The Wyndham Championship
Date: August 16-19, 2012
Course: Sedgefield County Club – Greensboro, NC
TV: The Golf Channel/CBS
by Evergreen, PGA Golf Handicapper, Predictem.com
Even though the year’s final Major is out of the way, the PGA season is still picking up steam as it nears the start of the 2012 FedExCup Playoffs. The Wyndham Championship is the last “regular season” stop on the schedule and players that are outside the top-125 on the points list have this week as their last chance to get inside the cutline for next week’s Barclays. Many of the top-125 feel secure in their points position and prefer a week of rest before playing four straight events so the field in North Carolina is a bit soft this week but the course has a reputation for giving up some very low scores and the competition will be wide open. Webb Simpson returns to defend his 2011 title and the online betting sites like him to be among the top contenders, listing him at 12 to 1 odds to win.
Sedgefield Country Club has been a part of PGA competition for over three decades dating back to the Greater Greenboro Open days and the course is a throwback to the times before technological advances with equipment left older layouts at the mercy of the long hitters. Sedgefield took a few years off in the early 2000’s to re-tailor the course to make it play as it was intended and what came out is a demanding test of shotmaking that does not simply reward pure power. The 7,130 yard, par-70 track will make players play position off the tee to get good angles to the greens and nearly all of the green complexes feature runoffs to collection areas that will further test the players’ short games. The course record of 61 was shot twice in 2010 so good scores can be had but it will take patience and risk management to win this week. Players will have to take advantage of the stretch from 15 to 17 as three of the best scoring opportunities are there, including a par-5, before negotiatingthe 507-yard, par-4 finishing hole.
Each week, we take a look at the online sportsbooks and highlight a few players that we think can win it all. We make a short, middle and long odds pick to win and breakdown a couple of head to head matches that you can find at any bookmaker. Here are our picks to win the 2012 Wyndham Championship.
Short Favorite: Brandt Snedeker (25 to 1 odds to win)
You can forget about Brandt’s 2007 Wyndham win since it came at Forest Oaks but do pay attention to the T8 and T5 finishes that he has had at Sedgefield since. It is mostly about the putter for Sneds as he enters the week 5th in strokes gained on the greens and 39th in total putting. His scoring marks are great, with top-12 ranks in par-breakers and birdie average and he has the 2nd best par-3 birdie or better percentage. He’s also apparently over some sore ribs that had him limited over the past couple of weeks so he’s ready to get back in the mix to win.
Middle of the Road: Nick Watney (40 to 1 odds to win)
There hasn’t been anything to brag about for Watney’s 2012 season so far but he still has just three missed cuts in 20 starts and is way too talented to stay in a slump for too much longer. The top finishes haven’t been there for Nick but he doesn’t really have a glaring hole on the stat sheet with his GIR above 65% and he’s still plenty long to threaten any course. The field is a bit weaker so he doesn’t have to battle against the very best and maybe that will help elevate him back to where he was in 2011. Watney is also in danger of not making the Tour Championship given his current points situation so the motivation to win should certainly be there going forward.
Longshot: Charley Hoffman (125 to 1 to win)
125 to 1 is officially the deepest this pick set has gone but we do not do so without good reason. Hoffman is a very underrated shotmaker and has a track record of cashing in birdies. Charley enters the week in the top-30 in total driving, birdie average, ballstriking and is 11th in total birdies on the season. Hoffman stands at 35th in the all-around which stands out with most of the top players not in attendance. This is not as much of a hail mary pick as it may look and you can definately find much worse picks further up the board.
Head to Head Matches *picks to win based on total score after all four rounds. Check with any golf sportsbook for single round matches and a variety of prop bets.
Jason Dufner (-115) v. Webb Simpson (-115) (our pick to win: Dufner)
Simpson will have some very good vibes going being back at a course where he won just last year but it is Dufner that is having the better and more consistent season. Outside of winning the U.S. Open, Webb has struggled a bit and is behind Dufner in fairways hit and ballstriking overall. Both players have scored very well this year but Dufner is the better pick to solve Sedgefield this time around.
David Toms (-115) v. Bill Haas (-115) (our pick to win: Haas)
This is the type of course and tournament that Toms should do well at but Haas can say the same and this one comes down to the play on the greens with Haas owning advantages in both putting and birdie average. Toms is going to be in play the whole time with a no mistakes approach but the scoring pace is still pretty high by Tour standards and Haas again get the edge with scoring average.