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BlogWyndham Championship Preview and Picks

Wyndham Championship

August 16th – 19th, 2018

Sedgefield Country Club

Greensboro,, NC

Par: 70 / Yardage: 7,127

Purse: $6 million

with $1,080,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Henrik Stenson

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 22 of the top 100 and 7 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with two from the top-20 in the field #19 Henrik Stenson and #20 Webb Stenson: The rest of the top 50 players are #25 Sergio Garcia, #28 Rafael Cabrera Bello, # Satoshi Kodaira, #42 Daniel Berger and #43 Matthew Fitzpatrick.

Last year there was 24 top 100 players and 7 top 50 players in the field.

The field includes just 1 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2018, Webb Simpson

The field includes 8 past champions: Henrik Stenson (2017), SiWoo Kim (2016), Davis Love III (2015 & ’06), Sergio Garcia (2012), Webb Simpson (2011), Ryan Moore (2009), Carl Pettersson (2008) and Brandt Snedeker (2007).

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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 the average finish.  Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the Wyndham Championship field in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the Wyndham Championship field.

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 Barracuda Champion. Canadian Open Porsche European Open Open Championship Barbasol John Deere Scottish Open The Greenbrier Irish Open Quicken Loans
Webb Simpson
(153.67 pts)
T19
(62)
T24
(39)
DNP DNP DNP T12
(50.67)
DNP DNP DNP T47
(2)
DNP DNP
Shane Lowry
(150.33 pts)
T12
(76)
DNP T15
(35)
T12
(38)
DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T28
(14.67)
DNP
Jason Kokrak
(143.33 pts)
T19
(62)
DNP DNP T12
(38)
DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP DNP T3
(60)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Chad Campbell
(139.67 pts)
DNP DNP 2
(100)
T37
(13)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T7
(36.67)
DNP T69
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Harold Varner III
(122.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T17
(33)
DNP DNP DNP 6
(40)
DNP T5
(46.67)
DNP T41
(3)
Rafael Cabrera-Bello
(116.17 pts)
T10
(80)
T17
(49.5)
DNP DNP DNP 74
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Brandt Snedeker
(112.67 pts)
T42
(16)
DNP DNP T8
(50)
DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP DNP T3
(60)
DNP DNP
John Oda
(100.67 pts)
DNP DNP T3
(90)
DNP DNP DNP T34
(10.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Julian Suri
(100 pts)
T19
(62)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T28
(29.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP 27
(15.33)
DNP
William McGirt
(99.67 pts)
DNP DNP 6
(60)
T29
(21)
DNP DNP T12
(25.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T69
(0)
DNP DNP
Whee Kim
(99.33 pts)
CUT
(-20)
DNP DNP T2
(100)
DNP DNP T66
(0)
T16
(22.67)
DNP T74
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Billy Horschel
(97.67 pts)
T35
(30)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T17
(11)
Sam Ryder
(97.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP 78
(0)
DNP DNP T7
(36.67)
T2
(66.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T48
(0.67)
Joaquin Niemann
(88.67 pts)
T71
(0)
DNP DNP T37
(13)
DNP DNP DNP T23
(18)
DNP T5
(46.67)
DNP T17
(11)
Sam Saunders
(88.33 pts)
DNP DNP T7
(55)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T60
(0)
DNP T5
(46.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Mackenzie Hughes
(87.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
T8
(50)
DNP DNP T60
(0)
T16
(22.67)
DNP T13
(24.67)
DNP DNP
Abraham Ancer
(85.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP 5
(70)
DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP DNP T47
(2)
DNP T4
(26.67)
Johnson Wagner
(83.33 pts)
DNP DNP T26
(24)
T29
(21)
DNP DNP T31
(12.67)
T16
(22.67)
DNP T65
(0)
DNP T41
(3)
Ollie Schniederjans
(82 pts)
T59
(0)
DNP 5
(70)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T26
(16)
DNP T32
(6)
Chris Stroud
(80.67 pts)
T65
(0)
DNP T7
(55)
T37
(13)
DNP DNP DNP T30
(13.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T32
(6)
Bronson Burgoon
(76.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP T30
(13.33)
DNP T6
(20)
Ryan Moore
(75.33 pts)
T59
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T12
(50.67)
DNP T55
(0)
DNP T13
(24.67)
DNP DNP
Richy Werenski
(71.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
T23
(18)
DNP T69
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Hudson Swafford
(71 pts)
DNP DNP T11
(39)
T12
(38)
DNP DNP DNP T50
(0.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP
Tyler Duncan
(69.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T17
(33)
DNP DNP T49
(0.67)
T12
(25.33)
DNP T39
(7.33)
DNP T41
(3)

