Pat Mayo and Geoff Fienberg preview the course and run through the odds while making their 2021 Wyndham Championship Picks. The guys give their fantasy golf picks, provide their one and done strategy for the event from Sedgefield CC.
2021 Wyndham Championship: Field
Field: 156 Players | Top 65 and Ties Make the Cut after 36 Holes
First Tee: Thursday, August 12
Defending Champion: Jim Herman
The PGA TOUR regular season comes to its conclusion this week in Greensboro with a lot of uncertainty for some recognizable names on the playoff bubble. While the FedEx Cup seems trivial to most fans against the Majors and International team events, the players actually take this very seriously. Turns out a $60M prize pool with a bonus $15M going to the winner will garner interest for the players, shockingly. It’s the reason Louis Oosthuizen skipped the Olympics. He wants that cash.
It’s likely the reason Louis will be teeing off at Sedgefield for the first time. He’s just trying to bank as many points as possible to get himself into the best position for East Lake. It’s also a great tune up course for the TOUR Championship in a few weeks. Sedgefield and East Lake are both Donald Ross courses on Bermudagrass in the southern United States. There has been plenty of crossover success between the venues over the years. If you’re worried about extra reps, this is a perfect spot to play, if the big money in Atlanta is the ultimate goal.
Along with Louis, the field is headlined by Brian Harman, Jason Kokrak, Webb Simpson, Hideki Matsuyama, Will Zalatoris, Russell Henley, Chris Kirk, Kevin Na, Matthew Wolff, Bubba Watson and Patrick Reed, who is playing his fifth straight week, with presumably the next three playoffs on the docket. Five golf tournaments in a row isn’t the most strenuous thing, but his travel has to be at some point. He’s now gone from England - Minneapolis - Tokyo - Memphis - Greensboro in that time. Memphis to Greensboro is no big deal, but that’s a lot of ink pressed on a passport the last month.
The Wyndham certainly isn’t the strongest field, but there are some bigger names playing to actually get into the playoffs. Gary Woodland, Matt Kuchar, Adam Scott and Rickie Fowler are all on the playoff bubble. A made cut should be enough to squeeze them through into the big money round. That’s still a should however. Others like Charles Howell, Francesco Molinari, Rory Sabbatini, Michael Thompson, Ryan Moore and more, can still vault themselves up the standings with a quality finish this week as well. So nothing is a guarantee outside of a great finish advancing you.
2021 Wyndham Championship: Course
Course: Sedgefield CC
2021 Wyndham Championship: Key Stats
Par 4s Gained 400-450 Yards
Mayo’s Key Stats powered by FantasyNational.com
2021 Wyndham Championship: Past Winners
2020 Jim Herman -21
2019 JT Poston -22
2018 Brandt Snedeker -21
2017 Henrik Stenson -22
2016 SI WOOOO Kim -21
2015 Davis Love III -17
2021 Wyndham Championship: Notes
Like many the events we’ve encountered the last six weeks or so, the Wyndham is another wedge and hot putting birdiefest. With the added bonus of Sedgefield CC being a short course, thus deemphasizing driving distance, every skill set in the field has a chance to contend.
Each of the past five champions have breached the -20 barrier in their victories with — Strokes Gained: Approach and Strokes Gained: Putting — being more than twice as impactful to the Top 5 finishers on the leaderboard the last eight years. The Bermuda greens putting surfaces are around TOUR average (6,500 sq. feet) and historically run faster than most PGA TOUR greens.
With just two Par 5s on the layout, both reachable in two by every player in the field (No. 5 has has a 6.1% eagle rate, while No. 15 has a 4.2% eagle rate), it’s the eight Par 4s measuring between 400-450 yards that will end up being the separator. Over the past 24 rounds, per Fantasy National, Hank Lebioda, Kramer Hickok, Zach Johnson, Kevin Streelman and Ryan Armour have gained the most strokes on holes from that distance.
Beyond East Lake (TOUR Championship), Detroit CC (Rocket Mortgage Classic) is the other regular rotation Donald Ross course. There has been very little crossover between Detroit and Sedgefield however. Actually, even more than East Lake, it’s Harbour Town (Heritage) and TPC Sawgrass (The PLAYERS) which have been leaderboard corollaries over the years. And it makes sense: Shorter, Bermudagrass courses where most skillsets are live.
On a per-round basis, using stats just from Sawgrass, Sedgefield and Harbour Town, Webb Simpson, Chris Baker, JT Poston, Brian Harman and Adam Scott have the most Strokes Gained: Total over the past 24 rounds. If you shorten it to the last 12 rounds, Sungjae Im and Si Woo Kim jump inside the Top 3.
2021 Wyndham Championship Picks
Henley hasn’t played since The Open, however, his body of work, albeit sparse, has been excellent over the past two months. He notched Top 20s at the US Open, Travelers and John Deere before trunk slamming in England, and gained an average of over five strokes on approach in those three events. Now back on his preferred putting surface (+0.36 SG:PUTT/round on Bermuda), Sedgefield is a layout that can let him get away with his off-the-tee deficiencies.
Si WOOOOO Kim
If you were praying the 13 he made on a Par 3 in the final round at TPC Southwind would crush his odds, those have gone unanswered. It’s been a pretty horrendous run for the South Korean since his Top 10 at Memorial, but, weirdly, much like Bubba Watson, he has a few “happy places” on the PGA TOUR. It’s basically all Pete Dye courses and Sedgefield CC. He picked up his first career win on this course in 2016 and has posted consecutive Top 5 finishes the past two years. The stats will only tell you he’s a bad a play, but we know better with Si WOOOO. He even told me to play him this week.
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Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long and short-form content, and the host of The Pat Mayo Experience daily talk show. (Subscribe for video or audio). Mayo (@ThePME) won the 2020 Fantasy Sports Writing Association Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and Golf Writer of the Year awards, along with the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Best Sports Betting Analyst award, and was finalist for four FSWA Awards in 2020 (Best Podcast, Best Video, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). His 21 FSWA nominations lead all writers this decade and are third-most all-time. Mayo has been recognized across multiple sports (Football, Baseball & Golf), mediums (Video, Writing & Podcasting), genre (Humor), and game formats (Daily Fantasy and Traditions Season Long). Beyond sports, Mayo covers everything from entertainment to pop culture to politics. If you have a fantasy question, general inquiry or snarky comment, ship it to Mayo at ThePatMayoExperience@gmail.com and the best will be addressed on the show.
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