Winner’s Share – $954,000
Course – Sedgefield CC, Greensboro (7,130 yards par 70)
Our 2014 Picks – Bill Haas – T2, Ricky Barnes – T24, Freddie Jacobson – T2, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano – MC, John Huh – T57
After a sensational performance from Jason Day last week, the major year has come to a close and all eyes will quickly turn to the last event before the season ending Final Series. In 5 tournaments time we will have crowned the new FedEx Cup champion who’ll pocket a cool $10 million. Outrageous scenes.
So keep an eye out for all those bumbling along outside the top 125 in the standings as they will be doing everything possible to make sure they’re teeing it up at the Barclays next week. For these lads, it’s crunch time –
120 – Scott Stallings 121 – Jamie Donaldson 122 – Spencer Levin 123 – Nicholas Thompson 124 – Luke Donald 125 – Charl Schwartzel 126 – Scott Langley 127 – Seung-Yul Noh 128 – S.J. Park 129 – Camilo Villegas (won here last year…!) 130 – Ryo Ishikawa 131 – Bily Hurley III 132 – Alex Prugh 149 – Martin Kaymer 156 – Graeme McDowell 170 – Ernie Els 187 – Tiger Woods
Stallings and Donaldson are the only two names above that aren’t playing this week, which is a massive risk if they want to qualify. There are obviously plenty of guys below Prugh who can jolt up the standings with a win, so keep tabs on the storylines as they develop throughout the week. And yes, Tiger Woods IS PLAYING. Madness.
As for the event itself, the Wyndham Championship is held at the Donald Ross designed Sedgefield Country Club. The 7,127 yard par 70 has played host since 2008 after 30 years at Forest Oaks and whilst being a cracking track, it’s often provided the players with little bit in terms of scoring.
The winning numbers have been very low and even with the subtle re-designs on the greens, Patrick Reed’s 2013 score was the lowest since the 08’ renewal.
The newly laid Bermuda greens did cause some changes in playability last year – the small, undulating and fast greens arguably provide the only true defence. Therefore we have to look at putting stats and GIR because you can’t score if you’re not giving yourself the chances but clearly going to take a peak at the scoring stats themselves as well.
5 tournaments to go ladies and gentleman, 5 tournaments to go.
Brandt Snedeker 20/1
Brandt Snedeker is looking like he’s getting close to his old self, finally putting that back injury behind him once and for all.
He is putting well again – 40th birdie or better % and 7th one-putt % – whilst his irons are nearly there.
He’s been scoring far better as well. After winning the AT&T earlier this year, pretty much from nowhere, he has gone on to record some very decent finishes.
5 top 12’s in his last 7 outings shows the sort of level we’re talking about at the moment – especially considering that includes a US Open and the PGA Championship… He was hitting 65% of fairways and greens at Whistling Straits, whilst his putting is still is usual self – that 40-footer on the last bringing great entertainment to all of us!
All in all, we feel it would be a silly move not to at least consider the mighty Sneds, even with the shorts odds.
Ryan Moore (40/1 various)
Ryan Moore is an interesting one this week – on the surface he has the game to really challenge on this sort of track. However, his form hasn’t been the most eye-catching this season – his last top 10 came back in March… There’s been glimpses no denying, but he hasn’t been able to put four rounds together for quite a while.
So why plump on him here? Well, he looked in decent knick tee to green at the PGA, finding over 71% of fairways and 68% of greens, whilst a few weeks ago he had 83% driving accuracy and 72% GIR.
That is a potentially potent combination for this course, especially considering the fact he’s won here and recorded a T6 in the past.
He’s also 56th for strokes gained putting, 25th in total putting and 29th for one-putt percentage.
Vaughn Taylor (125/1 various)
Vaughn Taylor may have a ridiculous way of spelling his name, but that doesn’t put us off the fact he’s a pretty decent shout this week.
He is a two-time PGA Tour champion believe it or not (2 Reno-Tahoe Open wins in 04’ and 05’) but his career has mainly been plugging away on the Web.com, NGA and other such Tours.
However in his last year before he turns 40, he’s been making some sort of inroads on the PGA circuit this season. A couple of top 10’s and only one missed cut in 11 outings is not a bad return and we feel he’s got something to offer on the sort of track.
He is 28th for driving accuracy, 25th GIR and 79th for strokes gained putting which really is a cracking combination – he’s also 13th for scoring average which just goes to show he can shoot low when he’s in the groove.
Much like Moore, he has to find the consistency to do it for four rounds and then we could have a cheeky outsider on our hands.
Hudson Swafford (200/1 various)
Hudson Swafford is someone that is worth looking at because of the very high odds and the fact he does, theoretically, suit this track.
A MC last time out at the Barracuda, but before that he was playing well for a couple of rounds in several tournaments in a row, only to have a stinker on at least one of the days.
He must keep his form going over a few days and he really could challenge here.
37th for GIR, 29th strokes gained putting, 71st scoring average and 48th 3-putt avoidance is now bad for someone who is at 200/1…