The Cheat Sheet provides fantasy golf players with course info, player history and the most noteworthy trends of the week to help them with their DraftKings roster selections.
This is the final full-field event before the PGA TOUR playoffs officially start. There are scheduled to be 150+ starters here and many of them will be anxious to improve their standing in the current FedEx cup ranks. For reference, the top 125 in the FedEx cup race will gain admittance to next week’s tournament (The Northern Trust) and also automatically get full-tour status for next season. After that, players will only receive conditional status and/or be relegated to the Web.com playoffs for the rest of the season.
It’s a huge week for players on the bubble and a story to monitor this week. Even though this is a “less than marquee event” there’s still some interesting names at the top. Brooks Koepka ($11,400) has surprisingly made the trip over from the West Coast to play here. Koepka ranks just 92nd in the FedEx Cup standings and clearly wants to improve his position before the playoffs begin. Jordan Spieth ($9,000) and Justin Rose ($9,900) are two other big-name players who will be looking for big weeks at Sedgefield to help improve their positions. There’s also a lot of big names on the bubble right now with Shane Lowry ($8,700), Sergio Garcia ($8,500) and Danny Willett ($7,200) all on the outside looking in at the moment.
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Sedgefield Country Club—Greensboro, North Carolina
Par 70, 7,127 yards; Greens: Champion Bermuda
Sedgefield Country Club is a Donald Ross designed course that’s hidden inside the suburbs of Greensboro North Carolina and has been the host of this event since 2007. Sedgefield isn’t long at around 7,100 or so yards and in past years it’s yielded some low scores—including recently in 2018 when the winner (Brandt Snedeker) shot 59 in round one. The greens here are now Bermuda (since 2012) and they can be slightly tricky and in general play quite fast; although it should be noted that as they have matured, scores here have gotten lower. This is important to note as players with affinities for Bermuda grass and quick greens will definitely have an advantage as the green complexes tend to be one of Sedgefield’s best defenses against low scores.
The course itself is a nice mix of challenging holes and some extremely moderate-to-easy ones. As a traditional par 70, there are two very reachable and very birdie-able par 5’s on this track and any player hoping to be in the mix will have to play these two in well under-par for the week. The last five winners all played these holes with scoring averages of 4.13 or better for the week.
Eight of the 12-par 4’s on the course measure in at under 450 yards in length and can be had for birdies by players going well with their irons. Sedgefield will be less about pure length or power and more about getting the ball in the correct position in the fairways as past winners have almost always found themselves in the top-20 in fairways hit for the week and in approaches. Finally, if you’re looking for course comparisons, a couple other Ross designed courses on the PGA TOUR at the moment include Detroit Golf Club, host of the recent Rocket Mortgage Classic and Aronimink Golf Club, which was last seen at the 2018 BMW Championship. Leaderboards there are at least a decent starting point to see who might handle this week’s layout the best.
2020 Outlook: The weather for this week does include some risk of thunderstorms. As of writing, each of the four days has at least 40% chance of precipitation, so expect some rain and moisture during the event. When the storms might actually come in will be hard to decipher but there’s likely to be at least a couple start-stop events during this tournament. The good news is that wind doesn’t appear like it will be a huge factor, with Thursday afternoon the only scheduled wave at the moment that has expected gusts over 10 mph. Receptive greens will only mean more chances for the players to go pin seeking here, so expect a bunch of birdies even if the weather isn’t perfect.
Last Five Winners
2019—J.T. Poston -22 (over Webb Simpson -21)
2018—Brandt Snedeker -21 (over Webb Simpson -18)
2017—Henrik Stenson -22 (over Ollie Schniederjans -21)
2016—Si Woo Kim -21 (over Luke Donald -16)
2015—Davis Love III -17 (over Jason Gore -16)
- Five of the last nine winners of this event had recorded a top ten at Sedgefield CC before their respective victory here.
