Damien Kayat previews this week’s Wyndham Championship taking place at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The 2019 US PGA Tour | The Wyndham Championship
Sedgefield Country Club, Greensboro, North Carolina
Thursday 1 August – Sunday 4 August 2019
This week represents the last opportunity to qualify for the FedEx Cup playoff spots. The year seems to have gone by in a whirlwind in the newly congested PGA Tour itinerary. Formerly known as the Greater Greensboro Open, this championship dates back all the way to 1938. Sam Snead won the inaugural staging of the event, and the legendary Snead went on to win the event eight times. That is still the record for the most wins by a player in an individual event on tour. Incredibly, he won his last title at the age of 52, which still makes him the oldest PGA Tour winner.
Designed by Donald Ross and opened in 1926, Sedgefield Country Club was the original host venue of this event. Forest Oaks took up hosting duties between 1977 and 2007. Sedgefield resumes hosting duties in2008, a year after considerable renovations by Kris Spence. But those attempts to protect Wyndham from the modern game have hardly affected the general ease of this course: Brandt Snedeker shot a 59 here last year. Perhaps the most striking feature of the course are the smaller than average greens (they were changed from bent to Bermuda in 2012). The statistical analysis puts a premium on driving accuracy when looking to access the greens.
Webb Simpson has an excellent record at Sedgefield and makes perfect sense as favourite this week. Hideki Matsuyama and Jordan Spieth have both improved massively in recent weeks. A trio that I’m excited to watch are newbies Morikawa, Hovland and Matthew Wolff. Wolff and Morikawa are now both PGA winners and Hovland looks a potential Major Champion. Of great intrigue this week will be the ‘Bubble Boys’, with only the top 125 destined for Liberty National next week. Generally speaking, there are always a few hugely motivated players who emerge from the pack this week. Daniel Berger makes a fascinating cautionary tale. He made the President’s Cup side two years back and is now desperately looking to avoid Web.Com qualifying.
2018: Brandt Snedeker (-21)
2017: Henrik Stenson (-22)
2016: Si Woo Kim (-21)
2015: Davis Love III (-17)
2014: Camillo Villegas (-17)
Betting Favourites (To Win Outright)
Webb Simpson (11/1)
Hideki Matsuyama (14/1)
Jordan Spieth (16/1)
Collin Morikawa (18/1)
Paul Casey (20/1)
To Win (50/1), To Place (11/1)
In Lucas Glover, you have a wonderful under-the-radar pick with decent course form and encouraging recent form. Glover will likely always be best known for his surprising 2009 US Open victory. Glover has top 20 finishes in each of his last three starts at Sedgefield. Glover went into the Open Championship in ascendant form, with top 10 finishes at both the John Deere Classic and 3M Open. He then secured a top 20 finish in horrendous conditions at Royal Portrush. Glover is a man who will benefit from the absence of many of the key players this week.
To Win (200/1), To Place (43/1)
As I noted earlier, there’s always a ‘bubble-boy’ who emerges this week in a last-ditch FedEx Cup surge. This is a week when his traditionally accurate driving can really come to the fore. He has three top 30 finishes here in his last four starts. Sawgrass is usually a strong corollary course to Sedgefield, and Castro holds the course record of 63 at the prestigious Players venue. The closest that Castro has ever come to winning on tour was at Quail Hollow – the other regular North Carolina pit-stop on tour. He also has decent Donald Ross course form, with top 15 finishes at both Oak Hill and East Lake. Castro currently sits 141st on tour and needs a strong showing in familiar climes.
The Man to Beat
To Win (25/1), To Place (11/2)
Possessing a record comparable with Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker just makes far more sense at 25/1. As I mentioned earlier, Snedeker shot a scintillating 59 en route to the title last year. He also finished 3rd here in 2016 and 5th in 2014. He also possesses two other top 5 finishes in the last decade. Though he missed the cut at the Open, Snedeker recorded a top 20 finish in Memphis. He tied for 5th at the Rocket Mortgage Open and 4th at the Canadian Open. He currently ranks 3rd for strokes gained around the green. That certainly comes in handy on these smaller-than-average Donald Ross complexes.
Written by Damien Kayat for Hollywoodbets.