How Player Rankings are Computed

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

Player PGA Championship WGC – Bridgestone Barracuda Champion. Canadian Open Porsche European Open Open Championship Barbasol John Deere Scottish Open The Greenbrier Irish Open Quicken Loans
Bill Haas
(-46.67 pts)
CUT
(-20)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T72
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T71
(0)
Padraig Harrington
(-45.67 pts)
CUT
(-20)
DNP T50
(1)
DNP DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Andrew Yun
(-43.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Cameron Tringale
(-40 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP
Daniel Summerhays
(-36.67 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T53
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Marty Dou Zecheng
(-36.67 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP WD
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP
Norman Xiong
(-33.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP
Harris English
(-32.33 pts)
DNP DNP T50
(1)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Kyle Thompson
(-29.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T44
(4)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP
Jonas Blixt
(-28.67 pts)
DNP DNP T42
(8)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T53
(0)

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

Are there any questions on who our player of the year is going to me?  Have to say that Brooks Koepka put on quite a display at Bellerive and showing why he could be the best player in the world.  Since Tiger Woods downfall we have seen many players that look like they could step into Woods’ shoes and dominate golf.  Between Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson all of them have been number one golfers in the Official World Rankings but all of them have shown a vulnerability that has made it impossible to keep up the dominant role.  For McIlroy, it’s a combination of inconsistence ball striking and putting while for Jason Day it seems he can’t stay healthy and seems not to have that killer instincts to playing great week in and week out.  Dustin Johnson also has the same problem, he is a terrific talent, but I fear that he also enjoys the spoils of being very rich and spending more time on a great beach someplace in the world than practicing.  Then we have the newcomers to the scene, Jordan Spieth, and Justin Thomas. For Spieth, he lives and dies with his putting, and we have seen that he has had problems with the flat stick, thus his inconsistency and lack of not being able to put together a consistent 72 holes of golf.  Justin Thomas seems to have the same inconsistency and is now nothing more than a very streaky player who goes up and down as much as a rollercoaster.

Then we have our newest member of the club Brooks Koepka, who got his start playing in places like Kazakhstan and winning in places like Catalunya, Italy, and Turkey before winning the U.S. Opens and PGA Championships.  What makes Koepka different from the others is this athleticism which the others have, but he has taken it a step further.   In a way, it reminds you of Ivan Drago character of the Supreme Soviet boxer in the movie Rocky IV.  Yes, Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson are buffed up, but Brooks Koepka could easily win any contest as having the best body of anyone in golf.  It’s hard to believe that Koepka has won just four times on the PGA Tour and three of them are majors.  It’s a bit like Nick Faldo who has won 9 times on the PGA Tour with 6 of them being majors.  Still, it’s a remarkable accomplishment and you have to think is Brooks Koepka the new golfing machine.  I bring up the Ivan Drago character because there are not many players as buff and physically fit as Koepka and that is the reason he is so good.  He can overpower a golf course and with his excellent touch and feel around the green, and on the green, it’s a hard combination to find people to beat him.  He also showed that he wouldn’t back down and when he gets pressure put on him, as Tiger Woods and Adam Scott did on Sunday, he notches it up a level.

Now the only thing that I wonder about Koepka as we still stretch for someone to do what Tiger did between 1999 and 2008 is if Koepka is that guy.  In watching Koepka on the back nine on Sunday, I wonder how he only has won 4 times on the PGA Tour?  Is there some flaws in which will make him finish T-39th at the British Open or miss the cut last month at the RBC Canadian Open.  Koepka may be a bit like Thomas, going on a 3 event streak and then struggling for five or six tournaments in a row.  Still, you have to like him winning three times in the last 5 majors he played in.  Many forget that Koepka was down the first 4 months of the year with a wrist injury and didn’t even play in the Masters.  Some say that the wrist may not be completely healed and that his aggressive play is the reason for the injury and it could return, guess we will have to wait and see.  For years some said that Tiger would have back problems because of his aggressive swing and he did, so we will have to wait and see what happens and if Koepka will be able to win more by getting more consistent from week to week.

