EDITOR’S NOTE: Louis Oosthuizen and Patrick Reed have withdrawn from the Wyndham Championship.
This is the final full-field event before the PGA Tour playoffs officially start. There is scheduled to be 150+ starters 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 Korn Ferry 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 are also still some interesting names at the top.
Louis Oosthuizen is here searching for his first PGA win in over a decade, and both Patrick Reed and Hideki Matsuyama will be looking to add their second win of 2021. From a bubble perspective, there are plenty of big names to watch. Gary Woodland is 120th and needs a decent week, as do both Rickie Fowler (125th) and Tommy Fleetwood (130th), who are on the literal bubble. The cut at the Wyndham Championship will be after Friday and the top 65 and ties will play the weekend.
Sedgefield Country Club—Greensboro, North Carolina
Par 70, 7127 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 7100 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, but it should be noted that as they have matured, scores here have gotten lower and the last five winners have reached 21-under-par or better. This is important to note as players with affinities for Bermuda grass should 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 semi-challenging holes and some extremely moderate-to-easy ones. As a traditional par 70, there are two very reachable and very birdie-able par 5s on this track and any player hoping to be in the mix will have to play these two well under-par for the week. The last five winners all played these holes with scoring averages of 4.13 or better.
Eight of the 12 par 4s 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 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 at those two courses are at least a decent starting point to see who might handle this week’s layout the best.
2021 Outlook: It is late summer in North Carolina which means thunderstorms are a possibility. There’s some early week rain on Wednesday that will likely help keep the course soft. Thursday and Friday have a very low risk of showers and almost no wind. With highs in the high 80s, there’s almost no need to wave stack, as the weather doesn’t appear likely to be a factor the first two days. The chance of thunderstorms interrupting play increases as the event goes on with Saturday and Sunday both having 40-50% chances of precipitation. Early starters the first couple of days could benefit from cooler temperatures, but otherwise expect a softer course once again and another birdie-fest.
Last 5 winners
2020—Jim Herman -21 (over Billy Horschel -20)
2019—JT Poston -22 (over Webb Simpson -21)
2018—Brandt Snedeker -21 (over Webb Simpson -18)
2017—Henrik Stenson -22 (over Ollie Schienderjans -21)
2016—Si Woo Kim -21 (over Luke Donald -16)
Six of the last 10 winners of this event recorded a T12 or better at Sedgefield CC before their respective victory here.
Of the last 10 winners of this event, only two have finished outside the top 15 in Driving Accuracy on the week (Reed 2013 and Snedeker 2018).
Winners Stats and Course Overview
Jim Herman (2020—21-under-par)
Lead in form (T77-MC-MC-T33-MC)
Eight of the Par 4s measure in between (or very close) to 400-450 yards in length. With more shorter holes, the approach shot distribution tends to fall far more in the 150-175 yard range and 125-150 yard range.
Driving accuracy tends to be higher than normal with the field hitting over 65% of the fairways in 2019; four of the last five winners here have ranked top 10 in driving accuracy for the week.
JT Poston led the field in SG: APP stats in the 2019 Wyndham Championship and was second in driving accuracy as well; the last five winners have all finished inside the top 4 in SG: APP for the week.
Finding Values (DraftKings Sportsbook)
Odds to win are one factor to think about when picking players (but not the only thing, so be careful 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 DraftKings Sportsbook odds of winning this week.
- Kevin Streelman +5000 and $8,300
- Sebastian Munoz +5500 and $8,200
- Kevin Kisner +5500 and $8,400
- Jhonattan Vegas +6000 and $7,800
- Mito Pereira +6500 and $7,900
- Bubba Watson +6000 and $9,000
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
HORSES FOR COURSES
1. Webb Simpson (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 10 starts and has finished T3, 3rd, T2 and 2nd in the past four 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.
2. Brandt Snedeker (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 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 hasn’t missed the cut in four straight appearances.
3. Si Woo Kim (best finishes: win-2016, T5-2019) — Woo won this event in dominant fashion back in 2016, shooting a 60 en route to a five-shot win. His love for the venue was on display last year when he finished T3. Overall, he has three top-5 finishes at this event in four career appearances, and is fourth in strokes gained total stats at Sedgefield over the last five seasons.
4. Patrick Reed (best finishes: win-2013, T9-2020) — Reed picked up the first win of his career at this event back in 2013 and has backed that result up by finishing inside the top 25 in four other appearances. He was T9 last season and clearly knows how to get up for this event.
5. Ryan Armour (best finishes: T4-2017) — Armour surprisingly ranks 2nd in this field in strokes gained total stats over the last five seasons. The veteran hasn’t finished worse than T25 in four career appearances at Sedgefield, and he has two top 10s at this event (2017 and 2018). He’s played better of late and could be a nice value target again this week.
