The Wyndham Championship is the last opportunity for the field to gain points for the FedEx playoffs. While some players will be fighting for playoff positioning, others will be fighting to keep their tour cards. The Wyndham is played at Sedgefield Country Club which is a 7,100 par 70 track. Sedgefield is a less than driver course and is typically a birdie fest. Here’s a look at the past few champions and their scores;
2017 – Henrik Stenson (-22)
2016 – Si-Woo Kim (-21)
2015 – Davis Love III (-17)
2014 – Camilo Villegas (-17)
2013 – Patrick Reed (-14)
Scoring Relative to Par = EASY
Greens = Bermuda
Green Speed = Fast
Hitting Fairways = Average
Rough Length = Short
Course Designer = Donald Ross
Course Form (Stats)
Strokes gained on approach
Proximity to the hole
Strokes gained ball striking
Strokes gained putting on Bermuda
Birdie or Better %
Joaquin Niemann, 9,700 -> Proximity to the Hole average (PTH) = 32’10. Niemann grades out as a top tier play this week. He is 12th overall off the tee, 15th tee to green, 2nd in birdie average and isn’t afraid to fire at pins. The only issue I see with Joaquin is he tends to stall a bit in one of his rounds. AP Recommendation = Cash/GPP
Steve Stricker, 8,300 -> PTH Average = 33’10. Stricker finds himself just outside of the top 125 rankings in the FedEx cup playoffs. I’m not a huge fan of the points bubble narrative, but Stricker grades out well on this course. Not only is he a PTH specialist, he has some pretty wild putting splits when he gets on Bermuda. Over his last 24 rounds on Bermuda, he ranks 9th overall vs this field. AP Recommendation = Cash/GPP
Chris Kirk, 7,500 -> PTH Average = 33’6. Kirk is no stranger to throwing darts at pins. You also have to love his recent form; 23rd at the Deere, 40th Barbasol, & 31st last week at the PGA Championship. He ranks 4th overall in strokes gained on approach vs this field. The only issue with Kirk is putting, but he has very favorable splits when he gets on Bermuda. AP Recommendation = Cash/GPP
Sam Ryder, 7,300 -> PTH Average = 34’4. Sam is a web.com tour graduate and is in his debut season on the PGA tour. Things started off very shaky; 4 straight cuts and didn’t finish better than T50 until his 5th place finish at the Houston Open. Since that point, his cut rate has been solid for a first-year player and more recently he has multiple top 10 finishes. Ryder’s only concern for me is putting. AP Recommendation = GPP
Ryan Armour, 7,100 -> PTH Average = 34’4. Armour comes into this event with 3 MC’s in a row. That is concerning, but two of those events were major championships and the other event (RBC) was the week after the Open. We now have a weaker field event where Armour and his elite ball striking skills have excelled. He doesn’t grade out well on Bermuda but I’m going to side with his current putting form. He also finished 4th last year. Armour is currently 41st on the FedEx list and I’m sure he is going to be motivated to enter the playoffs in prime form. AP Recommendation = Cash/GPP
Vaughn Taylor, 6,900 -> PTH Average = 34’7. Taylor is your typical PGA tour veteran grinder type. He turned pro in 1999, has 3 career victories and his highest FedEx ranking was 35th. He’s a cut maker type that isn’t afraid to fire at pins. He isn’t going to win the tournament, but he does have the ability to sneak inside the top15. AP Recommendation = Cash (as a cut maker/grinder) / GPP
Putting Splits (L24 vs L24 on Bermuda)
Webb Simpson, 11,600 -> SG:P L24 (Strokes gained putting last 24 rounds) = 18th. SG:P on Bermuda L24 = 1st. Webb’s putting this year has been elite, he ranks 12th overall on tour in SG:P. Against this field, he has the Bermuda splits we want to see to justify his stud price tag. I’m really interested in seeing where ownership will be on Webb. I think most will take the savings with a guy like Rafa Cabrera Bello which could give us some nice leverage playing a guy like Webb. He just got his spot locked in on the Ryder cup team, his current form is elite, and his course history is one of the best in the field. If Webb is projected to be low owned, I’ll for sure be overweight in GPPs.
Billy Horschel, 9,600 -> SG:P L24 = 42, SG:P L24 on Bermuda = 8th. I’ve said this in past blogs, but Horschel is a guy I like to play in weak fields. He tends to pop and most of his wins have come in these weak field events. Horschel is an elite ball striker who can consistently fire rounds in the mid 60’s if he is sinking putts. AP Recommendation = Cash / GPP
Johnson Wagner, 7,500 -> SG:P L24 = 29th, SG:P L24 on Bermuda = 4th. It’s been awhile since we have been on Bermuda greens, so let me highlight some specific spots for Wagner. Wells Fargo Champ (Quail Hollow, Bermuda) 7.2 strokes gained putting, AT&T Byron Nelson (Trinity Forest, Bermuda greens) 5.2 strokes gained putting, and last year at the Wyndham Champ he lost -0.8 strokes putting. However, he finished 24th, and in 2016 when he finished 5th he gained 6.5 strokes putting. If he gets his putter going, I expect another high finish on this course which really fits his eye. AP Recommendation -> I’m significantly overweight on Wagner.
Whee Kim, 7,400 -> SG:P L24 = 14th, SG:P L24 on Bermuda = 2nd. Kim is really having a breakout season as of late. No one ever plays him and at his elevated price tag, relative to where he usually is (high 6ks) I see that trend continuing. Kim has excellent BoB% numbers, 35’1 PTH average, and over the last 24 rounds grades out high in every category I am looking at except strokes gained around the greens. AP Recommendation = GPP
Nick Watney, 7,100 -> SG:P L24 = 95, SG:P L24 on Bermuda = 18th. We have some extreme splits on Watney and we are getting him at an absurdly low price. Watney could easily be put into the PTH specialist category as well with a PTH average of 34’5. Watney has decent course history and is comfortably just inside of the top 125 FedEx cup rankings. AP Recommendation = Cash/GPP
Fit the mold in many categories
Chesson Hadley, 7,600 -> Hadley is from North Carolina and on paper grades out very well for this course. 4th in strokes gained approach, 33’ 6 PTH average, and wild positive splits putting on Bermuda (11th vs this field). Hadley has been volatile of late, but he ranks 26th on the FedEx list and has done well in some of these weaker field events.
Tyler Duncan, 7,300 -> Duncan is having a breakout year. He ranks 106 on the FedEx standings but that can pretty much be attributed to his recent performance. He ranks 2nd in ball striking, 3rd in approach, and has a PTH average of 35’3. If he can get his putter going, he will put himself in contention to win.
Brian Gay, 7,100 -> Brian is a multi-specialist; 34’8 PTH average, 14th SG:P on Bermuda, and is a very solid ball striker. He ranks 53rd in the FedEx standings and I expect him to be motivated to improve on that number.
Stat that popped out during my research
Number of players inside the FedEx top 75 priced between 8,000 – 11,300 = 5
Number of players inside the FedEx top 75 priced between 7,100 – 7,900 = 10