The PGA Tour regular season comes to a close this week in Greensboro, NC at the Wyndham Championship.
One of the Tour’s oldest stops, the tournament is held at Sedgefield CC, a 7,127-yard, par-70 featuring thick rough bordering the fairways and greens – which are slick, undulating and exceptionally pure.
It’s a big week for those on the (LIV free) FedEx Cup top 125 points list bubble. They’re battling for a spot in the playoffs and fully exempt status on the Tour in 2022-23.
Sedgefield is a classic, tree-lined course on rolling terrain. The formula for victory is simple: Hit the fairways, leave uphill putts on the greens, capitalize on the two par-5s. The forecast calls for warm, humid conditions with the everpresent chance of an afternoon thunderstorm.
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Here are some more notes to chew on before setting your fantasy roster:
- 6 of the last 8 champions finished the week top-10 in fairways hit. And 7 of the last 9 were top-10 in greens in regulation.
- Last year, 19 of the top 20 in greens in regulation finished top-30 on the leaderboard.
- Like the Detroit GC last week, Sedgefield is a Donald Ross design. While Detroit GC favors bombers, Sedgefield demands precision. Ross courses reward good golf. Of all the classic architects, his courses are the ‘most’ fair. He’d have built them all 500 yards longer if he could have predicted the wild advances in technology and the raw power of the modern player, but I don’t think he’d mind great players shooting low scores.
- Course history matters as much at Sedgefield as any course on the Tour. The same names pop up on the leaderboard from year-to-year, assuming their games are showing any kind of form entering the week.
- 6 of the last 13 champions started the week as a longshot with triple digit odds (7,000 range or lower on DraftKings). That being said, the best in the world have been hogging the victories since the WM Phoenix Open. In that span, only three players outside the top 20 (Straka, Spaun, KH Lee) have won a tournament when a top-20 player was in the field. Thanks to @RambleGolf on Twitter for the nugget.
- There are eight par-4s between 400-450 yards at Sedgefield and the longer hitters will opt for less than driver off many of these because avoiding the 4” thick Bermuda rough is imperative. More than 27 percent of the approach shots are struck from the 150-175 yard range.
- There are only two par-5s at Sedgefield and both are reachable for the entire field. Can’t let the opportunities slip away. The field has made birdie or better at a 56 percent rate on 15 and 62 percent on 5.
Wyndham Championship Fantasy Golf Power Rankings
26. Harris English – May be worth a shot this week on a course where he’s made the cut in his last four attempts. Was out from mid-January to mid-June with an injury but has shown glimpses of form in the six tournaments since he returned.
25. J.J. Spaun – Gained 4.4 shots on approach in a top-10 last week in Detroit and ranks top-15 in the field in proximity from 150-175 yards over the last 100 rounds and Greens in Regulation over the last 50 on courses less than 7,200 yards.
24. Adam Svensson – The Sunday struggles are real. Let a potential top-10 slip away in Detroit last week but a closer look reveals he gained 6.5 shots on approach in that T-24. Excels on shorter courses, finishing T-31 here in his only appearance (2019).
23. Mark Hubbard – Despite his hilarious ace on Thursday failed to make the weekend in Detroit but should resume his hot summer in Greensboro. Made the cut in all three Wyndham starts with a T-15 in 2019.
22. Sebastian Munoz – Made the cut each of the last three years at Sedgefield, finishing T-29 a year ago, gaining shots across the board. Top-30 in the field in SG: Tee-to-Green over the last 24 rounds and top-15 in SG: Approach on shorter courses.
21. Aaron Wise – He’s had an outstanding season, climbing to 34th in the FedEx Cup and should be able to gear down and hit fairways at a high rate. Had a good putting week here last year, has gained an average of 4.1 shots on approach in the last five measured starts.
20. Adam Scott – Squandered a great chance to win here last year, finishing runner-up in the 6-man playoff. Faltered on the weekend in Detroit because he lost 3.8 shots with the putter – but he gained 6.8 for the week Tee-to-Green.
19. Kevin Streelman – Lost to a 72nd hole birdie in a battle at the Barbasol, held opposite The Open last month. Top-15 in the field on the 400-450 yard par-4s and top-10 from 150-175 yards.
18. Corey Conners – He’s 35th in the FedEx Cup though it doesn’t feel like it. Only two top-10s in 2022. So he’s been steady but not spectacular and rarely in contention on a Sunday afternoon. Perfect fit for his ballstriking pedigree; Finished 45-22-MC in three tries.
