Preview: Wyndham Championship

Jim Herman became the second 40-something and third over 35 to win in the last four years.

Old guys can make birdies too!

Massive sandcastle that!

via @WyndhamChamp

Wyndham Championship

Sedgefield Country Club

Greensboro, NC

Yards (per official scorecard):7,131
Par:70 (35-35)
Greens:Champion Bermuda; 6,000 square feet.
Stimpmeter:12 feet
Rough:Bermuda at 2.5 inches.
Bunkers/Water52/5(water in play on 6 holes).
Architects:Donald Ross (1938); Kris Spence (2007).
Purse:$6.4 million and $1.157 million (winner); 550 FedExCup points.
Defending Champion:Jim Herman, -21.
Fact of the Week:Last chance to gain enough points to hit the top 125 and participate in the FedExCup Playoffs.
Fact of the Week II:Detroit Golf Club is the only other Donald Ross course used during the regular season.

Notes:

  • 156 players
  • Top 65 and ties play the weekend
  • Moved here in 2008
  • Bentgrass became Bermuda in 2012

2020-21 Winners

** – first time winner on TOUR

EventWinner
Safeway OpenStewart Cink
120th United States OpenBryson DeChambeau
Corales Punta Cana ChampionshipHudson Swafford
Sanderson Farms ChampionshipSergio Garcia
Shriners Hospitals for ChildrenMartin Laird (playoff)
CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEKJason Kokrak**
ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIPPatrick Cantlay
Bermuda ChampionshipBrian Gay
Vivint Houston OpenCarlos Oritz**
84th Masters TournamentDustin Johnson
The RSM ClassicRobert Streb
Mayakoba Golf ClassicViktor Hovland**
Sentry TOCHarris English
Sony Open in HawaiiKevin Na
The American ExpressSi Woo Kim
Farmers Insurance OpenPatrick Reed
Waste Management Phoenix OpenBrooks Koepka
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AmDaniel Berger
The Genesis InvitationalMax Homa
WGC – Championship at The ConcessionCollin Morikawa
Arnold Palmer InvitationalBryson DeChambeau (2)
THE PLAYERS ChampionshipJustin Thomas
The Honda ClassicMatt Jones
WGC- Match PlayBilly Horschel
Corales PuntacanaJoel Dahmen**
Valero Texas OpenJordan Spieth
85th Masters TournamentHideki Matsuyama
RBC HeritageStewart Cink (2)
Zurich Classic of New OrleansCameron Smith/Marc Leishman
Valspar ChampionshipSam Burns**
Wells Fargo ChampionshipRory McIlroy
AT&T Byron NelsonKH Lee**
103rd PGA ChampionshipPhil Mickelson
Charles Schwab ChallengeJason Kokrak (2)
Memorial TournamentPatrick Cantlay (2)
Palmetto Championship (Congaree)Garrick Higgo**
121st US OpenJon Rahm
Travelers ChampionshipHarris English (2)
Rocket Mortgage ClassicCam Davis**
John Deere ClassicLucas Glover
149th Open ChampionshipCollin Morikawa (2)
Barbasol ChampionshipSeamus Power**
3M OpenCameron Champ
2020 Tokyo OlympicsXander Schauffele
Barracuda ChampionshipErik van Rooyen
WGC- FedEx St Jude InvitationalAbraham Ancer

WGC Winners at TPC Southwind:

YearPlayerNotes
2020Jim Herman, -21Posted 61-63 on the weekend to win for the third time on TOUR at age 42.
2019JT Poston, -22First bogey-free winner on TOUR since 1974; first TOUR victory.
2018Brandt Snedeker, -21Opened with 59 as he went wire-to-wire for his second win at the event on two different courses.
2017Henrik Stenson, -22Set the tournament scoring record as he picked up the win at age 41.
2016Si Woo Kim, -21Won by five for his first victory on TOUR.

Facts and Figures:

Course Record:59; Brandt Snedeker, Round 1, 2018.
Tournament Record:258 (-22); Poston, 2019; Stenson 2017.
Recent Defending Champion(s):N/A.
Multiple Winners – EventBrandt Snedeker – 2018 Sedgefield; 2007 Forest Oaks.
Multiple Winners – CourseN/A.
First Time TOUR:Poston, Kim, Patrick Reed (2013), Webb Simpson (2011) and Arjun Atwal (2010).
First Time EVENT:None outside debut event.
Odd Fact:Worst winning score in the last five years was either the old record or new record.
Odd Fact II:Too many rounds of 63 or better to count annually.

