Horses for Courses: Wyndham Championship

Folks, Webb Simpson is the leading money winner at the event. He’s racked up podium finishes the last four years. He went to school down the street at Wake Forest. His daughter is named after the event. This ain’t hard!

via @PGATOUR

The final of 50 events in the super-sized PGA TOUR season tees it up this week to determine the field of 125 for the FedExCup Playoffs.

No more chances for conjecture, swing changes or “saving it for later” as the TOUR’s annual stop at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, NC, will determine who moves on and who heads home. This Donald Ross original was redone by Kris Spence in 2007 and the event was relocated here in 2008. The Wyndham Championship also moved to the final event on the TOUR calendar after the redesign. The end of the road pressure has been on the calendar since.


RELATED: Expert Picks


There’s good news and bad news for the full field of 156. Sedgefield annually plays as one of the easiest courses on TOUR and always competes for the easiest Par-70. The good news is everyone knows what it will take to win this week: low scores/birdies/eagles. The bad news is everyone who needs is on the bubble hasn’t exactly been doing that lately and will need to find it immediately.

The formula in a shootout, which seems like every event TOUR event the last month, remains the same. The more fairways and GIR that are found the more chances for birdie putts and no-sweat pars. Rounds in the 60s will trump everything as the math suggests better than 5-under each day is needed to win. Hard to do that with a 70 or worse over the four days. Only five rounds worse than 70 were posted last year in the top 27 players, TOTAL.

Champion Bermuda greens sit at 6,000 square feet and pitch, in Ross style, back to front, so leaving the ball below the hole is key. One of the reason scoring is always low is they’re in perfect shape and the course only plays 7,131 yards. Throw in rough at not even three inches and a shootout is on the cards.

How low do you have to go? Well, the last five winners posted either 21 or 22-under. Webb Simpson posted 21-under here in 2019 and didn’t win. So did Ollie Schniederjans in 2017. The highest winning score on the podium the last three seasons is 18-under, accomplished twice.

The $1.157 winner’s portion (500 FedExCup) of the $6.4 million total purse will go a long way to determining final FedExCup positioning for next week.

Recent Event Winner Stats

Year202020192018
Jim HermanJT PostonBrandt Snedeker
Score259258259
To Par21-under22-under21-under
MOV113
Cut3-under  
Age422637
    
Disantance – All DrivesT385454
Driving Accuarcy4T2T51
GIR1T1T19
Ball-StrikingT4933
ProximityT30T312
Putting: Birdie or Better %11298
SG: Off-the-Tee52847
SG: Approach-the-Green413
SG: Around-the-Green55135
SG: Putting31319
SG: Tee-to-Green412
Scrambling71T1T46
Bogey AvoidanceT261T21
Par-3 ScoringT38T28T2
Par-4 ScoringT11T12
Par-5 ScoringT2T9T3

Recent Winners

2020 – Jim Herman (-21, 259)

Posted 63 on Sunday to win by a shot. … Trailed by four after 54 holes. … Third round 61 boosted him from T36 to T5. … 63-61 weekend ties lowest 36 holes for a winner on TOUR. … Picks up third win at age 42 in 192nd event. … Played the Par-5 5th hole in SIX-UNDER for the week. … Holed 440 feet of putts. … Third winner in four years to hit the top three in GIR (1st). … Fifth consecutive winner top five (T4) SG: Approach the Green. … Made three eagles (T1) on the week. … Wins for the second consecutive season on TOUR…. Made only two of eight cuts entering the week with best being T33. … First visit to Sedgefield since T18 in 2015.