Tiger is back

What a hell of a show Tiger put on with his final round 64.  After his excellent play at the British Open, you have to wonder if this signals that Tiger is back and will win again, possibly in a major.  In the past, we have seen signs of good play from Tiger, but he just wasn’t able to sustain it.  In talking with CBS Peter Kostis early in the week, he thought that Tiger just wasn’t able to cope with getting into contention and back off, yes it looked that way at Carnoustie.  But on Sunday he came out and played very aggressively in shooting 64.  Tiger’s driver was a problem, but the instincts of the old Tiger Woods seemed to kick in and keep him close to Brooks.  In the end, it was Brooks Koepka’s great play that prevented Tiger from winning.  One thing that is certain, don’t have to worry about Tiger being an assistant captain on the Ryder Cup team, with his high finishes in both the British Open and PGA Championship he will get one of captain Jim Furyk’s 4 picks.

For some the season will be over this week at the Wyndham:

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, while the others waited for the playoffs to finish.  Then they had five to seven event to get into the top-125 of the money list and save their Tour cards for the following year.

The system is drastically different since 2013.  The Wyndham is now the last regular tour event for 2018, so for many its 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 their PGA Tour cards.

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 gone 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 Web.Com Tour for a year.

Now the pain of qualifying is based on four events over the course of five weeks.  So in a way, the torture is greatly expanded, but in a sense, you have more chances to qualify and regain your card.  Here is how it runs.  For those that are not in the top-125 of the FedEx Cup point totals, those between 126 and 175 they get into the four-tournament Web.Com Tour finals.  The events are the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship in Columbus, Ohio (August 23rd – 26th), the DAP Championship in Beachwood, Ohio, (August 30th – Sept. 2), the Albertsons Boise Open in Boise, Id (Sept 13 – 16)  and then the Web.Com Tour Championship played at the Atlantic Beach C.C. in Atlantic Beach, Fl. (Sept 20 – 23rd).

Those between 126 and 175 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 significant advantage over the PGA Tour players because the PGA Tour players will have zero dollars while those on the Web.Com Tour will have their money.  But with each event having a bigger purse with the 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 poorly 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 miss the old PGA Tour qualifying tournament, but in a way, this will be easier for players to regain their cards.  The only problem, new players, aren’t finding a way into the final qualifying tournament and can’t have that shining moment, something that about a half-dozen players a year get to do.  So to break into the PGA Tour, it 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 Wyndham will be necessary for those not only getting into the top-125 but also to have some chance and get into the top-175.

For those that want to look and see what players have to do, the PGA Tour has an excellent sheet with the scenarios for those in the Wyndham, who is playing this week and who isn’t.

For those wondering, here are the Noteworthy players on the FedExCup top 125 bubble in the Wyndham Championship field

(note: all (except Sergio Garcia & Lucas Glover) are in the Wyndham Championship field)

FEC Standing        Player

  • 123    Seamus Power
  • 124    Martin Piller
  • 125    Tyrone Van Aswegen
  • 126    Chad Campbell
  • 127    Robert Garrigus
  • 128    Corey Conners
  • 129    Nick Taylor
  • 130    Tom Lovelady
  • 131    Sergio Garcia (Doesn’t have to worry about losing his card)
  • 132    Harris English
  • 133    Lucas Glover (not in the field)
  • 134    Ben Silverman
  • 135    Derek Fathauer
  • 136    Johnson Wagner
  • 137    Aaron Baddeley
  • 138    Talor Gooch
  • 139    Shane Lowry

Tournament information:

