Date: August 19th-22nd, 2010
Where: Sedgefield Country Club Greensboro, NC
TV: The Golf Channel/CBS
Evergreen, Professional Golf Handicapper of Predictem.com
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The tournament immediately following a Major is usually pretty boring by comparison but this week has added juice as the Wyndham Championship represents the last chance for players to qualify for the four week FedEx Cup Playoffs. Those on the outside of the top-125 on the points list will have to play well or start planning what they are going to do with their vacation time. The birdies will come in bunches at the relatively easy Sedgefield Country Club, making for an exciting finish even though many of the top players will be skipping the event. Ryan Moore took the 2009 title after surviving a 3-man playoff and he is back to defend against a field full of hungry youngster and grizzled vets looking to keep their seasons going.
Sedgefield CC has hosted the event back to the Greater Greensboro days and will be a welcome change to those coming over from Whistling Straits and the PGA Championship. The 7,130 yard, par-70 layout is a shotmakers dream as length is seldom a requirement while proper positioning is often rewarded. The course ranked as the 10th easiest in 2009 play but there is still danger out there for those who miss the greens as wayward approaches are gobbled up by sloping collection areas. A solid approach game and steady putter is necessary to contend and look out for the occasional round in the very low 60s like the course record 61 that Carl Pettersson put up on the way to winning in 2008.
Each week, we take a look at the online golf sportsbooks and highlight a few players that we think have the goods to win. We give you a short, middle and long odds pick and breakdown a few head to head matches that youll typically find at any offshore bookie. Here are our picks for the 2010 Wyndham Championship.
Short Favorite: Carl Pettersson (18 to 1 odds to win)
It can be hard to pick a true favorite without the big names in the field but it is nice to get nearly 20 to 1 odds for the shortest look on the board. Pettersson looks good in this spot given his T5 in 2007, win in 2008 and obvious ability to go really low at Sedgefield. On the year, Carl as made 18 of 23 cuts with four top-10 finishes and recently took home the hardware at the RBC in Canada. Pettersson is pretty average across the stat sheet but does stand out by ranking 3rd in both putting average and putts per round on the way to the 7th most total birdies in 2010. He should fare well at any par-70 as he comes into the week at -39 under for the year on the par-4s, the second best mark on Tour.
Middle of the Road: Fred Couples (33 to 1 odds to win)
You (I) gotta admit, it just kind of feels good picking Boom Boom to win. He may not have done much on the regular Tour since he made a run at another Masters title this spring, but Freddy has three wins and three runner up finishes on the Champions Tour so far and was T5 here last year. The stat sheet doesnt lie either as Couples is ranked 26th on Tour in greens hit overall and is second from 150 to 175 yards. Freddy averages 291 yards off the tee no matter the Tour and you tell me if there is a more experienced player in the field than this one that turned professional in 1980.
Longshot: Kevin Na (40 to 1 odds to win)
Its been a solid but quiet year for the shortest name on Tour with 17 made cuts in 20 chances but the good finishes just havent been there. Na did contend once at the Palmer, but had to settle for T2 and hasnt really threatened much since. This week could prove different as the short but accurate player should find himself in position for birdies and Kevin has proven he can finish with a 10th ranked putts per round mark. We mentioned the tough up and down chances that Sedgefield can present but it shouldnt be a problem for Na and his 6th best up and down percentage.
Head to Head Matches (our pick) *matches are for entire event. Check with your favorite online bookmaker for single round matches and prop bets.
J.J. Henry (-115) v. Jonathan Byrd (-115) (Henry)
This is a very typical match and proves that the books really do pay attention to what they put out there. Both of these players are good at the same things, have similar faults and come into the week with identical scoring averages. You do have to give the edge to Henry here based on a better fairways hit mark and even though the scoring is the same, Henry actually makes fewer birdies and therefore fewer mistakes. When in doubt, take the steadier player.
Alex Cejka (-115) v. Aaron Baddeley (-115) (Cejka)
Not so long ago, Aaron Baddeley was one of the up and coming stars on Tour, but that just hasnt materialized over the last few years and he cant be considered a favorite in too many head to heads. Cejka isnt setting the world on fire, but he is consistent from tee to green with Baddeley outside the top-150 in both fairways and greens.