Originally the Greater Greensboro Open, this week’s event, now called the Wyndham Championship, has a storied past. Among the winners are some of the undisputed greats of the game: Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, Gary Player, Tom Weiskopf, Severiano Ballesteros and Sandy Lyle among them. From the mid-1970s it found a home at Forest Oaks, but back in 2008 it returned to its first host – Sedgefield Country Club. In truth, however, the tournament is no longer one that attracts the superstars because it has a regular place on the schedule in the week before the regular season ends. So the big names are getting set for the FedExCup Playoffs and the rest are squabbling over the last places in that beanfeast or fretting about playing rights for next season. It’s still a nice tourney, however, and a good one for punters and gamers alike.
Sedgefield Country Club
We’re in for a treat this week and one that feels very familiar. That’s not only the case because the PGA TOUR has been coming here for years. Nor is it just because the set-up is a classic Donald Ross design that complies with traditional principles of architecture. It’s also because it’s not long since the Rocket Mortgage Classic was at Detroit Golf Club which is another Ross design which presented an almost identical challenge.
Sedegefield is a course that does not need to be taken on from the tee box. There will be golfers who attempt to do so, but they are mostly witless. The only way to find trouble is by trying to overpower from the tee and then landing in the gnarly Bermuda rough. The fairways are often blind and sometimes doglegged, but they are not especially difficult to find. The smart play is to find them and then fire at the pins before hoping their eye is in on the greens.
Those greens are smallish, further enhacing the need to hit them from the fairway and it also means that if players find them they will often be looking at birdie. The putting surfaces were bent grass, but in 2012 changed to Bermuda. “This golf course is always about hitting fairways,” said Ryan Armour. “If you hit the fairways, you can find the pin locations.” It’s 7,117 yards in length and a par 70.
The weather for Greensboro, North Carolina is good before the weekend. We can expect sunshine with a bit of cloud and nothing but a light wind to refresh from the mid-80s temperatures. Not much will change at the weekend except for the chance of thunderstorms, currently forecast as “isolated” and “scattered”.
Past Champions at Sedgefield CC
We’ll stick with the return to the course in 2008 rather than dwell on the past and the trend has been for tee-to-green flushers to prevail if they’re having a good week with the flat-stick.
Swede Carl Petterrson started the ball re-running and he was followed by Ryan Moore and Arjun Atwal before a high quality set of winners took the honors. There was Webb Simpson in 2011, Sergio Garcia in 2012, Patrick Reed a year later, Camilo Villegas followed him, Henrik Stenson claimed success in 2017 and then Brandt Snedeker lifted the trophy.
Si-Woo Kim was something of a surprise in 2016, as was J.T. Poston in 2019, but nothing like Jim Herman last year. From the end of August 2018 to his win here last August Herman played 44 times on TOUR and made only 13 cuts. Of those 13 only two results were top 25, but both were wins: the 2019 Barbasol Championship and here. Consistency? Pff, who cares about such things?
Note the names of Simpson, Garcia, Love III, Kim and Stenson: all five have won here at Sedgefield and also at TPC Sawgrass in THE PLAYERS Championship.
Here’s are some entirely FREE suggestions for you this week with MORE for subscribers (DraftKings Prices)
|A list||W. Simpson||$10,600|
|B list||K. Kisner||$8,400|
|B list||B. Snedeker||$7,900|
|C list||R. Sabbatini||$7,300|
|C list||R. Armour||$7,000|
Webb Simpson ($10,600) To say that Simpson is a course specialist seems almost laughably insufficient a term. That said, he missed the cut on debut in 2009, but since then has landed nine finishes of T–11 or better in 11 starts, never missing the cut, only once finishing outside the top 22, winning in 2011, and landing four top threes in his last four appearances. He rediscovered his form with a top 20 at the British Open and backed it up with T–15 last week in the high grade WGC-St Jude Invitational. Frankly, he has the profile of a player with a $11k salary.
Kevin Kisner ($8,400) Kisner likes short tracks where he can shape the ball and he’s proved it time and time again. Moreover he’s done so here and also in Detroit. He’s not missed a weekend at Sedgefield in six visits and has three top 10s in his last four starts. At Detroit, he is 3-for-3 with two top 10s in his last two visits, including T–8 last month.
Brandt Snedeker ($7,900) Snedeker was a winner of this event when it was held at Forest Oaks and he has retained fondness for it since the host change. He won in 2018 and, before then, ticked off four top 10 finishes. In all, he’s made the cut 10 times in 12 appearances. He’s also played well at Detroit. He was T–5 there on debut in 2019 and T–38 last month.