- Of the last nine winners of this event, only two have finished outside the top 15 in Driving Accuracy for the week of their win (Reed 2013 and Snedeker 2018).
Winners Statistics and Course Stats
J.T. Poston (2019)
· Eight of the Par 4’s measure in between (or very close) to 400-450 yards in length. With more shorter holes the approach shot distribution here tends to fall far more in the 150-175 range and 125-150 yard range.
· Driving accuracy here tends to be higher than normal with the field hitting over 65% of fairways here in 2019; four of the last five winners here have ranked in the top 10 in driving accuracy for the week.
· J.T. Poston led the field in SG:APP stats here last year and was second in driving accuracy as well; the last four winners here have all finished inside the top 3 in SG: APP for the week of their win.
Odds to win are one factor to think about when picking players (but not the only thing, so be careful of putting too much weight on them). This section is going to detail a few of the players who have the best fantasy value comparative to their odds of winning this week.
Ryan Moore $8,100 and +4000
- Chez Reavie $8,400 and +5000
- Brandt Snedeker $8,200 and +5500
- SungJae Im $8,700 and +4500
Russell Henley $7,700 and +5500
- Corey Conners $8,000 and +5500
- Joaquin Niemann $7,900 and +6000
- Dylan Frittelli $7,900 and +6000
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
HORSES FOR COURSES
1. Webb Simpson ($11,200; best finishes: win-2011, T2-2018, 2nd-2019): On top of being the winner from 2011, Webb hasn’t missed the cut at Sedgefield in his last nine starts and has finished 3rd, T2 and 2nd here the past three seasons. He quite literally named his daughter after this event (it’s true, her name is Wyndham Rose) and leads the field in SG: Total at this event over the last five years by a country mile. He gets lead horse privileges this week as a result.
2. Brandt Snedeker ($8,200; best finishes: win-2018): Sneds has played the Wyndham 10-times since 2008 and posted four top-10 finishes here in that span. He also shot a 59 in round one here in 2018 on his way to winning. He doesn’t have any kids named Wyndham, but he’s been almost as unconscious as Webb at this week’s venue and definitely deserves a shout out as a top course horse.
3. Si Woo Kim ($8,600; best finishes: win-2016, T5-2019): Woo won this event in dominant fashion back in 2016, shooting a 60 here en route to a five-shot win. His love for the venue also shone through last year when he came in with almost no form and promptly finished T5. His DK price is up this week but his recent form suggests he could be in line for another big week at his favorite PGA TOUR venue.
4. Rory Sabbatini ($7,500; best finishes: T6-2019, T4-2017): Sabbatini isn’t as at big a disadvantage on Sedgefield as the course deemphasizes driver off the tee in many spots. He’s flourished here as a result of late, posting top-6 finishes at this event in each of the last two seasons and gained over 4-strokes on APP in each of those finishes.
5. Billy Horschel ($9,100; best finishes: T6-2019, T5-2016): Horschel has a great record at Donald Ross designed venues and has been a consistent course horse at this event throughout his career. The former FedEx Cup winner from 2014 has only finished outside the top-8 here once in his last four visits and gained over +5-strokes putting on these greens last year.
Cash Games: This is an eclectic field with lots of interesting value in the 7K range. Starting out here with Webb Simpson ($11,200) will cost you, but his record at this event is so good that avoiding him seems like a mistake. You can easily fit him in by targeting players like Ryan Moore ($8,100) and Kevin Kisner ($8,300)—who is starting to heat up of late with his irons— in the low 8K range. Things get a little dicier after that but Henrik Norlander ($7,300) and Rory Sabbatini ($7,500) both make for good 7K targets. Other names to consider in this format include Maverick McNealy ($7,600) and Keith Mitchell ($6,800).
