This week’s Wyndham Championship isn’t exactly the most exciting slate we’ll see this PGA season, but it presents us with a solid field and good opportunity to set some bold lineups as there aren’t really any standout favorites or must-plays. This is a great chance to get creative and chase some value.
It’s going down at Sedgefield Country Club Greensboro, NC – just a short trip from last week’s PGA Championship. As most DFSers know by now, this is the last-chance tournament for some of the “bubble guys” on tour, where a good finish will put them over the edge into the playoffs. For others (such as current favorite Henrik Stenson), it’s a must-play to hit season minimums in tournaments played to gain eligibility to the playoffs. The course isn’t crazy, in fact it’s relatively standard. A 7,120 yard par 71 with moderate levels of trouble and a history of very low scores. We have seen plenty of first-time PGA tour winners here, which to me says, don’t be afraid to follow your gut and trust your research, because this is an “anyone can win” situation.
Here’s this weeks scorecard:
We are looking at a total of four par-3s, eleven par-4s, and three par-5s. The par fours, which for good reason stand out as the holes to focus on, average 432 yards. As I mentioned, there isn’t much trouble to worry about here, so putting drives in good position to chase pins and get birdies will set players apart this week. And of course to make birdies, you have to make putts. Taking this all into consideration, here are the stats I dug into this week: strokes gained tee-to-green (as always), strokes gained approach, good drives gained, fairways gained, strokes gained putting, birdies gained, bogeys avoided, strokes gained par 4, par 4s 400-450 yards, in addition to 2014-2016 Wyndham Champ results, and last week’s PGA Championship results. It may seem like a week that you can throw some guesses out there and maybe get lucky – but I chose to dig just about as deep as one could dig into these stats. As always, I will highlight some of my findings through studs, mid-range options, and value picks.
Studs/Top Dollar Options:
Kevin Kisner: He’s been hot and cold this season, but he seems to be on the right side of the spectrum at the moment, following a near major-win last week. Kisner was extremely solid Thursday though Saturday at the PGA Championship, with a little slip up at the end of his final round. Aside from last week, Kisner now totals six top-10s on the season, 16 cuts in 18 starts, and one win at the end of May. He has very good course history this week, finishing 8th here in 2014 and 10th here in 2016. For this weeks stats, Kisner shows up in just about all of them, but doesn’t impress much in really. He likes the 400-450 yard par 4’s, is putting relatively well, and has been avoiding bogeys. I like the fact he’s at the top of his game again and is probably looking to take back a little of what he let slip away last week.
This man has been a cut making machine as of late and has some of the best course history this week of possibly anyone in the field. Simpson won here in 2011, finished 5th in 2014, and 6th in 2016. Last week, he had a decent finish at the PGA Championship, being held up only by his Thursday 76. For stats, Simpson looks great: 21st in strokes gained T2G, 31st in good drives gained, 7th in fairways gained, 26th in putting, 5th in bogey avoidance, and 11th in strokes gained par 4. He’s on my list this week.
Henrik Stenson: I didn’t want to have to mention him this week, but I have to. He stands out in this field, and for a reason. He is what I like to call “elite” and he’s in a field of more or less non-elite golfers. If you’ve been playing him lately and looking at him like a low priced stud, you may be happy with him. If you have tried to build lines around him, you may not be. He hasn’t done anything amazing since the start of the year, but now has made five cuts in a row and finished top-20 in four of them, including 13th last week. For stats, he sits in 14th in fairways gained, 30th in putting, 6th in birdies gained, 18th in bogeys avoided, and 5th in par fours 400-450 yards. You can’t count him out this week, but you may be able to find a better price when looking elsewhere.
Other studs to keep an eye on: Jason Dufner, Bill Haas, Keegan Bradley, Ryan Moore
Disclaimer: Here is where things get interesting & maybe a little strange
Kyle Stanley: His last four tournaments are pretty ugly. He’s finished, MC, 41st, MC, 55th. However, this course suits his style of golf, at least as of late. He has a win in late June at the Quicken Loans National and three other top-10s this year. For stats, he sits in 5th in strokes gained tee-to-green, 13th in good drives gained, 2nd in fairways gained, 21st in birdies gained, 11th in bogies avoided, and 22nd in stokes gained on par 4s. He also finished 14th here in 2016. It’s a toss-up, but you need variance and risk to win big in a week like this.
Chad Campbell: These tournaments are his bread and butter. 9th at the Greenbrier, 18th at the Barbasol Champ, 10th at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. He has been in the mix a ton this season, with 3 top-10s and a questionable amount of cuts made. He’s rested up and hopefully ready to close out the season strong. He is sprinkled throughout this week’s stats with 15th in strokes gained tee to green, 10th in strokes gained approach, 5th in birdies gained, 17th in strokes gained par 4, and 24th in par 4s 400-450 yards. Don’t count him out.
Seamus Power: This Irishman has basically finished top-25 in his last four starts in extremely consistent fashion. He seems like a safe bet to me to finish top-20 and not give you a headache. Who knows – these stats may even make you think he’s got a chance to win: 4th in putting, 8th in birdies gained, 2nd in strokes gained par 4, and 3rd in par 4s 400-450 yards. Think about it!
Other mid-range to keep an eye on: Danny Lee (wouldn’t let myself write about him this week), Bud Cauley, Byeong-Hun An, Shane Lowery, Billy Horschel, Kevin Streelman, Chez Reavie, Robert Streb, Ben Martin, Lucas Glover
Due to lack of time & the crazy amount of value and possibility of so many different people succeeding here this week, I am going to give you a short stat rundown of my couple favorites. My best advice is you can’t really count anyone out here. Anyone at all.
Jason Kokrak: 3rd in strokes gained tee to green, 4th in strokes gained approach, 7th in good drives gained, and 26th stokes gained par 4. He came in 33rd last week and has been all over the place all season.
Cameron Percy: 14th in strokes gained tee to green, 8th in strokes gained approach, 19th in good drives gained. 38th here in 2015 and 33rd in 2016. Seems he can put it in the fairway and green, but can he make birdie putts?
Tyrone Van Aswegen: 23rd in strokes gained tee to green, 20th in strokes gained approach, 15th good drives gained, 15th bogey avoidance, and 38th strokes gained par 4. Top-20s in his last two starts, but still no top-10s this season. Waiting for this guy to string 4 rounds together.
Other value to keep an eye on: Camilo Villegas, Luke Donald, Carl Pettersson, Ben Crane, Billy Horschel, Daniel Summerhays, Rory Sabbatini, Smylie Kaufman, Nick Watney, Alex Cejka
Good luck this week & see you for the playoffs!
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