Draws and Fades: Wyndham Championship
8 Min Read
Written by Rob Bolton @RobBoltonGolf
As it concerns all things fantasy, the Wyndham Championship is as boring as it gets. No, that’s not a reflection on what’s at stake and when. It’s that Sedgefield Country Club is like an open-book test. There are no secrets. Just do your homework, execute and you’ll excel.
This is how the regular season should end, of course. The only trick of the last three weeks, in fact, is keeping pace. If you’re one of the 156 in any of the last three fields, you want fair opportunities at the finish line to achieve your goals.
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Now, there are two important reminders that are necessary to share.
The first concerns position to qualify for the FedExCup Playoffs. I’ve used the Live Projected FedExCup Playoffs Eligibility page for all of my preview material this week. It’s what will determine the field of 125 for the Playoffs and other targets.
Second, if you play PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf, your wait is almost over. FedEx bonus points will be quadrupled in each of the three Playoffs events. One win will be like four Wyndhams. A fourth-place finish will be worth four more bonus points than this week’s champ. Yes, we’re all in the same boat, but long-range rationing of starts is about to pay dividends and Sedgefield has an array of strong next-tier talents to retain leverage in the Playoffs.
POWER RANKINGS WILD CARD
Adam Scott (+150 for a Top 20) … Trending similarly now as he was in advance of his return to Sedgefield last year when he popped for a P2 after a five-year hiatus. The Aussie has been painting leaderboards with enough red to generate positive expectations, and this is an endorsement in the macro, but consider a more aggressive approach in the vicinity of his price tag in DFS. We can’t expect another podium finish and he hasn’t connected for a top 10 in stroke-play action in over five months. Let the course-history buffs hop on that angle.
Scott Stallings (+165 for a Top 20) … While you’re abstaining from Adam, consider this Scott for your DFS considerations. Stallings’ track record at Sedgefield is not impressive, but he’s almost entirely about momentum, and he has that right now. From a T8 to a T4 to a T10 in his last three starts over a six-week stretch, he’s in phenomenal position to advance to his first TOUR Championship. Currently 42nd in points and not content with his position despite the promise of a deep run in the Playoffs.
Corey Conners (-110 for a Top 20) … He’s so consistent that it’s always a surprise if there isn’t widespread support for giving him a run. At the same time, he’s not playing up to his lofty expectations often enough despite sitting 34th in the FedExCup. He’s 2-for-3 at Sedgefield with a personal-best T22 in 2019 and a scoring average of 67.80, so the sharpest angle would be to line him up in PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf because he’s one of the most reliable to make the cut with that potential to parlay it into something special.
Alex Smalley (+250 for a Top 20) … It was at Sedgefield a year ago when he encountered this fork in the road. And he took it! We can’t quantify how good it must feel to be back, but we can try. The rookie is 63rd in the FedExCup and headed to the Playoffs. He’s transformed the potential that a T29 here in 2021 yielded into three top 10s and another five top 25s. It’s the best of stories that gets its second chapter this week.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout Mark Hubbard J.T. Poston Harold Varner III Aaron Wise
Odds sourced on Tuesday, August 2nd at 7 p.m. ET. For live odds visit betmgm
Chez Reavie … The recent winner of the Barracuda Championship is just 2-for-7 at Sedgefield since 2013 and without a top-35 finish. The recency-bias crowd will sprinkle him fractionally in DFS, so go ahead and let it.
Harris English … Trap. The 33-year-old is perfect in seven trips to Sedgefield. He’s connected for a trio of top 25s and his scoring average in 28 rounds is a sporty 67.50. However, since returning from surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right hip, he’s just 3-for-6 with one top-40 finish (T19, Travelers).
Mackenzie Hughes … As the Kryptonite glows, so goes the expectations. He’s 3-for-3 at Sedgefield with one top 25 (T22, 2019), but he arrives having missed three straight cuts, including at The Open. So, something will give, but that he’s managed only one top 15 in 2022 is astonishing. Pure and simple, he needs to give himself more chances to score, especially in a shootout, but you don’t need to hold your breath for him to find his game comparatively against the multitude of other possibilities on the board.
Matt Wallace … At 124th in the FedExCup, he’s this close to returning to the Playoffs since last year’s debut when he withdrew during the opener, and he’s fresh off a T10 in Detroit, his best finish on the PGA TOUR in nine months. The problem is, his irons were just OK last week. The Englishman relied more than most on terrific putting to make noise. With the grain transitioning from Poa-bent in Motown to bermuda at Sedgefield, investors should not rely on that component of his game to travel as well.