  • Created in 1938, the 2018 edition of the Wyndham Championship will be the 79th tournament. Initially known as the Greater Greensboro Open, the tournament has blossomed from its small roots. The event was the vision of the Greensboro Jaycee’s Chapter, which was but a year old when the idea was conceived. Many were in favor of the creation of a golf tournament; however, no one took steps to create an event until, at a meeting in the summer of 1937, Joseph Bryan put up capital to back the event. The PGA Tour placed the tournament on the 1938 schedule.
  • If Joseph Bryan is credited with being the backer, then Sam Snead is the owner of the event. His eight victories at Greensboro, including the inaugural event, was a record for most wins by a player at one tournament until Tiger tied him in several events. The Greensboro-based tournament had been played every year except for 1943 and 1944 when the event paused because of World War II.
  • The tournament name held until 1988 when Kmart became the title sponsor, and the event became known as the Kmart Greater Greensboro Open.  After an eight-year run, Chrysler took over in 1996, and in 2003 the Greater was dropped in favor of Chrysler Classic of Greensboro. That name held until 2006 when Daimler Chrysler pulled out as title sponsor, and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts took over. The 2014 Wyndham Championship has ramifications for the FedEx Cup Championship. The Wyndham Championship is the last event in which golfers, vying for position in the playoff system, can earn points.
  • For 31 years between 1977 and 2007, Forest Oaks Country Club hosted the event, but it wasn’t considered “fan friendly,” and the course wasn’t very memorable.  One of the reasons that Forest Oaks got the event in 1977 from Sedgefield was because the course was too short and didn’t have the room and parking to handle big crowds.  It was a big disappointment for the members when they lost the event, and many had been lobbying to get it back.  With Wyndham taking over the sponsorship and having it’s offices nearby, and the membership invested $3 million in renovating the course and opened the doors for the return.  When the course was reopened in 2007 to rave reviews, it was decided to change venues for 2008 and has held the event ever since.

Course information:

  • Between 1938 and 1976 Sedgefield held the Wyndham Championship 26 times and was considered a tremendous old Donald Ross course.  Unfortunately, the course was short and small for galleries, so the event moved on.  Still, the course was considered a gem, and for years membership tried to lure it back.
  • Sedgefield founded in 1925, is located in the rolling hills of Greensboro’s Sedgefield neighborhood. The club has hosted many amateur golf tournaments as well as 32 years of the Wyndham Championship. In addition to its Donald Ross-designed golf course, Sedgefield is perhaps best known for its signature clubhouse, a Tudor-style building housed in the framework of the original Sedgefield Inn built in 1925, the Atlantic Coast Conference was founded in this building in 1953.
  • Couple of years ago the club entrusted North Carolina course architect Kris Spence with the job of restoring the course back to its original Donald Ross design while making adjustments to bring the course in line with the modern game.  Spence’s renovation added another 400 yards to Sedgefield, bringing its length to 7,130 yards. Par will be 70 as the 18th hole will be converted into a par 4.
  • Emphasis must be put on ball placement in the fairway to get the appropriate angle to the green. The greens at Sedgefield are very undulating and slope from back to front, with many falling off the edges into collection areas.  In 2013 Sedgefield played to a 69.383 scoring average, more than a shot under par for the field.  It ranked as the 23rd hardest of 43 courses for 2013.  In 2016 it played to a scoring average of 69.209 and ranked 38th out of the 48 courses for the year.  Last year the course played very easy to a 68.81 average and ranked 37th hardest course.
  • It will be an exciting scenario for the players that a Donald Ross course will be used to get players ready for next month’s Tour Championship that will be played on another Ross course at Eastlake, outside of Atlanta.

Let’s take a look at vital stats that are important for those playing at Sedgefield

This is based on the most vital stats from Sedgefield C.C., based on data from last year’s Wyndham Championship and using data from all the players in the field with stats from 2018.
For the third week in a row, the tour plays a course that driving it straight matters a lot, the key to playing well at Sedgefield is to hit it straight and position your drives for the shot into the green. A look at the list of champions at the Wyndham since the event went back to Sedgefield in 2008 shows that the list of winners are guys that either hit is short and straight, or in the case of hitting it long players like Webb Simpson, Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed, Si Woo Kim and last year’s winner Henrik Stenson that also can hit it straight and long. Another important aspect of driving, the holes that dogleg need players to lay it up to avoid going through the fairway and it’s always best to be in the fairways. The course is tree line and that is more of a hazard than the rough which is not as penal as it could be.
Like any other great Donald Ross course, the greens are tough, first in hitting them if you miss them it’s a hard up and down. The greens are also pretty flat and lot’s of putts are made, but good and bad putters. So it’s a course that favors short hitters, those that do scramble well and average putters. Last week was a perfect example, winner Brooks Koepka was able to scramble ok getting it up and down 14 of the 18 greens he missed to rank T-2nd and putt great and yes he did make a lot of birdies.