Tournaments: Justin Rose ($9,900) has been hit or miss lately (mainly miss) but has made a living beating up on these easier venues later in his career. He played well last week en route to a T9 finish at the PGA Championship. Both Tom Lewis ($7,600) and Danny Willett ($7,200) are coming off missed cuts but have flashed decent form of late and both played well at the Donald Ross designed venue in Detroit, which could be a good omen for their chances for this week. Other potential big-field GPP targets here include Russell Henley ($7,700), Aaron Wise ($7,000-see below), Tom Hoge ($6,500) and Nick Watney ($6,400).
TOP RECENT FORM
1. Brooks Koepka ($11,400—Recent finishes: T29-T2): Koepka had a horrible final round at the PGA Championship, finishing with the second-worst score on Sunday. He did finish T2 the week prior though and maybe the weakened field here will be less intimating for the trash-talking four-time major winner.
2. Brendon Todd ($8,900, Recent finishes: T17-T15): Todd has been a feature on leaderboards for the past few events. He led the WGC Memphis after three rounds and was the co-first round leader at the PGA as well. His arrow straight driver and deft putting touch should play well at Sedgefield.
3. Harris English ($9,300, Recent finishes: T19-T18): English has been a model of consistency the last few events, posting top 20 finishes in three straight starts now. His T19 finish at the PGA was the best major championship finish of his career so he should be brimming with confidence for this week.
4. Paul Casey ($10,300, Recent finishes: T2): Casey had dropped in three brutal performances in a row before stepping in and nearly winning the PGA Championship. He was fantastic last week gaining +12.2 strokes TTG but could be in an emotional letdown spot after coming so close to winning last week.
5. Tom Lewis ($7,600, Recent finishes:MC-T2): Lewis missed the cut at the PGA but his form prior to that start deserves a shoutout. The Englishman put on a terrific show at the WGC Memphis event, posting the best weekend score of anyone in the field. He’s proven able to make birdies in bundles when firing which makes him a dangerous man at this week’s venue.
MY PICK: Russell Henley ($7,700)
Henley leads this field in strokes gained approaches over the last 50/36/24 rounds played. The three-time PGA TOUR winner has been a ball-striking machine over the past three months but only has a couple of top 10 finishes to show for it. The issues have been almost solely related to one club, though, a putter that has gone mysteriously AWOL. Henley used to be one of the best putters on the planet, ranking 23rd in SG: Putting on Tour as recently as 2017. His current 178th ranking in that stat is, no doubt, alarming but the change to pure Bermuda greens this week could unlock some confidence. Henley has accumulated some of the best stats Bermuda putting stats on the PGA TOUR, gaining +108 strokes putting on the surface over his career whiling ranking 11th in this field in that regard. While he remains a boom or bust kind of target on the greens, the winners at Sedgefield have typically needed to light the course up with their irons, something Henley has done consistently over his last few events, regardless of venue. Despite the frustrating play on the greens, he remains a great upside play in DraftKings GPPs and my pick to take down what is likely to be one of the lowest scoring affairs we’ll see on the PGA TOUR this year.
MY SLEEPER: Aaron Wise ($7,000)
My sleeper this week isn’t much less expensive than my main pick which tells you how wide open I think this event could be. Wise has been hard-pressed to get anything going in 2020, as the winner of the Byron Nelson event in 2018 has now racked up six missed cuts in his last 10 starts and recorded just one top 10 in 2020. The top 10 came in his last start though as the American stormed up the leaderboard late at the Barracuda, shooting a final round 62 (+19 in stableford) where he recorded 10 birdies after an early bogey. Wise was a standout at Oregon in college and has always possessed great talent but targeting him this week also has other perks. He’s shown good upside at Donald Ross designs over his career, collecting a T16 at Aronimink Golf Club at the 2018 BMW Championships, where he posted four rounds of 68 or better, and shot rounds of 64-65 last year at Sedgefield, prior to slumping to a T46 finish on Sunday. Wise’s bust factor remains somewhat enormous, but his upside here is one of the best at the 7K salary-level, making him a nice target in GPPs for the last regular season event of the 2019-20 PGA TOUR season.
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