Quick Thoughts

This is it. End of the road. Show’s over unless you’re in the top 125 after Sunday.

No pressure no big deal.

If you haven’t fired in the 49 previous available events, I’m not sure OH MY GOD I HAVE TO PLAY WELL THIS WEEK OR I’M TOAST is going to flip any switch.

On average, since 2007 when Wyndham became the last regular season stop, this event has produced 2.5 players advancing from outside of the top 125 annually. The record is five players multiple times.

Course form doesn’t hurt as you can see in Horses for Courses.

With a birdie barrage necessary, it opens the door to all comers who enjoy going low.

There’s enough fairway to hit and the rough is manageable. The greens provide ample targets and the Champion Bermuda runs pure.

Avoid bogeys, make birdies and don’t be afraid to average 65 shots per round to find a podium spot.

Twice 21-under wasn’t enough to win here.

The final event of the year should be a shootout and that’s what happens here annually.

Good luck!

Let’s recap last week first:

Last Week – Thoughts on the Chalk at WGC FESJI:

Brooks Koepka (+1200): He’s been criticized, and maybe rightfully so, for mailing in “regular” TOUR events. He doesn’t care what you think and he loves Memphis. 26-under aggregate the last two years and a clean bill of health entering this week makes him hard to pass up. T54 after 76 on Sunday. Woof.

Collin Morikawa (+1400): Looking to continue the trend of top three FedExCup (No. 1) or OWGR (No. 3) to win this event for the sixth year running. Tee to green numbers are staggering and these greens aren’t difficult to putt. Yes, please. Er, no thank you. Trend ends. T3 Fairways and T11 GIR and T64 Putts per GIR = T26.

Xander Schauffele (+1400): My buddy Jay reminds me that Schauffele should be bet in EVERY SINGLE INVITATIONAL FIELD as that is where he rakes. He’s not wrong but I pointed out he was my OAD at WGC- Concession and that did me T39. I’ll let the gold medalist enjoy his time in the sun as he moves to the top of the interview list this week. T46

Jordan Spieth (+1400): Hotter than the pavement downtown, the Texan has been cashing on tracks that suit his style of play. Plenty of water this week will test his business tee to green. T12. Hit it solid again, putted well, just a few too many bogeys (9) and doubles (2).

Justin Thomas (+1800): Defending champ and NOTORIOUS summer time and invitational player is looking to join Tiger Woods as the only players to defend a WGC event since 2007. So no. Go check my Expert Picks column to see his tweet about how many miles he’s flown the last month. Is it a clue? I doubt he’d post it if he was happy and playing great. That’s me. You do you. T26.

Dustin Johnson (+1800): Koepka has the form so I was hoping for a better price here as DJ hasn’t hit the top five in the USA in 2020. The MC in Minnesota gives me zero pause because of the soft landing here this week. I’m not crazy about a win ticket but a top 10 should be the floor. T10 it is. Normal service resumed.

Rory McIlroy (+2000): Optimists will tell you getting him at 20-1 is too good to pass up. Posted 62 here in 2019 and finished T4 before T47 last year. Another who will enjoy receptive hole locations and excellent putting conditions. I can’t figure him out. Nice recovery for T12 after opening with 72. Hint: The issues weren’t tee-to-green.

Louis Oosthuizen (+2200): I mean he’s on fire. Each way, Top 10, Top 20, go on then. One out of three because 74 on Sunday sank the ship. Boo.

Daniel Berger (+2200): Win, win and T2 in three of his last four here and already has a win this season. Knows how to get it over the line here. T5 this week is his worst finish when completing four rounds.

Patrick Cantlay (+2200): I can’t find much evidence on Bermuda to get involved. I know, I know, the greens are friendly but not for me. T23

Viktor Hovland (+2200): Three straight top 15s worldwide includes a win. Machine. T36 with two rounds in the 70s.

Bryson DeChambeau (+2800): 11 holes with water and only two Par-5 holes keeps me safely on the sidelines. Well, that was something. Imagine holding that win ticket Sunday on the back nine.

Scottie Scheffler (+2800): Top 10s on every grass and style of course this season. He and his game travel. 14th as his 74 on Sunday didn’t help anything.

Hideki Matsuyama (+3000): He has to run out of gas at some point. I’ll let the jet lag wear off and take a look next time out. P2 as the jet lag wore off Friday night. 63-64 weekend suggests he’s ready again to pop.

