in the four Web.Com Tour events.  So you can see, in a way there are more chances for players. If you play bad in the first couple of events and then catch fire, you can gain a card.  The only problem is that now your pain is over five weeks, not just six days.

A lot of us will miss the old PGA Tour qualifying tournament, but in a way this will be easier for players to regain there cards.  Only problem, new players won’t find a way into the final qualifying tournament and be able to have that shining moment, something that about a half dozen players a year get to do.  So to break into the PGA Tour will now be a two year process of qualifying for the Web.Com Tour and then having to endure the Web.Com Tour finals.

So in a way this week’s event will be important for those not only getting into the top-125 but also to have some kind of chance and get into the top-200.  For those that want to look and see what players have to do, the PGA Tour has a very good sheet with the scenarios for those in the Wyndham.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the Wyndham Championship:

Key stat for the winner:

Sedgefield is a very versatile course. Length is not critical because the course plays at about 7,130 yards, just a notch below average for a PGA Tour event. With length not being a factor, players are afforded the opportunity to use either driver or long iron off the tee. The most critical thing for the field is to manage the slope of the course. To do that, ball control and accuracy are key.

Now this tournament was made famous by Sam Snead, who won it eight times, a PGA Tour record for the most victories by a player in a single event. Snead captured the inaugural event in 1938, and when he won it for the eighth time in 1965, he became the oldest winner in PGA Tour history at 52 years, 10 months and eight days.

Between 1949 and 1965 Snead was never higher than 8th and won $37,827 or about the same amount that the player in 28th place will win this week.  For the record, if Snead would have played all 17 events at the present purse of $5.3 million his Greensboro earnings would have been $7,786,000.  Oh Snead is the only winner in Greensboro history to defend his championship so Sergio will be looking to break that 55 year record.

Here are some more key stats to look to for this week:

  • Length is obviously not an issue so that opens things up quite a bit. Look for the winner to be someone who doesn’t like to muscle up with the driver, and just settle for using a long iron for control. Past winners of the event are some of the best iron players on tour. The likes of Sergio Garcia, Webb Simpson, Mark O’Meara, Davis Love III, and Steve Elkington have hoisted the trophy. Look for the winner to be able to manage the surroundings, as the undulations are the most difficult part of the golf course.
  • Hitting greens will be at a premium at this Donald Ross gem, just like it was last week at Atlanta Athletic Club.   Hitting lots of greens goes a long way at the Wyndham Championship.  Look for the winner to hit greens in bunches.
  • With wet weather of late, rough should be tough and hard to get out of.  The fairways will be soft so it will be harder to run into the rought.</li>
  • North Carolina in the summer time is rife with heat and humidity. This will be important because the bent grass greens will bake making the undulated greens even more challenging.   This week the weather is going to be cool and expect some rain over the weekend.  Again this will make the course play easier.
  •  Last week at the PGA, the 63 mark was tied and could of been beaten but wasn’t.  I can see this week someone shooting a 59 at Sedgefield. The course is really short by tour standards and you have to think that if conditions play just right that could happen.  Since the tournament moved to Sedgefield in 2008 61 has been shot five times including once last year but I just see the course very vulnerable this year.

Who to watch for at the Wyndham Championship

Best Bets:

Bill Haas

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T7 CUT T28 T10 CUT CUT CUT CUT

This is a course that should be right up his alley and he should ace it all week. He has two top-tens in the last four years, guarantee to add another one I think he could win.

Zach Johnson

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T26 61

This course is a lot like the course he finished 2nd at John Deere, look for a good finish from him.

Brandt Snedeker

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T28 CUT T8 T5 T69 Win

He should be able to master this course, he is playing well now.

Best of the rest:

Boo Weekley

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
CUT CUT T53 T32 CUT

Hard to believe that this great ball striker would have a tough time at Sedgefield. Look for that to change this week.

Webb Simpson

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T22 Win T8 CUT

Still hasn’t won since U.S. Open and returns to the place of his first win.

Jordan Spieth

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
First time playing in this event

Good week for him to get going again and get ready for the playoffs.

Paul Casey

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
75 T47 T26

Watch him as his game is sharp and he is looking very hard to try and make not only the FedEx Cup but also regain his tour card. He needs to either win or finish 2nd for that to happen.

Solid contenders

David Toms

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
CUT T17 2 T24 T41 T4 T37

Watch him this week, course is good for him and he finished 7th at Oak Hill. Was 2nd at the Wyndham in 2010.

Hideki Matsuyama

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
First time playing in this event

Has earned his PGA Tour for 2014, would like to end his season with a bang of being in contention this week.

Sergio Garcia

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
Win 4 T13

Season has been a bust but he could regain the magic that he had last year.

Carl Pettersson

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T4 T4 CUT T67 Win 5 CUT T11 T35 86

Another past winner that hasn’t made much noise in 2013 and could do that this week.

Long shots that could come through:

Tommy Gainey

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T50 3 T71 CUT

Lot’s riding on his performance this week to get a top-ten finish.

Roberto Castro

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
CUT

Been playing well of late, if he could finish T12th at Oak Hill he can have a good finish at Sedgefield.

Bud Cauley

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
3 T52

Another that has a lot riding on his having a really great week.

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