What’s goin’ on fantasy golf fans?! I hope everyone enjoyed the PGA Championship, built some solid lineups and had a profitable week. Unfortunately, the major season has come and gone…sad, sad times. We are now gifted with the Wyndham Championship, whose field will make you want to take the week off. But don’t! If you have been grinding all season long, these are the fields that can really be taken advantage off. If you were someone betting on the Barracuda or Barbasol, building lineups for the Puerto Rico Open, this is a field for you.
The Wyndham Championship will be held at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro North Carolina. Sedgefield is a 7,100 yard Par 70, and will typically yield a lot of birdies even though it only has two Par 5s. Sedgefield has played host to this event since 2008, but they changed the greens to Champion Bermuda, same turf as last week’s Quail Hollow, prior to the 2012 event, limiting course history slightly. Due to it’s lack of length, Sedgefield will play as a second shot course. Bombers will have driver taken out of their hands on some holes, bringing the to a more level playing field.
Since second shots will be extremely important this week, SG:Approach is my heaviest weighted stat, followed closely by Birdie or Better %. Winning scores usually end up in the high teen range, so golfers who can stuff the cup with birds will be targets. The bermuda rough can also be very penal, so I will be looking at SG:Off the tee combined with Driving Accuracy, in the hopes guys are staying out of the long stuff giving them more opportunities to attack pins. I will also be looking at Par 4 Scoring Average, Scrambling and SG:Putting on bermuda specifically.
Alright, let’s get to the picks!
My favorite golfers for the week – for Cash and GPP contests.
Henrik Stenson – $11,500
In a field of this strength, Henrik Stenson should be at least $12,000. We are getting a discount on a golfer that is head and shoulders better than every other golfer in this field, and people are still avoiding him. The narrative that Stenson is just showing up to this event to maintain his tour status is fair, but how about it’s also because he wants to continue the mini heater is his on. Stenson has three straight top 17, all in world class fields. He ranks first in my weighted stats model, crushing Par 4s and approach shots over his past 12 rounds. I am getting the sense his ownership will be around 15%, maybe lower, which is absurd for a golfer who could lap this field if he’s on.
Bud Cauley – $9,200
I cannot, and will not quit Bud Cauley. “Justin Thomas’s” buddy has been playing very well as of late, and popped up on the leaderboard at the PGA early last week. In the field, Cauley ranks 2nd in SG:App and 14th in Par 4 scoring average, which should set him up perfectly for Sedgefield, a course he has had success at in the past. Cauley has a T10 and a 3rd place finish at the Wyndham in the past five years, to go along with two missed cuts. However, this season on corollary courses, he finished 12th (John Deere Classic) and 3rd (RBC Heritage) – another top 15 finish and hopefully higher, is well within the cards.
Chez Reavie – $8,100
Chez Reavie is becoming a cut making machine. Chez has made nine of his last ten cuts, which include a T4 at the St. Jude and impressive T22 last week at a tough Quail Hollow that didn’t seem to fit his game. In his last 12 rounds, Chez ranks 9th in SG:App, 21st in Birdies and 3rd in Fairways gained. His accuracy off the tee and recent approach stats will give him plenty of birdie looks this week. He needs to figure out these bermuda greens if he wants to have a chance, but his tee to green game will make him a solid cash option, someone who will definitely be playing four rounds.
Kevin Na – $7,500
Simply put, Kevin Na is too cheap this week and his value has to be taken advantage of. In his past 12 rounds, Na ranks 2nd in Par 4 scoring, 6th in SG:App and 6th in Birdies gained. That includes his missed cut at the PGA last week. Sedgefield will take the driver out of Na’s hands this week, so his wildness off the tee will be minimized. He came 10th at this event last season, and could really use some FedEx Cup points as the playoffs linger right around the corner. I think this is a great “get right” week for Na at a course that seems to suit his eye.
Luke Donald – $7,000
Very rarely will you see Luke Donald’s name get mentioned in the Staples section, but this week is a fitting week to include him. Accuracy and no distance is what Luke Donald brings to the table, a perfect fit for Sedgefield. Donald hasn’t been lighting the world on fire lately with six straight missed cuts, but he is turning into (probably already is) a golfer that plays well on courses that he likes or that fit his game. Harbour Town is one of those courses, where he’s come second in back-to-back years. He came runner up at the Wyndham last season, so Sedgefield could be one of those tracks where Donald takes his top 5 money and says “see ya next year.”
Wyndham Championship Research Spreadsheet
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Identifying the chalk, and going elsewhere.