Thoughts on Next Wave – 33 to 1 or worse

Paul Casey (+3300): Sets up like Valspar so I’m guessing he’ll love it. Greens might be more favorable this week. T5 so that looked prescient.

Matt Fitzpatrick (+3500): Make it three straight in the top 10 here. This did not.

Webb Simpson (+3500): No top 10 since his neck deal. Loves the Bermuda so a nice tune-up before his invitational next week. Closed with 64 for T15. Tuned.

Patrick Reed (+4000): If everyone is chipping in and holing putts, he’s not at any advantage. T31 and WD this week.

Tony Finau (+4000): One top 10 in his last seven. T34.

Cameron Smith (+4000): Haircut is gaining more headlines than scorecard. T5 after late tree troubles. Great week minus one hole.

Harris English (+4000): Former winner here won Travelers after finishing third at Torrey Pines. Led on 18-under after 54 holes by two and finished fourth. Ouch.

Shane Lowry (+4500): I’ve been sniffing around him all summer. His superior ball-striking should shine this week. I like it. T23 isn’t enough to like but hardly a result to dismiss.

Funny Money

Lee Westwood (+11000) – T31

Ryan Palmer (+11000) – T26

Matt Jones (+17500) – T51

Aaron Rai (+22500) – T26

Jim Herman (+40000) – Looked great Saturday morning haha, T46

This Week – Wyndham Championship

Read more in Horses for Courses

Thoughts on the Chalk:

Webb Simpson (+1200): Same number as Koepka at Memphis last week in a WGC field! Top 10s for fun, podiums for funner and his first win suggest this is the Disney World of TOUR life for Simpson. Only six people have beaten him the last four years on this track. Nobody knows this place better.

Hideki Matsuyama (+1400): T3 and T11 here and this week will all depend on how many feet of putts he holes. Still think he’s smarting from the Olympics, in a good way. I’d expect another big week.

Louis Oosthuizen (+1600): I can’t tell you the last time he didn’t finish in the top 20. Checks notes, T26 Masters. Again, each way, Top 10 and Top 20.

Jason Kokrak (+2500): Big gap to the next tier. Used to live in CLT and has played well here before. Lovely balance of power and putting should be handy this week. Last victory was a Par-70, Colonial, and his last top 10 as well.

Sungjae Im (+2500): Of his eight rounds here, four are 65 or better and his stroke average is 66.00. His last top 10 was at another Ross design in Detroit. CLUES! With T4 and T6 previously, I gotta take a shot.

Brian Harman (+2500): He’s hit the top 25 in 10 of his last 15. Solid if not spectacular.

Will Zalatoris (+2800): Win and get in. Seems to fire on tougher tracks than easier tracks but he’s Wake Forest so that won’t hurt.

Thoughts on Next Wave – 33 to 1 or worse

Russell Henley (+3300): Three straight T19 or better before MC at The Open. Loves Bermuda.

Kevin Na (+4500): Plays here every now and again. 63 or better on his last three visits, all Top 20s.

Si Woo Kim (+4500): 5 events, 3 top fives (2016 winner) and 2 MC. Sounds about right.

Gary Woodland (+4500): Backed up his T11 at 3M with T7 last week at Barracuda. Yes, please.

Seamus Power (+5000): Same odds as Fowler and Adam Scott. It’s not close who is in the best form.

Charl Schwartzel (+5500): T2 at 3m makes it 7 of 9 in the top 25.

Hank Lebioda (+6600): When we last left our hero he just chipped in for eagle to make the cut at 3M. He learned after the round his father was gravely ill and WD. First event back after three straight top 10s. Rest should help.

CT Pan (+9000): Bronze medal winner almost ran down Snedeker here in 2018.

Ryan Armour (+9000): Was my OAD for Barracuda LAST week so I’ll show him.

Adam Schenk (+10000): Two top 10s in his last four on TOUR and was in the fight last week.

Patrick Rodgers (+10000): This is a recording. 8 straight. Top 20 look.

Funny Money

Brice Garnett (+12500)

Roger Sloan (+12500)

Mark Hubbard (+12500)

Martin Laird (+15000)

Scott Piercy (+16000)

Matthew NeSmith (+22500)

Tom Hoge (+25000)

Chris Baker (+40000)

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out through Twitter or email me mikeglasscott@gmail.com.

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