So in looking at our four categories, we see how much driving and getting the ball on the green makes a difference. So we pick Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green because at Sedgefield putting the ball in play off the tee is very important, probably one of the most important items on this Donald Ross course. Then getting the ball on the greens is important and we all know how hard it is to hit a Donald Ross green. That is why next up is scrambling because the greens are hard to hit when you miss the green you have to get it up and down to win. After that putting average is important, last year Sedgefield was T-11th in putting average so it’s important to play well to putt well on this course We are going to take it a step further and use the strokes gained-putting stat for our third category. Last we have birdies, last year 1,825 birdies were made, only one other course, Glen Abbey for the RBC Canadian Open saw more birdies made. So we are using the Birdie average for our final category.

*Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green: Looks at the combination of length off the tee and accuracy, then getting the ball on the green so it determines who is best at all of these items.

*Scrambler: Who gets it up and down after missing a green.

*Strokes Gained-Putting: Look who picks up the most strokes on the greens.

*Birdie average: Players who average the most birdies made per round.

Here are the 125 of 156 players from this year’s field with stats from 2018:

Click any column title in the table header to sort columns.

Here is a link to the other 115 players left in the pool

DraftKings tips

*Here are the guys that cost the most on DraftKings this week:

  • Webb Simpson – $11,600
  • Hideki Matsuyama – $11,300
  • Henrik Stenson – $11,000
  • Brandt Snedeker – $10,400
  • Rafael Cabrera-Bello – $10,100
  • Shane Lowry – $10,000
  • Joaquin Niemann – $9,700
  • Billy Horschel – $9,600
  • Russell Henley – $9.400
  • Daniel Berger – $9,300
  • Sergio Garcia – $9,200
  • Ryan Moore – $9,000

This is one of these weeks where you will do better off with the average price player.  The concept of this week is mostly for people to have a last-ditch try at either saving their tour card or at best running up enough FedExCup points to possibly go further into the playoffs.  So you won’t see Dustin or Brooks or Jordan or Rory playing this week.  As you can see only one person that is in the top-25 of the FedExCup rankings is playing, Webb Simpson and that’s mostly because he is from North Carolina, loves the tournament and course.

So, of course, that is the reason that Webb Simpson is the most expensive at $11,600.  He has played ok since winning the Players and does well at Sedgefield, but boy he will take a big chunk out of your $50,000.  Hideki Matsuyama is the same problem at $11,300, yes the course is good for him but he hasn’t played great this year and is way too much, take a pass on him.  Henrik Stenson at $11,000 is also not a good pick, he has struggled since finishing T-6th at the U.S. Open and has struggled in part due to an undisclosed elbow injury.  Brandt Snedeker at $10,400 is also a lot of money, but he does play well at Sedgefield and has had some top-tens over the summer including a T-3rd at Greenbrier, so he isn’t that bad of a choice.  $10,100 is a lot of money for Rafael Cabrera-Bello who did finish T-5th at Sedgefield in 2016 and was T-10th last week at Bellerive.  Shane Lowry is also expensive for $10,000 but he has three top-15 finishes in a row and was T-7th last year at Sedgefield.  I have been very high on Joaquin Niemann but he is very expensive at $9,700 for a guy untested at Sedgefield so I would take a pass on him.  Billy Horschel at $9,600 is way too expensive and yes I know he was T-5th in 2016 but still that isn’t enough for me to take him.  Same with Russell Henley at $9,400, just not enough meat on the bone for me to take him this week.  The same with Daniel Berger at $9,300, not enough good golf of late or at Sedgefield to risk that high of a price. Another bust is Sergio Garcia at $9,200, he has had problems of making the cut and even though he has some good times at Sedgefield, it’s not enough for you to take him.  Ryan Moore at $9,000 is another person to pass on, just hasn’t shown any good play of late and his record isn’t that great at the Wyndham.

*Players in that $7,500 to $8,900 price range, which ones are worth the money?:

So the meat of your line-up has to come from this price range.  Si Woo Kim at $8,800 is a possibility, he has a good record at Sedgefield including a win in 2016.  Jason Dufner at $8,400 is ok, his record at Sedgefield and is worth a look. I always like Steve Stricker and at $8,300 it’s a good price.  The only problem he has never played at Sedgefield, but the course is good for him.  Brendan Steele at $7,600 is ok, it’s a jump of faith to take him but has been ok at Sedgefield.  Last in this section is Jamie Lovemark at $7,500, he is worth the money.

