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PGA Tour Stats Review: Entering the Wyndham Championship

Jeremy Schilling

Jeremy Schilling

Schilling covers golf for RotoWire, focusing on young and up-and-coming players. He was a finalist for the FSWA's Golf Writer of the Year award. He also contributes to PGA Magazine and hosts the popular podcast "Teeing It Up" on BlogTalkRadio.

While some might feel like the PGA Championship "ends" the golf season, PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem really is right - there is a lot of "glory" to play for the next two months. It starts this week with the Wyndham Championship at historic Sedgefield Country Club outside Greensboro. It is the final event of the PGA Tour regular season and the last chance for players to get into the Top 125 in FedEx Cup points, which secures their card for next season and gets them into the Playoffs. The Top 125 in money after this week also secure a card for 2013-2014.

HISTORY LESSON

The defending champion of the Wyndham Championship is Sergio Garcia, who defeated Tim Clark by two and Bud Cauley by three in a Monday finish last year. The top-5 was rounded out by Chad Campbell, Jimmy Walker and Carl Pettersson.

Low scores were the theme in soft conditions as 18-under proved the winning score. Recent champions include Brandt Snedeker in 2007, Pettersson in 2008, Ryan Moore in 2009, Arjun Atwal in 2010 and Webb Simpson two years ago.

Garcia's 2013 has been more solid than many think, as he ranks first in strokes gained-putting and eighth in scoring average at 69.653. Simpson hasn't won since the 2012 U.S. Open but temporarily had the course record at Oak Hill last week after a second-round 64, and Snedeker is riding high off two wins, most recently at the RBC Canadian Open. All three would be smart picks this week. Additionally, every player mentioned above is in the field this week.

ALL-AROUND RANKING

As the name suggests, the all-around ranking is a list of players who have all facets of their games on form. Here are the top players from that category playing this week:

Brandt Snedeker -
Third in the category and third in FedEx Cup points, Snedeker is seventh in birdie average and ninth in scoring average at 69.700 in 2013 on the PGA Tour

Jordan Spieth -
I was frankly surprised to see Spieth enter this week as he recently needed to take two weeks off because of a heavy workload and is potentially entering a stretch of five consecutive events over six weeks (and yet another if he makes the Presidents Cup team), so I'm not quite sure if I would recommend him from a fantasy standpoint. From a playing perspective, however, Spieth's 2013 has been awesome, going from no status to tournament winner and standing out in these stats: 12th in total driving and fifth in putting from 20-25 feet. He's fifth in the all-around ranking. Spieth missed the cut last week at the PGA hampionship.

Matt Jones -
Jones is ninth in the all-around standings. He's quietly having a very nice year, amassing three top-10s, seven top-25s and more than $1 million. He also has a T2 and T7 in two of his last three starts. His strengths are in total driving and scrambling, as he's ranked fifth and third in those two categories respectively. That's a nice combination to have.

BUBBLE NAMES TO WATCH

This being the final regular-season event of the year, there are a number of players on the bubble who should be hungry, and, as a result, are players whom fantasy owners might want to consider starting. I recommend the following:

Scott Langley -
Langley has been playing much better lately, having finishes of T33-T26-T52-T20 in his last four appearances. Part of the turnaround can be attributed to an improved short game, which ranks 11th best on the PGA Tour over the last five events. That relatively new stat is culled from aggregating a player's ranking in several 100-yard-and-in categories, not including putting.

Camilo Villegas -
Villegas, who has played in 2013 on limited status, is 116th in the standings and would love at all costs to avoid playing in The Finals on the Web.com Tour. Villegas ranks fourth in proximity to the hole at 32 feet, 2 inches.

Charlie Wi -
Wi has yet to win a PGA Tour event but has been in contention several times in the last couple seasons, showing that he has the game to get it done. He's ranked 119th in the FedEx Cup standings. His statistical strengths lie in taking advantage of the most difficult holes, as he ranks ninth in both par-3 and par-4 birdie leaders.

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