Preview: Golf’s major season has concluded with “JT” Justin Thomas taking home the final major of the 2017 PGA Tour season. Thomas, Koepka, & Spieth (among others) are proving that golf is now a young man’s sport. What’s most impressive is how quickly these young guys learn to handle the most pressure-filled moments of their young careers. Two months ago, Thomas had a good chance to win his first major at Erin Hills after firing a 63 in the third round. He was nowhere to be found on Sunday after shooting a 75 and finishing T-9. Fast forward two months later, and Thomas is a major champion, and it’s no accident. He played incredible golf, shooting a 68 Sunday, on his way to the 2017 PGA Championship. McIlroy bounced back to win the U.S Open after collapsing at the Masters two months prior; Spieth won the Masters the year after he came runner-up to Bubba, and now Justin Thomas is a major champion just two months after his biggest Sunday disappointment. Back in the day, majors were most commonly won by players in their prime, which was considered to be age 30-39. Those days are long gone as seven of the Top 10 golfer’s in the world are under the age of 30.
With major season officially over, we are now approaching FedEx Cup Playoff season. This week the Wyndham Championship will mark the final week of the regular season on the PGA Tour. For those unfamiliar, all year long the players have been acquiring points each week based on where they finish each week. After the Wyndham Championship wraps up, the Top 125 and ties in the FedEx Cup ranking will make it to the Northern Trust Open. From there, the Top 100 and ties will play the Dell Technologies Championship (formerly the Deutsche Bank Championship); The top 70 and ties from there will play in the BMW Championship, and the from there, the Top 30 will play in the Tour Championship. So, each week some player’s will have their season come to an end in the race for $10 million. This week’s field will be the weakest field we have going forward, as they will only get stronger and stronger. The only Top 25-ranked players to choose from this week are Henrik Stenson and Kevin Kisner. Some other notables are Jason Dufner, Bill Haas, Webb Simpson, Ryan Moore, Kyle Stanley, James Hahn, and the increasingly relevant Keegan Bradley.
The Wyndham Championship has been held at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina. The tournament has been held at this venue since 2008, so looking at this tournament’s history can give you a good idea of who may perform well this week. Sedgefield is a par 70 golf course that measures 7,127 yards. This is one of the easiest Par 70 tracks the Tour has to offer, so scores should be very low. Look for players who excel in birdie or better %, as there will be plenty of birdies this week. The main challenge at Sedgefield CC is keeping the ball in a good playable position. Many holes here require that players find the correct sides of fairways, and have a proper angle into greens. Players with a high good drive % will have many opportunities to fire from the proper angle at flags. Last year, Si-Woo Kim won this event with a score of 21-under par, and the year before, Davis Love III won with a score of 17-under. A low score is the only way to win this one, and what is the only way to make low-scores in golf? Target players who hit a lot of greens and excel in strokes gained: putting. I know I’m playing Captain Obvious here, but the very complex game of golf can also be very simple; hit the fairway, hit the green, make the putt. Of course, with all Par 70 courses on Tour, players will be playing an extra four to eight par 4s this week. So, find good par 4 scorers when searching through the field. Lastly, when looking for sleepers, take a look at the field, and the FedEx Cup rankings, and look at who needs to finish high to make it to next week. Pick a player or two; who you think can rise to the occasion and jump into that Top 125 as a sleeper pick? The stakes will be getting higher and higher each week from here on out. Major season may be over, but the road to the FedEx Cup Championship will be filled with guaranteed drama and entertainment.
Wyndham Championship Key Stats
Greens in Regulation
Strokes Gained: Putting
Good Drive %
Par 4 Scoring
Birdie or Better %
Wyndham Championship Daily Fantasy Picks
*using Draftkings pricing
Bill Haas: $10,400, Webb Simpson: $10,000
I’m staying away from the top priced players this week in Henrik Stenson ($11,500) and Kevin Kisner ($11,300). I don’t think that either one will be worth their price unless they win the tournament. With the field being so weak, picking Stenson or Kisner means you’ll have to really dig deep for multiple sleepers, which isn’t worth it unless you feel super strongly that one of them is going to win, which I don’t. So to start my lineups I’ll have a good portion of Bill Haas and Webb Simpson.
Bill Haas has a tremendous track record at the Wyndham. His last three finishes at this tournament are T-22, T-6, and T-2. He ranks 11th in the field this week in Greens in Regulation, and is in the upper-half of the field in Strokes Gained: Putting. After a shaky start to his season he’s been very reliable for the last few months with only one missed cut since late May. This is the time of year when Haas plays his best. He won the Tour Championship in 2011, and the Northern Trust Open in 2012. He’ll be gearing up for another dark horse Tour Champion run.
