This article is part of our DraftKings PGA series.
Winner's Share: $1.157M
FedEx Cup Points: 500 to the Winner
Location: Greensboro, N.C.
Course: Sedgefield Country Club
2020 champion: Jim Herman
We'll get to the DraftKings picks in a minute. We always do. But there is rather big story developing this week at the Wyndham, one we haven't seen in the 15-year history of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. There are some really big names – like, superstar names – who are in real danger of missing the postseason.
Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose and Tommy Fleetwood all sit outside the top 125 threshold entering the final week of the regular season, while Adam Scott and Matt Kuchar are barely on the inside. All are playing this week, of course. Scott sits 121st, Kuchar 124th, Fowler 130th, Fleetwood 136th and Rose 138th. All of them except Fleetwood are exempt on Tour for next season via prior victories, but the thought of having a playoff without five of the biggest names over the past decade seems unimaginable. Scott, Kuchar and Fowler have never missed the postseason. As for Fleetwood, he's still in the 30s in the world rankings, so he would still get opportunities to play next season.
This is a good time to point out it is not easy to enter the top 125 at the season-ending Wyndham. In the first 14 years of the playoffs, an average of 2.64 players per year have gained entry at the last possible moment. There were three last year, two the previous two years; as many as five players have made the jump and as few as zero. Plus there are still golfers hoping to secure spots in the top 70 for the second playoff event and, of course, the top 30 for the Tour Championship.
So therefore it is a decent maxed-out field of 156. There is only one top-10 player in the world rankings – Louis Oosthuizen – and three top-25s – Hideki Matsuyama, Jason Kokrak and Wyndham wizard Webb Simpson. The top-50s are Will Zalatoris – who as a non-member needs a win to get into the playoffs – Sungjae Im, Matthew Wolff and Brian Harman, plus Fleetwood, Scott and Rose. Other names of note are Fowler, Kuchar, Gary Woodland, Brandt Snedeker, Bubba Watson and Kevin Kisner.
This tournament is steeped in PGA Tour history, much of it centering around Sedgefield Country Club and Sam Snead. He won the inaugural Greater Greensboro Open in 1938 and went on to win seven more, the last one famously coming in 1965 at age 53. Sedgefield opened in 1926 and was the tournament's main host into the 1970s. It has now been back since 2008 and is the only Donald Ross design playing host to an annual Tour event. Sedgefield is among of the shortest courses the golfers will see all season.
One of its prime defenses is narrow fairways. They average only 28 yards wide at the 275-yard mark, dropping down to 23 by 325. In truth, Sedgefield offers little hindrance to today's golfers. The tournament has long been a birdie-fest, with the winning score being 21- or 22-under-par the past five years. Snedeker shot 59 in the first round in 2018 en route to his most recent Tour win. The one caveat to the birdie-fest mentality is that getting the ball in the fairway matters this week. From there, the approach shots will be short in attacking the bermudagrass greens that are a bit large for such a short course (about 6,000 square feet). Ross countered that with undulations and run-offs. There are only two par-5s, and they're both short at 529 and 545 yards. There are also six par-4s under 425 yards. The toughest hole on the course last year was a long par-4, the 505-yard 14th. There is water on six holes.
Weather-wise, we're looking at four days in the low-90s, with a chance of rain every day and increasing on the weekend. The wind is forecast to be light, which could really take this birdie-fest to another level.
Fun Wyndham factoid: Sam Snead won this tournament eight times, seven more than CBS' Frank Nobilo, who won his lone PGA Tour title here in 1997, in a playoff over fellow broadcaster Brad Faxon when the tournament was known as the Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic. Nobilo's former Golf Channel colleague, Brandel Chamblee, was also in that field, but he missed the cut.
Key Stats to Winning at Sedgefield Country Club
The most important indicators every week are current form and course history. "Key Stats" follow in importance.
• Driving Accuracy
• Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green/Strokes Gained: Approach/Greens in Regulation
• Strokes Gained: Putting
• Birdie Average/Birdie-or-Better Percentage
Birdies. And if not birdies, then eagles. Herman had 23 birdies and three eagles last year en route to 21-under. Poston didn't have as many birdies as the champion normally does, but that's only because he had ZERO bogeys. That's right, zippo. He had 20 birdies and one eagle for 22-under. Snedeker, beginning with his 59, shot 21-under with 24 birdies and two eagles. Stenson shot 22-under and Kim was also at 21-under. Stenson made a whopping 29 birdies. Kim had 26 plus an eagle. When you birdie more than a third of the holes, it's almost as if "birdie-fest" doesn't fully tell the story. Driving distance means nothing this week, but driving accuracy counts for more than most weeks. Greens in regulation numbers are always high across the board. Herman and Poston led the field in GIR. Herman did have eight bogeys, inordinately high for a Wyndham winner, but he countered that by being third in putting, making more than 440 feet of putts on the week, second in the field. The over/under on the winning score as posted on golfodds.com is 259.5 – 20.5 under par.
DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS
Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap
Tier 1 Values
Oosthuizen has withdrawn from this week's event.
What is that they say, don't bring a knife to a gun fight? Not exactly a parallel, but if you're in a putting contest, bring a guy with the best putter. Oosthuizen leads the Tour in putting by a wide margin. He had an off week in Memphis last week but still wound up tied for 17th. This will be his first trip to Sedgefield, but it's not a course with an especially high learning curve.
Webb Simpson - $10,600 (+1000)
Simpson is the betting favorite at the DK Sportsbook, but only curiously only the No. 3 choice here. Yes, he has not had a good season by any metric, having fallen from sixth to 19th in the world rankings. But he's finished top-20 in his past two starts, including the WGC-FedEx, and appears to be over a neck injury that never sounded too serious but may have been. "Mr. Wyndham" finished third again here last year, and the past four years has gone 3-2-2-3. As most of us know by now, he loves this place so much he named one of his daughters Wyndham. Just Wyn, baby.
