Predicting the Wyndham Rewards Top 10
15th Club ran 20,000 simulations to see how the standings would shake out
July 22, 2020
By Justin Ray, 15th Club for PGA TOUR
- July 22, 2020
- Abraham Ancer is trending in the right direction to get a piece of the $10 million bonus. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
A condensed PGA TOUR schedule has one benefit: a wild race to determine the Wyndham Rewards Top 10.
That competition doles out $10 million in bonus money to the top 10 in the standings on Aug. 16, when the PGA TOUR’s regular season concludes at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina.
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There are only four events left on the schedule before the TOUR visits historic Sedgefield Country Club for the Wyndham Championship, but there’s still plenty of time for rapid movement into, and out of, the Wyndham Rewards Top 10.
Using projected tournament fields, player performance data and other forecasting tools, 15th Club ran more than 20,000 simulations of the remaining events on the PGA TOUR’s regular-season schedule. Below are some players to keep an eye on as they try to burst into the Wyndham Rewards Top 10.
Current FedExCup position: 15
Odds of finishing in Wyndham Rewards Top 10: 19%
Currently five spots out of the $500,000 bonus for 10th place, Ancer came out of the gates hot when the Return to Golf began. The Presidents Cup participant finished in the top 15 at the Charles Schwab Challenge, RBC Heritage and Travelers Championship. His scoring average since the restart (68.6) ranks third among players with at least 10 rounds. While his iron play may have drawn more attention in recent weeks (he hit all 18 greens in the final round at Harbour Town), his putting has improved too. Ancer has more than doubled his Strokes Gained: Putting per round since the resumption of play.
The 15th Club predictive model says Ancer has a 6% chance of finishing in the top five of the Wyndham Rewards Top 10.
Current FedExCup position: 16
Odds of finishing in Wyndham Rewards Top 10: 17%
With just six starts this season, Hatton has played the least of anyone in the top 40 of the FedExCup standings. The Englishman has made the most of his opportunities, though. He has yet to finish outside the top 15 this season. He leads the TOUR in Strokes Gained: Total and has the best scoring average (67.0) of any player with eight or more rounds since the Return to Golf. He has averaged fewer than two bogeys per round during that stretch.
Hatton has a 7% chance of finishing in the top five of the Wyndham Rewards Top 10, and a 17% chance of winning the $500,000 bonus in tenth place.
PROBABILITY OF WINNING WYNDHAM REWARDS TOP 10 Name Probability Justin Thomas 67% Webb Simpson 16% Bryson DeChambeau 7% Sungjae Im 2% Rory McIlroy 2% Jon Rahm 2% Patrick Reed 1% Collin Morikawa 1% Note: Based on more than 20,000 simulations run by 15th Club.
Current FedExCup position: 22
Odds of finishing in Wyndham Rewards Top 10: 8%
The captivating former U.S. Amateur champion is assembling quite the ball-striking profile as a professional. Since last June, Hovland ranks fifth on the PGA TOUR in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, fourth in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee and third in Strokes Gained: Approach. He currently sits just outside the top 20 in the FedExCup standings, but our model is bullish on his potential finish to the season, giving him a nearly 10% chance of leaping into the Wyndham Rewards Top 10.
Hovland is taking this week off after making the cut in each of the first six PGA TOUR events since the Return to Golf.
Current FedExCup position: 81
Odds of finishing in Wyndham Rewards Top 10: 1%
So, you’re saying there’s a chance? Fleetwood is teeing it up in Minnesota this week, making his first start worldwide since the Arnold Palmer Invitational back in March. At 81st in the FedExCup, Fleetwood is the lowest-ranked player that our model gives a 1 percent chance or better to finish in the Wyndham Rewards Top 10. Fleetwood is currently the top-ranked player in the OWGR without a PGA TOUR victory. How’s half-a-million dollars as a bonus incentive to break through?
Current FedExCup position: 4
Odds of winning Wyndham Rewards Top 10: 7%
The PGA TOUR’s new king of driving distance had his run of seven straight top 10 finishes on the PGA TOUR snapped when he missed the cut at last week’s Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide. Currently fourth in the FedExCup, our analytical model gives DeChambeau a reasonable chance at jumping into the top spot of the Wyndham Rewards Top 10, at 7%. He has an 80% chance of staying in the top five.
Since the Return to Golf, DeChambeau leads the PGA TOUR in Strokes Gained: Total, greens in regulation, and of course, Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee.
Current FedExCup position: 2
Odds of winning Wyndham Rewards Top 10: 16%
A North Carolina native, there may be a $2 million homecoming gift for Simpson next month.
Simpson, who earned his first career victory at the 2011 Wyndham Championship, held the top spot in the Wyndham Rewards Top 10 until Justin Thomas finished runner-up to Collin Morikawa at the Workday Charity Open.
Simpson’s strong history at Sedgefield could help return to the top spot in the Wyndham Rewards Top 10. Simpson has nine top-25s in 11 starts at Sedgefield, including seven top-10s. He’s finished third, second and second in the last three Wyndham Championship.
Simpson’s career renaissance has been well-documented. In each of his last two starts, he has entered the week with a mathematical possibility of becoming No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Simpson is averaging a career-high 4.88 birdies per round this season. He has six top-10s in just nine starts this season, including four top-3 finishes. He has two wins (RBC Heritage, Waste Management Phoenix Open), making this his first multiple-win season since 2011.
Current FedExCup position: 1
Odds of winning Wyndham Rewards Top 10: 67%
The current leader of the Wyndham Rewards Top 10 has a stellar opportunity to earn the $2 million first place bonus. He holds a 229-point lead over Simpson and a 347-point lead over No. 3 Sungjae Im. DeChambeau, who trails Thomas by 375 points, is the only other player within 500 points of the lead.
In more than 20,000 simulations run by 15th Club, Thomas’ average finishing position is 1.38. He’s a mathematical lock to finish in the top five and has a 67% chance of finishing in the top spot.
Thomas leads the PGA TOUR in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and will be on the short list of favorites at TPC Harding Park for the PGA Championship. He’ll be a tough man to catch, but there’s still plenty of opportunity for volatility as the race to the finish heats up.