Notables in the field this week:

Co 36-hole and solo 54-hole leader Si Woo Kim (T3) was 18-under before and after 54 holes. … Kevin Kisner (T3), on his preferred surface of Bermuda, posted 64-65-64 the final three rounds. … Doc Redman (T3) led the field in fairways hit (49/56). … Nothing worse than 66 for 2011 champ Webb Simpson (T3) as he picks up his fourth consecutive podium. … Zach Johnson (T7) matched Herman’s 61 for lowest round of the week. … Harold Varner III (T7) shared the first round lead with 62. … Russell Henley (T9) was third in GIR and T8 Fairways. … Sungjae Im (T9) backed up his T6 on debut in 2019. … Denny McCarthy (T9) rolled in 25 birdies. … 2013 champ Patrick Reed (T9) added his first top 10 since his maiden TOUR win. … Defending champ JT Poston (MC) shouldn’t feel too bad as nobody has defended this title. … Lift, clean and replace was used all four rounds. … Herman joined Johnson and Shane Lowry (T23; not entered this week) as players entering the top 125 and qualifying for the FedExCup Playoffs. … Record for most outside to inside the top 125 at Sedgefield is five players (multiple times). … Top 30 players 10-under or better. … 28 bogey-free rounds. … Cut was 3-under 137. … 68.779 scoring average.

2019 – JT Poston (22-under, 258)

Ties the tournament record on 22-under as he won by a shot. … Closed with 62, tying the tournament’s lowest final round. … First winner on TOUR since 1974 to win an event with NO BOGEYS on the card. … First TOUR victory at age 26 in his 77th start. … Joins Webb Simpson, Patrick Reed and Si Woo Kim as first-time winners here. … Becomes third North Carolina native to win since 2008. … First podium on TOUR. … Entered the week T29-MC-T11-MC on TOUR. … Previous two events here MC and T50.

Notables in the field this week:

Webb Simpson (2nd) led the field in Fairways. … Byeong-Hun An (3rd) led or co-led after every round thru 54 holes and was bogey free until Sunday. … 2016 champ Si Woo Kim (5th) added another podium to his record here. … Brice Garnett (T6) was the only player in the top 21 to post a round of 70 in the final round. … Brian Harman (T6) enjoyed his first top 10 since T3 here in 2013. … Sungjae Im (T6) opened with 62 on his debut. … Jason Kokrak (T6) closed 16-under after opening with 70. … Rory Sabbatini (T6) picked up his third top 10 here in his last seven starts. … Defending champion Brandt Snedeker (T39) was 10-under. … Adam Svensson (T31; not entered) posted 61, low round of the week. … Lift, clean and replace used in Rounds 1 and 2 as three inches of rain was in the forecast for the first two days. … Top 47 players 10-under or better. … 41 bogey-free rounds. … 68.175 scoring average.

2018 – Brandt Snedeker (21-under, 259)

Shot a final round 65 to win by three and claim is second title at this EVENT (2007, Forest Oaks Country Club). … At the time posted the 10th 59 in PGATOUR history as he opened 11-under. … Wire-to-wire winner as he led by four after 18 and two after 36 holes. … Due to weather, he played 29 holes on Sunday. … Garners win No. 9  on TOUR in his 306th start at age 37. … Picked up his third top five in five years at Sedgefield. … Entered the week with two top 10 finishes in his last four TOUR events. … Has not won since.

Notables in the field this week:

CT Pan (T2) circled 25 birdies. … Webb Simpson (T2) closed with 62, tying the tournament record. … Brian Gay (T6) signed for 63-62 in the middle but 70 and 69 bookends slowed him. … 2009 winner Ryan Moore (T6) added his third top 10 paycheck. … Ryan Armour (T8) was T4 GIR and T10 Fairways. … Nick Taylor (T8) opened with 65 and closed with 63. … Defending champion Henrik Stenson (T20) posted 13-under. … ZERO players in the top 23 had rounds ABOVE 70. … There were just three rounds above 70 for the top 40 players. … 40 players were 10-under or better. … 29 bogey-free rounds. … 69.399 scoring average.

Key stat leaders

Top golfers in each statistic on the 2020-2021 PGA TOUR are listed only if they are scheduled to compete this week.