I had a good bit of Webb Simpson in my lineups last week because of his home-course advantage at Quail Hollow. He didn’t disappoint last week value-wise, but he was priced at just $6,800 so the bar was low. The bar will be higher this week, and I expect him to clear it again. He actually has an even better record at Sedgefield then Quail Hollow. Aside from his T-72 finish last year, Simpson has finished T-6, T-5, T-11, T-22, and won the event in 2011.
Upper-Mid Tier ($8,500-$9,900)
Ryan Moore: $9,600, Keegan Bradley: $9,500, James Hahn: $9,100, Byeong-Hun An: $8,900
Ryan Moore quietly has played some good golf over the last two weeks finishing T-28 at the Bridgestone Invitational and T-13 in the PGA Championship. He is one of the best at getting off the tee in good position ranking 12th in the field in good drive %. Historically Moore has been a great putter, even in his off year, he still gains strokes putting on the field.
It’s been a long time since I could trust Keegan Bradley. After a long stretch of subpar golf from Bradley, he looks like he’s ready to make a deep FedEx Cup playoff run. Bradley has made six straight cuts with three top-25 finishes during that stretch. He ranks number one in the field in Par 4 Birdie %. He also ranks sixth in the field in good drive % and ninth in the field in greens in regulation. His game looks to be made for this event, and he’s been playing some good golf lately, so I say welcome back Keegan Bradley to my DFS lineups.
James Hahn has become one of the safest picks to make in daily fantasy. He hasn’t missed any cuts since May, and has three top-10s and five top-25s during that time. He played well last week at the PGA and should continue it into this week. Hahn is one of the straightest drivers of the ball ranking 15th in the field in good drive %. In a weak field like this one Hahn can easily find himself at the top by Sunday.
Benny An is one of the best ball-strikers in the world right now. He gains a lot of shots off the tee (16th on tour), and a lot of shots on the approach (28th). He’s also one of the best Par 4 players in the field (15th in par 4 birdies). He’s one of the most talented players in the field, and will prove it this week.
Lower-Mid Tier ($7,000-$8,400)
Lucas Glover: $8,400, Scott Brown: $8,200, Chez Reavie: $8,100, Chad Campbell: $7,900, Martin Flores: $7,600
Glover ranks very high in my key stats this week. He’s top 15 in the field in good drive %, Par 4 Birdies, and greens in regulation. Furthermore he’s finished T-22 and T-18 in his last two starts at this event. Glover may be more heavily owned this week than usual and for good reason.
Scott Brown has to feel good coming into this week. A T-13 finish at the PGA Championship is Scott Brown’s best career finish at a major. Aside, from his one win at the Puerto Rico Open in 2013, that may have been the highlight of his career. Along with the high of his best finish at a major, Brown has a great decent track record at the Wyndham. His last two finishes were T-33 and T-3.
Chez Reavie is quietly one of the most consistent players on Tour. He finished T-22 last week, yet I would bet no more than one or two of his shots were shown all week on the telecast. Reavie has missed just one cut since Mid-April and hasn’t finished outside the top 50 since late May. He ranks in the top quarter of the field in every key statistical category this week. He has a T-9 finish here in 2011.
Chad Campbell has been playing some solid golf lately. Campbell has made four straight cuts with 32nd being his worst finish during that stretch. He hits the sixth most greens in the field, and ranks 11th in the field in good drive %. Campbell has mixed results here, but he did finish T-3 here in 2012. Campbell is a good value this week. He hits a ton of greens, so he should have more opportunities to make birdie than most of the field.
Martin Flores is a good pick that should be relatively low-owned this week. Flores hits a lot of greens and putts very well, which is a good combination for any course especially this one. Flores ranks in the top 30 in the field in putting, and hits the sixth most greens on the PGA Tour. He’s coming into this tournament hot with his last three finishes T-11, T-19, T-18.
Camillo Villegas: $6,900, Cameron Percy: $6,800, Cody Gribble: $6,700
Now is as good a time as ever to go with Camillo Villegas, he’s made three straight cuts, and won this event in 2014. Villegas hasn’t been the top golfer he once was in a long time, but this is a course where he can bring back those memories.
Cameron Percy hits the fourth most greens on Tour and rank in the top 25 in the field in good drive %. Percy has made the cut here in four out of his five tries here. Percy will be very low-owned so sprinkle him in some GPPs.
Cody Gribble hasn’t had the best rookie season. However, he ranks very highly in birdies and par 4 birdie %. He’s a risky play as he’s made just 6 out of 19 cuts this season. But he’s coming off of his first ever major where he made the cut, and can rack up the birdies with the best of them.