The Wyndham Championship Picks
Dates: August 14-17, 2014
Course: Sedgefield CC Greensboro, NC
TV: The Golf Channel/CBS
by Evergreen, PGA Golf Betting Handicapper, Predictem.com
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We were certainly all treated to a fantastic finish at the PGA Championship on Sunday and who could have asked for a better end to the Major Championship season? The FedExCup Playoffs are the next big thing on the schedule but we have one more regular season champion to crown at this weeks Wyndham Championship. Most of the big names on Tour have their FedEx positioning all sewed up so you wont seem them but there will be plenty of players looking to improve on their chances to make it further in the playoffs and anyone outside of the exempt list is still alive if they can win in Greensboro.
Sedgefield CC has been part of the North Carolina championship scene for decades and this course does a great job of identifying a champion by demanding some of the most accurate iron shots than anywhere on Tour. The par-70 layout is relatively short by Tour standards at just 7,125 yards but the greens at Sedgefield are so small that even minor mishits will miss the putting surface and send players into scramble mode. Patrick Reed survived a playoff against Jordan Spieth to win his first PGA Tour victory in 2013 and he will be back to defend his championship. While the field is weak at the top, there is good representation from the bulk of the Tour as players try to round into shape heading into The Barclays.
The online betting sites have rolled out their odds so lets take a look at some of the best bets this week, including a breakdown of some of the more popular head to head matchups.
Tim Clark (28 to 1 odds)
With all of the superstars at home, we are left with a wide open field that becomes pretty difficult to handicap. Strong iron play is a necessity and Clark fits in that category. He won the RBC Canadian just a few weeks back so there is some momentum on his side and he has been close here before, with a T2 just two years back. The overall greens hit percentage is nothing special but Clark is one of the best on Tour at hitting greens from short range and there will be plenty of those approaches at Sedgefield. Tim is a solid putter and scrambler so he should be able to make the most of his rounds and his T5 at this years John Deere proves he can keep pace if the scoring gets fast.
Nick Watney (45 to 1)
Watney has been just another guy on Tour this year with only one top-10 finish in 23 starts but he has put together his best stretch lately with a T12 at the RBC, a T8 run at the Barracuda and a respectable T33 at the PGA that could have been much better without a spotty final round. Nick is 10thin total driving, 20thin ballstriking and has good proximity numbers so he hits it close when he is on. The putting average is pretty bad, especially in comparison to the rest of the sheet but small greens produce short putts and this is a course where you can turn around a bad putting stat.
Fredrik Jacobson (50 to 1)
Freddie has been a bit hard to figure out this year as he has turned in great five or six weeks stretches followed by poor ones. Overall, he has been above average with just seven missed cuts on the year but most of the quality finishes came in a stretch from March into April. The putter has remained solid throughout the year and he enters the week 6thin strokes-gained and a top-20 scrambling stat. Jacobsons scoring average is a ho-hum 48thbut that is generated by a low risk-low reward strategy that should play well at Sedgefield. A good week tee to green will let that putter shine and you could get a surprise run toward the top here.
Fred Couples (100 to 1)
Nothing says longshot like a guy making just his third PGA start. Couples proved he could still hang with the best at Augusta with a T20 this year and routinely dominates the Champions Tour. Fred simply teeing it up is news as he battled back issues throughout the year. Given that he has nothing to gain in teeing up this week, my guess is that he is feeling 100% or at least as close as he gets to that. Couples still hits it a long way and can carve irons with the best of them so if he is comfortable with the greens and making putts, a Cinderella-run shouldnt shock anyone.
Head to Head Matches
Picks to win based on final score after all four rounds. Check with your online sportsbook for single round matches and prop bets.Find the absolute best betting odds, most wagering options and fastest payouts at 5Dimes.
Bill Haas (-115) v. Tim Clark (-115) (my pick to win: Clark)
Picking Clark to win should be no surprise since I featured him to win the whole tournament but I wanted to include this match since Haas is exactly the type of player that looks like a good bet but isnt. Haas nets the 41stbest scoring average off of the 69thmost birdies so he is actually making his birdies count but Clark gets to 89thin scoring off of a birdie average that is outside the top-125. Essentially, Clark makes relatively more of his limited chances and that is a huge factor this week. Clark hits more fairways and will be in better position to control the ball into the greens so again, Sedgefield defines the better option here as Clark.
Carl Pettersson (-115) v. Charles Howell III (-115) (my pick to win: Howell III)
Pettersson gets the former champion love but Howell has had the better season overall and displays advantages in greens hit, putting average and scoring in this match. A case could be made that Howell could easily skip this event for rest but he has played in almost every event this year and will stay with that trend. Howell will need to be a bit less crooked off the tee to put together a good week in total but Pettersson has struggled in the exact same area, making it a wash for the head-to-head. The stats almost make this a slam dunk for CHIII so Im wary that there is something that Im missing but I dont think this is a place to ignore the stats and the year-long output.
Good luck and good golf!