Strokes-Gained: Approach
RankPlayer
  
4Russell Henley
7Will Zalatoris
8Hideki Matsuyama
10Matthew NeSmith
15Cameron Percy
18Doug Ghim
22Chez Reavie
23Kyle Stanley
27Seamus Power
30Russell Knox
31Michael Gellerman
32Henrik Norlander
34Louis Oosthuizen
35Kevin Streelman
37Scott Stallings
38Talor Gooch
40Lanto Griffin
41Matthew Wolff
43Tom Hoge
44Harold Varner III
45Aaron Wise
48Hank Lebioda
50Chris Kirk
  
Rounds in the 60s
RankPlayer
  
1Sungjae Im
3Patton Kizzire
4Brian Harman
10Brian Stuard
15Troy Merritt
16Mark Hubbard
16Sebastian Munoz
16Sepp Straka
24Hideki Matsuyama
24Russell Henley
24Kevin Streelman
24Matt Jones
24Adam Schenk
30Brice Garnett
30Jason Kokrak
30Doug Ghim
34Henrik Norlander
34Will Zalatoris
34Zach Johnson
  
Birdie or Better Percentage
RankPlayer
  
17Harry Higgs
18Patton Kizzire
19Jason Kokrak
22Sebastian Munoz
26Matthew Wolff
28Peter Malnati
30Webb Simpson
32Tom Hoge
33Justin Rose
34Brian Harman
35Rory Sabbatini
36Luke List
36Rafael Campos
41Sungjae Im
42JT Poston
44Sepp Straka
47Will Gordon
48Rob Oppenehim
50Jhonattan Vegas

Horses for Courses

Top golfers entered this week and other exceptions

Player (Starts/Cuts Made)Top 10s Top 25Most RecentRecent Others/Notes
     
Jim Herman (4/5)13Win (2020)First visit since 2015 (T18); has 4 rounds of 64 or better career
Webb Simpson (11/12)810T3 (2020)Top 6 in 6 of his last 7; No. 1 money all time money
Si Woo Kim (3/5)33T3 (2020)2016 winner (1st on TOUR): 5th 2019
Kevin Kisner (6/6)33T3 (2020)T10 2016; T8 2014; 3 of last 4 top 10
Doc Redman (1/3)11T3 (2020)MC-MC previous two
Zach Johnson (4/4)22T7 (2020)T5 2013; shot 61 Rd 3 last year
Harold Varner (4/5)22T7 (2020)T10 2017
Sungjae Im (2/2)22T9 (2020)T6 2019; half of his 8 rounds 65 or better
Denny McCarthy (3/3)12T9 (2020)T22, T36 previous 2
Russell Henley (3/4)11T9 (2020)T31 2019 next best
     
JT Poston (2/4)11Win (2019)T50 debut; 74-66 MC defending
Byeong-Hun An (2/3)123rd (2019)T18 2015
Brian Harman (3/8)22T6 (2019)T3 2013; T27 2020
Rory Sabbatini (4/6)33T6 (2019)T4 2017; T8 2013
Jason Kokrak (5/8)13T6 (2019)T15 2020; T16 2017
Brice Garnett (4/6)13T6 (2019)T20 previous two years; MC last year
     
Brandt Snedeker (10/12)55Win (2018)T3 2016; T5 2014; 6 straight paydays
CT Pan (3/3)11T2 (2018)T69 after, 63rd before
Brian Gay (3/8)11T6 (2018)T48 next best
Ryan Moore (6/9)34T6 (2018)Winner 2009; T10 2015
Ryan Armour (4/6)24T8 (2018)T4 2017; T25 or better in 4 straight
Nick Taylor (2/5)11T8 (2018)T50
     
Kevin Na (3/4)23T4 (2017)T10 2016 last two visits; 63 or better 3 straight visits
Richy Werenski (3/3)11T10 (2017)T53, T39 followed
     
Hideki Matsuyama (3/6)13T3 (2016)T11 2018; MC 2019 in last visit
     
Others     
Camilo Villegas (6/7)23Win (2014)T29 or better in 5 of 7
Lucas Glover (9/12)15 T30 or better 7 times
Charl Schwartzel (2/3)12T3 (2015)T14 2012; MC 2020

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