*Some of the “bargains” this week at the Wyndham

Patrick Rodgers at $7,400 is ok, his game is close and ready for a good week.  Same with Martin Laird at $7,300 sticks out, he isn’t the best but it’s time for him to have a good week.  Richy Werenski at $7,300 is another worth the gamble, he was T-2nd at Barbasol and was T-10th at Sedgefield last year.  Sam Saunders at $7,100 is also a good choice, he has done well during the summer and could play well this week.  Nick Watney is also a good buy at $7,100 and should be considered.  Now the best pick for this week goes to Brian Gay at $7,100, he was 6th at Barbasol and he has all of the stats to show he should play well this week.

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 essential.
  • Now this tournament was made famous by Sam Snead, who won it eight times, the 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 $6 million his Greensboro earnings would have been around $8 million.  Oh, Snead is the only winner in Greensboro history to defend his championship and with Davis Love III not playing due to surgery last month that record will stay intact for another year.

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

Length is 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 settles for using a long iron for control. Past winners of the event are some of the best iron players on tour. The likes of Henrik Stenson, 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 challenging part of the golf course. There is a reason that 2015 winner Davis Love III won at age 51 and that is experience.  The past winners from Sedgefield except for Arjun Atwal in 2010 experience players so look for someone like that to win.

Hitting greens will be at a premium at this Donald Ross gem, just like it was last week at Bellerive.   Hitting lots of greens goes a long way at the Wyndham Championship.  Look for the winner to hit greens in bunches.

North Carolina in the summertime is rife with heat and humidity, primarily since it was hot last week. This will be important because the bent grass greens will bake making the undulated greens even more challenging.

Talking about the weather, the weather will be a lot better than it was in St. Louis for the PGA Championship.  This week Wyndham will see great weather until Saturday when it will be more humid with 50% chance of thunderstorms.

 

 

Who to watch for at the Wyndham Championship

Best Bets:

Webb Simpson

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
3 T72 T6 T5 T11 T22 Win T8 CUT

Loves playing here and has done well in the past, look for that to rub off as he plays well this week.

Brandt Snedeker

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T3 T43 T5 CUT T28 CUT T8 T5 T69 Win

Game that is coming around will be perfect for this week.

Russell Henley

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T46

Guy has the knack for doing very well and keeping things together.

Best of the rest:

Steve Stricker

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T12

Still plays great on the PGA Tour on courses just like Sedgefield.

Hideki Matsuyama

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T3 CUT CUT 15

Could his game turn around or will he be lost. I tend to think he blows off on Tuesday.

Brendan Steele

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T11 T66

Game is ok, it will still be a struggle on the Web.Com Tour. Oh don’t try getting me on the phone, it’s in a safe place while I beat out the river.

Chesson Hadley

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
CUT T57 CUT CUT CUT CUT

Has the game to play on a course like this and doing well.

Solid contenders

Ryan Moore

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T24 T53 T10 T37 CUT Win CUT T6

Loves courses like Sedgefield, look for a great week from him.

Billy Horschel

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T60 T5 CUT T47 T46 T30

Has been good in sneaking in and playing in the desert again.

Shane Lowry

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T7 T42

Guy plays well at Sedgefield, but he is tired of dealing with the White House.

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
First time playing in this event

Long shots that could come through:

Richy Werenski

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T10

Was good at Sedgefield last year.

Sam Saunders

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T37 T68 T14

His game has been good of late so maybe he can contend.

Patrick Rodgers

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T38 WD

Another case of a player that could do some damage if he plays well.

Comments

  1. Micahel M says:

    Sal – ok we are down to the wire, and in 2nd place in a 1-and-done league. of your top Draft King guys/others – here’s who we have left:
    WHO DO YOU LIKE?????? HELP!!!!
    Si Woo Kim
    Hideki Matsuyama
    Brandt Snedeker
    Rafael Cabrera-Bello
    Shane Lowry
    Joaquin Niemann
    Billy Horschel
    Sergio Garcia
    Ryan Moore
    Chesson Hadley

  2. I think the first column in the chart should be “Strokes Gained Tee to Green,” not “Scrambler.”

  3. mike rourke says:

    Above you say to pass on Ryan Moore and then list him as a solid contender and say “look for him to have a great week “

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