Patrick Reed - $10,200 (+2000)
Reed has withdrawn from this week's event.
It would be nice if Reed would take a break every so often. But he refuses. This will be his fifth straight week of action, including stops in England and Tokyo, with three more upcoming for the playoffs. But this course is perfectly suited for his game. He memorably won here in 2013 in a duel with Jordan Spieth, and he has been back four times since with all being top-25s, including a tie for ninth last year.
Sungjae Im - $9,600 (+3000)
Even Im is impressed with Reed's endurance. This will be only his third straight week of action. It has not been a great season for Im, yet if the Tour Championship would begin today, he'd still be in it. Sedgefield is comfort food for Im; he's played the tournament twice with top-10s both times.
Tier 2 Values
Russell Henley - $9,400 (+3000)
Henley has had good summer, stringing together three top-20s beginning at the U.S. Open. The streak ended with a missed cut at Royal St. George's, and he's been idle since. Henley is ranked fourth on Tour in Strokes Gained: Approach, and that's factoring in much longer courses that are normally in play. He's far back in driving distance but ranked 37th in fairway accuracy. Henley was ninth here a year ago, his best finish in four visits.
Si Woo Kim - $9,100 (+4000)
It's not easy pulling the trigger on a guy who shot a 10-over 13 on a hole last week, but here we are. Kim's Sedgefield history is a perfect metaphor for his all-or-nothing results: He won in 2016, has two other top-5s, nearly winning again last year, but also missed two cuts. It's hard to look at Kim's season-long stats without wincing, but there's no denying his results at the Wyndham.
Kevin Na - $8,800 (+3500)
Na has not played here often of late, just twice in the past decade, but both were top-10s, including a tie for fourth in his previous visit in 2017. His shorter hitting/higher accuracy game is well suited for Sedgefield. Na's iron play is not especially pretty this year, but it should improve this week with shorter distances to the green. And even though Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green is not one of the Key Stats this week, ranking first on Tour will be a plus.
Kevin Kisner - $8,400 (+5500)
Kisner is the third pick in Tier 2 who can't hit it far but does hit it straight. He was third here a year ago, his third top-10 in six trips to Sedgefield. Kisner started to reverse a terrible season with top-10s at the Travelers and Rocket Mortgage, then made the cut at the Open. For all his difficulties in 2021, he's still ranked 14th in SG: Putting.
Tier 3 Values
Mito Pereira - $7,900 (+6500)
This will be Pereira's seventh week in action – take that, Patrick Reed – but also probably his last, at least on the PGA Tour. He sits 177th in the point standings and would need a top-two to crack the top-125. He had a recent run of three straight top-6s, culminating with a near-medal-miss at the Olympics (T4). This will be his Wyndham debut.
Talor Gooch - $7,700 (+5500)
Gooch rides seven straight made cuts into Greensboro, and the folk over at the DK Sportsbook obviously think very highly of him this week. His best finish in this recent stretch was a T14 at Colonial, a track similar to Sedgefield in regards to length. Gooch missed his first two cuts here before registering a tie for 25th last year. He's ranked 38th on Tour in SG: Approach.
Patton Kizzire - $7,600 (+7000)
This will be Kizzire's fifth Wyndham start and he's never missed a cut, twice finishing in the top-25. He's also made three straight cuts on Tour overall, including a T11 at the John Deere. Kizzire is 33rd on Tour in greens in regulation, 16th in SG: Putting and 14th in birdie average. At 51st in the point standings, he's pretty much a lock for the second playoff event but is close enough to the top-30 to dream of East Lake.
Doug Ghim - $7,300 (+8000)
Ghim's big issue this season is putting, which isn't optimum this week. But he's very accurate with his other clubs, ranked 27th on Tour in driving accuracy and 10th in greens in regulation, leading to 22nd in SG: Tee-to-Green. That should be more than enough to make the cut. The putter may prevent a high finish, but it's still helped Ghim to nine top-25s this season.
Ryan Armour - $7,000 (+10000)
Armour notched his fourth straight Wyndham top-25 last year; the first two were top-10s. He also has a pair of recent top-10s at the Barbasol and 3M Open. Armour could use another high finish, as he sits 122nd in the point standings. One reason for his Sedgefield success is driving accuracy – he's ranked third on Tour. Another is putting – he's ranked 36th.
Michael Thompson - $6,900 (+15000)
Thompson is another guy in a precarious position, sitting 129th in the point standings. He doesn't have to worry about his card – he won the 3M Open last year – but everybody wants to make the playoffs. Thompson is another accurate driver often hurt by long courses. He's made the cut five of six times at Sedgefield with two top-25s, including T11 in 2018.
Brice Garnett - $6,800 (+15000)
Garnett had a run of three straight Wyndham top-20s interrupted by a missed cut last year. He was T6 in 2019. Garnett is ranked sixth on Tour in driving accuracy, 39th in greens in regulation and 33rd in SG: Putting. At 119th in the point standings, he should be safe for next week's playoff opener, though Garnett himself surely doesn't and shouldn't feel that way.
Roger Sloan - $6,700 (+11000)
The Canadian has been making a frantic, end-of-season surge in hopes of grabbing a playoff spot. He sits 131st in the point standings after making five straight cuts, three of them top-25s, including a T6 last week at the Barracuda. Sloan is ranked 24th in greens in regulation and 58th in SG: Tee-to-Green – certainly good enough for another made cut, but his putting likely will keep him from cracking the top-125.