Stewart Cink Jason Day Rickie Fowler Lucas Glover Adam Long Adam Schenk
Justin Rose … After missing out on his first Playoffs by one spot last year, the Englishman will be returning to the series next week; well, assuming he commits, of course. He’s been sidelined by a sore back since before The Open Championship. He has two top 10s at Sedgefield, the more relevant of which was just last year (T10). Worth a spin in PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf.
Danny Lee … Try, try, try and try again. Since withdrawing during the Travelers with an injured hip, he’s withdrawn early three times. Currently 82nd in points, he hasn’t been in danger of missing the FedExCup Playoffs, so he’s been free from forcing it. But the play in our world remains to bet against him in 3-balls.
Cameron Percy … An injured rib forced him out at the Rocket Mortgage Classic during his second round. He’s 158th in the FedExCup, which is a familiar region of the ranking for the 48-year-old Aussie. He’s 5-for-9 at Sedgefield but without a top-30 finish.
Vaughn Taylor … Walked off Detroit GC in his first round with an illness. The 46-year-old is 167th in the FedExCup, so he knows what he needs to do. It’s just that he didn’t cash in his last four starts and his most recent top-35 finish at Sedgefield was 14 years ago (T15).
Camilo Villegas … Opened with 77 in Detroit, and then withdrew before the second round due to an illness. He’s 173rd in the FedExCup, so he needs his best performance in years to qualify for the Playoffs for the first time since 2017, but he’s a former winner at Sedgefield (2014), so it wouldn’t be unprecedented.
Jhonattan Vegas … At 95th in the FedExCup, he’s poised for his eighth appearance in the Playoffs.
Francesco Molinari … Hasn’t teed it up anywhere since a T15 at St. Andrews. He’s 133rd in the FedExCup but he’s fully exempt on the PGA TOUR through 2025.
Brandt Snedeker … Given that this is his fourth consecutive early WD, the suspicion is that he’s nursing an injury, but there have been no details to explain it. He’s also second in all-time earnings at the Wyndham Championship where he’s a two-time winner. In fact, this is the 15-year anniversary of his PGA TOUR breakthrough victory at Sedgefield and it’s just the second time that he’s failed to compete. (He missed the 2017 edition when he sat out five months due to an injured sternum joint.) It also ensures that he won’t qualify for the FedExCup Playoffs for the first time. He’s currently 168th in the ranking. His membership exemption also expires this week, so he’d have to lean on a top-25 career earnings exemption to retain fully exempt status if he doesn’t give the Korn Ferry Tour Finals a go. At 41 years of age and potentially risking losing the first of two career earnings exemptions, and with the promise of rest without losing status, it’d be surprising if he appears in the KFT Finals.
Ryan Armour … Second consecutive early WD due to a pulled muscle in his ribs. He’s 153rd in the FedExCup, so he’ll have to rely on the KFT Finals, assuming he’s healthy. Given the injury, he’d be a candidate for a Minor Medical Extension in 2022-23.
Seung-Yul Noh … When you’re 172nd in the FedExCup and in need of reeling in a big fish in 20-foot waves on the open sea, and you haven’t rested in six weeks, AND you’re 0-for-4 at Sedgefield (2010-2017), there’s wisdom in cutting bait to rest and recharge for the Korn Ferry Tour Finals.
RECAP – Rocket Mortgage Classic
Power Ranking Golfer Result1 Patrick Cantlay T2 2 Will Zalatoris T20 3 Tony Finau Win 4 Max Homa T24 5 Cameron Young T2 6 Kevin Kisner MC 7 Cam Davis T14 8 Mark Hubbard MC 9 Keegan Bradley T44 10 Maverick McNealy MC 11 Chris Kirk T17 12 Kevin Streelman T49 13 Taylor Pendrith T2 14 Chesson Hadley MC 15 Troy Merritt T14 Wild Card Denny McCarthy MC
Golfer (Bet, if applicable) ResultRussell Knox (+450 for a Top 20 and +350 for a Top Brit and Irish) T37/third-best Brit & Irish Peter Malnati (+500 for a Top 20) 73rd Jim Knous MC Brandon Matthews MC Michael Thorbjornsen MC
Bet: Taylor Pendrith (Top 20) – +250Result: T2
August 2 … Jonathan Kaye (52); Brian Davis (48) August 3 … Chad Ramey (30) August 4 … none August 5 … none August 6 … none August 7 … Andrew Landry (35) August 8 … Webb Simpson (37)