Rory Sabbatini ($7,300) Fresh from Olympic glory (he claimed the silver medal for his adopted country Slovakia), Sabbatini seems sure to be floating on air this week. The course in Japan would be a good primer for him: traditional, but tighter than this week. Freed up, he can add to his three top 10s at Sedgefield in six starts (and he’s also finished T–3 at Detroit so likes a Ross test).
Ryan Armour ($7,000) A short par-70 is an Armour kind of examination. It didn’t look like it when he missed the cut in his first two course visits, but he followed with two top 10s and then a pair of top 25s. He was T–4 at halfway on his Detriot debut in 2019 (finishing T–46), then actually landed T–4 after 72 holes in 2020. Has two top 10s in his last three starts.
Keith Mitchell ($7,100) I’m really not sure that a Donald Ross test is Mitchell’s thing. He finished T–41 on his Wyndham debut, missed the cut when he returned last year, and he’s also failed to make the weekend the one time he ventured to Detriot. There are times to back this big-hitter, but this week is not one of them.
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Here’s Another Alternate of Core Picks For the Wyndham Championship
|A list||J. Kokrak||$10,000|
|B list||S. Im||$9,600|
|B list||K. Na||$8,800|
|C list||M. Hughes||$7,600|
|C list||C. Kirk||$7,200|
Jason Kokrak ($10,000) Kokrak excels tee-to-green and is not afraid to keep the driver in the bag when necessary. He proved that most recently when a winner at Colonial in the Charles Schwab Challenge. He had his early difficulties at Sedgefield, but he’s come to terms with them and he’s also enjoyed Detroit. His last six starts on those Ross designs have always reaped complete tournaments, five of them top 30s, four top 20s. He’s also failed to play four rounds of golf just once in 2021, at the U.S. Open. Mr Consistent.
Sungjae Im ($9,600) The Korean looks back to his ultra-reliable ways and has made six weekends in a row. Far more importantly, he loves this course and the similar Detroit test. In this event he’s finished T–6 and T–8, while at Detroit he’s always made the cut and was T–8 last month.
Kevin Na ($8,800) Yet another fellow who abslutely thrives when faced with this cahllenge. Admittedly his results are somewhat in the past, but, after missing the cut on debut in 2008, he reeeled off three top 20 finishes, the latter two top 10s and the most recent fourth place. He was a winner at Waialae in January (a course not unlike this week), landed T–2 on his penultimate start, and was T–23 last week at TPC Southwind.
Mackenzie Hughes ($7,600) I’d rate this as one of the best value salaries I’ve seen in quite a while. First up, his form: T–15 in the U.S. Open (when leading after 54 holes), T–14 at Detroit (nice), and T–6 in the British Open. Sure, he struggled in the Olympics, but he did manage a 65 in round three so the form has not entirely disappeared. Perhaps he has a poor course record then? Well, no, not really. He did little more than make the cut on debut in 2018, but a year later he was T–22 when third after 18 and 36 holes.
Chris Kirk ($7,200) Remember that Sawgrass link? Kirk hasn’t missed a cut there in his last eight starts, led after 54 holes in 2015, and led midway through the event this season. He’s also made the weekend in his last five course visits (and was T–11 in 2018), plus plus he’s always liked Detroit: T–21 in 2020 (leading at halfway) and T–12 this year.
Bubba Watson ($9,000) I do like Bubba but I keep putting him up in this category because I can’t see the value or sense. True, he finished T–6 at Detroit in July, but that was a massive outlier. With this salary, his two missed cuts here and two at Detroit in 2019 and 2020, weigh very heavy. And worse, he made the cut last month by just the one shot.
It’s fairly self-explanatory. I like the Donald Ross angle. Last year, three of the top five had played Detroit and thrived with their approach work. The year before 12 players finished top five, 10 of them played Detroit, nine made the cut, seven made the top 25. The tests are so similar it just makes a whole lot of sense.
Other Player Options For The Wyndham Championship
• Si-Woo Kim has proved his liking for the course since his win with back-to-back top six finishes in the last two years. The worry is that he’s landed just one top 30 since the Masters.
• You might easily think this is a good set-up for Brian Harman but beware. He has nine top 20s in his last 12 starts, but just two top 20s in eight course starts. That pair were top 10s, however.
• Can Hideki Matsuyama ride the wave? He flew home last week to make the extra holes and he has a feast or famine course record: three top 20s and three missed cuts; nothing in-between.
COVID-19 and Injury Warning:
Pro DFS players know it makes sense to stay up-to-date on Twitter, DraftKings, FanDuel and-or subscribe to any number of email feeds and whatever to remain up to speed with injuries or COVID-19 withdraws. Players that don’t make the cut are tough enough. Players that don’t play all four rounds (even when pulling out at the last minute) make for a pretty weak lineup.
Go win your lineups and then tell us how you did. Twitter (@FantasyDFSX) is a good place for that.
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