17. Alex Smalley – He’s a member at Sedgefield and top-30 in our model this week, ranking better than field average in most significant categories. Solid iron player is 20th in the field in SG: Tee-to-Green over the last 24 rounds.
16. Davis Riley – Can’t give up on him, not right now. Contended at Colonial, which has similar characteristics. Top-25 on the 400-450 yard par-4s and has putted well on fast Bermuda greens in a small sample size.
15. Shane Lowry – The Vegas favorite in most markets. Earlier this year, he was playing like a win was inevitable. Other than the missed cut at Brookline, results have remained solid and he’s No. 2 in the model but you’re gonna pay for it.
14. Adam Long – Course history stinks but he’s on a sweet roll right now, riding four consecutive top-25s and gaining 6.6 shots on approach last week in the Motor City.
13. Denny McCarthy – Sniffed around leaderboards this summer, collecting a trio of top-10s. Has the putting profile to thrive around Sedgefield and a terrific record of 36-22-9-15 the last four years. Irons are better but still inconsistent.
12. Scott Stallings – On a summer heater and has a sweet combo of sixth in SG: Approach over the last 36 rounds and 23rd in SG: Putting on fast, Bermuda greens. Also the confidence from three consecutive top-10s during which he’s gained 21 shots Tee-to-Green.
11. Brian Harman – Should be a good course for him. Claimed one of his two PGA Tour victories across the state in Wilmington. Has a T-6 at Sedgefield in 2019 and one other top-10 but also a worrisome number of missed cuts. Top-10 at St. Andrews last time out.
Wyndham Championship Fantasy Golf Picks
10. Will Zalatoris – His first PGA Tour victory will come during the playoffs. His ballstriking will keep him in the mix this week.
9. Webb Simpson – King of Sedgefield. Claimed his first PGA Tour victory here in 2011 and a run of four consecutive top-3s finished last year with a rare T-7. But he hasn’t finished in the top-10 in 2022. Hasn’t shown any signs of being able to contend. If it’s going to happen anywhere, it will be here.
8. Kevin Kisner – Defending champion scuffled to a missed cut last week but don’t worry. He’s second only to Simpson in scoring average at Sedgefield over the last 24 rounds, top-5 in fast Bermuda putting and top-15 on the 400-450 yard par-4s.
7. Joohyung Kim – Just a month or so into his PGA Tour career and he’s already a fantasy legend. More accurately priced this week but now that he’s locked up full status for next season, might as well win. Gained 6.3 shots on approach and 9.8 Tee-to-Green in Detroit.
6. J.T. Poston – Won the Wyndham in 2019; won the John Deere last month. Ranks first in scoring on the 400-450 yard par-4s and has one of the purest putting strokes in golf. Irons and putting are his strength and finds enough fairrways.
5. Harold Varner III – The North Carolina native and resident flourishes on shorter courses, has two top-10s in the Wyndham and has made the cut each of the last five years. Just needs the putter to cooperate.
4. Billy Horschel – Has a great history at Sedgefield, finishing 11th, 6th and 2nd in his last three starts (he skipped the tournament last year). Never know when Billy is going to fire – the irons run hot and cold – but a solid T-21 at The Open and some fishing during his weeks off tells me his head is in the right place to contend.
3. Si Woo Kim – Another Sedgefield killer – he’s landed in the top-5 each of the last three years – and comes to town after a T-15 at The Open and T-14 in the Rocket Mortgage. Hits a ton of greens in regulation on shorter courses (13th in field).
2. Russell Henley – Broke many hearts with his back nine fade a year ago, opening the door for Kisner and the five runner-ups. Changed caddies since then and he’s top-10 in every ballstriking category we valued this week. Gained 11 shots Tee-to-Green in Detroit – second only to the champion Finau.
1. Sungjae Im – Finished 6th, 9th and 24 the last three years at Sedgefield. Was the runner-up to Finau in the 3M Open, gaining 5.2 shots on approach and over his brief yet excellent career has putted his best on Bermuda surfaces. He won early in the season in Vegas; He’ll enjoy a nightcap in Greensboro.
Wyndham Championship Fantasy Golf Picks: Bargain Bin
Ryan Armour, Hayden Buckley, Luke Donald, Lucas Glover, Chesson Hadley, John Huh, Zach Johnson, Sam Ryder, Doc Redman, Matthias Schwab