Jason Dufner – $10,400
In a field of this strength, I find it very beneficial to make plenty of logical pivots because no one really knows how any of the golfers are going to perform. They are in this field because of their inconsistencies, and pivoting to lower owned golfers can be profitable. This week, Jason Dufner is the lowest tagged golfer on FanShareSports in the $10K+ range. There is no reason for Dufner not to be getting love this week. He is accurate of the tee and deadly with his irons, ranking 1st in SG:APP over his last 12 rounds. He has a top 10 at this event within his last three trips here, won a few weeks ago at Muirfield (another shorter course) and came T11 at RBC Heritage, a corollary course. Dufman is my favorite tournament play of the week.
Keegan Bradley – $9,500
In a week that seems like it should be a Keegan Bradley week, no one is really getting behind him. He only has 15 tags on FanShareSports, despite a bunch of stats that say he should have way more. Keegan has been driving the ball incredibly all season, ranking first in total driving in this field. Even though distance won’t matter as much, he is very accurate off the tee, so clubbing down will likely yield the same result. Keegan ranks 3rd in the field in ball striking, and 3rd in Par 4 scoring average. Obviously, putting is his kryptonite – if his putter shows up this week, Keegan will have a late tee time on Sunday.
Scott Brown – $8,200
Scott Brown turned in an improbably T13 last week at Quail Hollow, backed by an impressive putting performance. Brown gained 5.3 strokes on the green, but also 3.3 in his approach shots. He now has two top 25s in his last three events and has seen his price jump way up to $8,200. He only has 11 tags on FanShareSports, compared to Reavie who has 21, priced right below him. Brown may be drawing some inspiration from good buddy Kevin Kisner – maybe they can both crack the top 15 again this week.
Emiliano Grillo – $7,500
What a fall from grace it has been for Emiliano Grillo. He is on a terrible run lately, missing three of his last five cuts. Those missed cuts were all majors, and the Wyndham Championship, isn’t one. Grillo is one of the best talents in this field and at an accuracy style course, can surely bounce back and make a run. He only has two tags on FanShareSports, so he will likely be under 5% owned. If Hagy or Ollie are not your cup of tea, Grillo is a great pivot option.
Ryan Blaum – $6,900
There aren’t a lot of names below the $6K range that I like, or can even stomach rostering this week, but Ryan Blaum would be the first guy I go to if I need some salary relief. Blaum has made five straight cuts including two top 10s, getting back to the form we got use to seeing at the beginning of the season. He ranks 10th in my weighted stats model, due to his Par 4 scoring and BoB% over his past 12 rounds, ranking 2nd and 3rd in those stats respectively. Pivot off of the bomber Trey Mullinax, who doesn’t suit this course at all.
Bad course fit? Highly owned for the wrong reason? Players I will have no shares of.
Webb Simpson – $10,000
Webb Simpson is trending towards being the highest owned golfer on the slate – I cannot get behind that. He has been playing much better lately, that is certain, but at $10K, I need to be very confident he is going to finish inside the top 10 in order to return value. Even with his great course history, he showed last year with his T72 finish at the Wyndham he is capable of struggling at this course. With the weak field and volatility of all of these golfers, I’d rather pivot to the lower owned, equal upside of Jason Dufner.
Grayson Murray – $9,100
Alright Grayson, that was a fun run but the road ends here. Murray has been on a heater lately with a win at the Barbasol and a solid run at Quail Hollow. Sedgefield does not set up for Murray, who ranks 108th in the field in driving accuracy and 124th in scrambling. Take the biggest weapon, his distance, out of his bag and we should see Murray struggle, especially after grinding out four rounds last week.
Brandon Hagy – $7,400
Brandon Hagy is a similar story to Grayson Murray, where their biggest weapon won’t be a factor this week. Hagy is a masher and leads the field in driving distance, and even if he clubs down to hit fairways, his approach game will not save him. Hagy is 123rd in SG:App in the field, and does the majority of his damage on Par 5s. Sedgefield has never been a course where bombers eat it up. Toss in Hagy’s projected higher ownership, sits 17th most tags on FanShareSports, and fading Hagy seems like the logical play.
So, you got burned?
Recently got screwed by a missed cut or a poor performance? Looks like a good time to jump back on.
Kyle Stanley – $9,300
Considering the lack of talent in this field, there aren’t many golfers who roasted your lineups within the last few weeks to highlight. There is however, Kyle Stanley. Stanley seemed like a safe, cheap option last week at the PGA, but let everyone down with a terrible display of putting. Stanley lost the most strokes putting last week in the entire field. What is scary is that the Sedgefield greens are the same grass type as Quail Hollow’s, so let’s hope Stanley spent his off days figuring out how to roll them on bermuda grass. He only has nine tags on FanShareSports, the fewest of any golfer priced above $9K.
Thanks for reading the Wyndham Championship preview article! You can follow me on Twitter for more golf and betting talk! Also, make sure you check out @FanShareSports. They track and curate content produced across the DFS Golf industry, and highlight which players are being tagged or talked about the most, translating to an excellent ownership guide.
Good luck this week everybody!!