1. Seamus Power ($10,800; win-T8) — Power is coming off a small rest, but the Irishman won his last time out on the PGA Tour at the Barbasol and recorded multiple top 10s in a row before that. He’s in career-best form right now and could go looking for more this week.
2. Louis Oosthuizen ($10,800; T17-T2) — Oosthuizen continues to show amazingly consistent form week in, week out. The South African stumbled a bit late Sunday last week, but has three top-5 finishes in his last four starts.
3. Adam Schenk ($10,800; 4th-T51) — Schenk came close to grabbing his first ever win at the Barracuda Championship last week but had to settle for fourth place. He now has two top-5 finishes in his last four starts.
4. Jhonattan Vegas ($10,800; T16-T2) — Vegas has been one of the most consistent players in DFS for 2021 and comes in having made the cut in 13 of his last 14 starts. He was T2 his last time out on the PGA Tour at Minnesota and finished T16 at the Olympics.
5. Bo Hoag ($10,800; T59-T16) — Hoag has had a nice run to end the year and comes in ranked fourth in strokes gained total stats over his last five starts. He’s made five cuts in a row and has gained over +2.0 strokes on approach in his last four measured starts.
DRAFTKINGS DFS STRATEGY
Cash Games: Don’t wander from Webb
There’s layups and locks and then there’s Webb Simpson ($10,600) at the Wyndham. I went over his course history above, but Webb has also looked better in his last couple of starts grabbing a T15 at the WGC last week. Pay up and look for value elsewhere. Russell Henley ($9,400 – see below) is also a favorite of mine and Kevin Streelman ($8,300) rates out very well too. After them, I would not be afraid to ride the momentum of Jhonattan Vegas ($7,800) and Adam Schenk ($7,300) who have been great cut makers of late while also producing good fantasy scores. Henrik Norlander ($6,600), Kyle Stanley ($7,000) and Roger Sloan ($6,700) are other names to consider.
Tournaments: Follow the Zalatoris momentum
Will Zalatoris ($10,300) bounced back from a WD at the Open Championship to grab a T8 at the WGC last week. The result was built off a solid final round and good iron play as he gained +3.0 strokes on approach for the week. We saw him shine in weaker events like this last fall and he does need a win just to make the playoffs. Chris Kirk ($7,200) is another player who may not garner much attention, but he could bounce back quickly this week. He was 12th at the Ross-designed Detroit Golf Club last month and has made the cut in five career starts at this venue. Other GPP targets to consider include the likes of Tom Lewis ($6,600 – see below), Rickie Fowler ($8,600), Sean O’Hair ($6,500) and Joseph Bramlett ($6,500).
MY PICK: Russell Henley ($9,400)
Henley was my pick at this event last season and I see no reason not to back him again. This venue sets up beautifully for a player who hits a ton of fairways—ranks 37th in Driving Accuracy on season—and can fire aggressively at these softer greens with his irons—ranks first in SG: Approach over the last 50 rounds. We haven’t seen him in action since missing a cut at the Open Championship, but the extra rest (he hasn’t played since then) could also give him a competitive advantage over a lot of players, as the PGA Tour’s travel schedule has been hectic of late.
Since coming onto the Tour, Henley has won three times and all three of those wins have come on Bermuda greens, with his wins in Hawaii (Sony Open) and Florida (Honda Classic) also coming on par 70s. He finished T9 at this venue last season, and had gained +3 strokes or more with his approaches in three straight events before the Open Championship. The time for a breakthrough feels like now for Henley, who rates out well as both a DFS play and an outright target at +3000 or better on the DraftKings Sportsbook.
MY SLEEPER: Tom Lewis ($6,600)
Lewis enters this week flying a little under the radar. He’s only recorded one top 10 on the season (the Zurich team event) but has made the cut in six straight PGA Tour starts. The Englishman has multiple wins overseas, and one on the Korn Ferry Tour—and all three came at lower-scoring events like the Wyndham. Further, he’s done well at Donald Ross venues thus far on Tour, making the cut at this event last season and also posting T12 and T25 finishes at the Ross-designed Detroit Golf Club the last two years.
Lewis has been heating up with the putter of late—he’s gained over a stroke putting in four of his last five starts—and is a player who needs a big finish just to have a shot at gaining some solid conditional status for next year (he’s 154th in the FedEx Cup standings). This event has produced numerous surprise winners over the years (Davis Love III and Jim Herman) so seeing Lewis pop wouldn’t be all that surprising. The signs are there that he may be ready for a big week soon, and at just $6,600 in this field, I like the upside he brings as a GPP target.
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