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PGA Tour Stats Review: Entering the Wyndham Championship

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.

This week on the PGA Tour is the Wyndham Championship, the final regular-season event before the FedEx Cup Playoffs and, as a result, the last chance for players to secure their cards for the 2014-15 season, which will be here before you know it. Here's this week's stats preview.

History Lesson

Last year, Patrick Reed beat Jordan Spieth in a playoff. In 2012, Sergio Garcia beat Tim Clark by two in a Monday finish, in 2011 Webb Simpson beat George McNeill by three and in 2010 Arjun Atwal beat David Toms by one.

Spieth and Garcia are not in this week's field.

Our picks are Reed and Simpson.

Reed has won three times in the last 12 months, created a lot of headlines with his comments and then had a very, very cold spring and summer after winning at Doral. But according to Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson, the poor play was due to a cracked driver, and Reed has now found one that he likes. A new driver would be handy for Reed, who has fallen to 165th in driving accuracy and 158th in total driving.

Simpson, meanwhile, won in Las Vegas late last year but has had an inconsistent 2014 with two third-place finishes in Memphis and Greenbrier yet no additional victories and five missed cuts. Needing a captain's pick to make the Ryder Cup team, Simpson will be looking to impress on familiar territory. Hurting Simpson is his 108th-place ranking in greens in regulation.

Who is Playing

The field includes Fred Couples in a rare PGA Tour appearance, Hideki Matsuyama, Ernie Els, Stuart Appleby, Patrick Cantlay, Tim Clark, Nick Watney and more.

Our pick here has to be Els, who lit it up on the front nine on Sunday at Valhalla with a 30, en route to a 65 for a T7 finish. He's having an extremely poor season statistically, but if last week was any sign he may be on the way up. He ranked 16th in strokes gained-putting and seventh in putts per green in regulation last week.

On the Cusp Players to Pick

Top 125 = Playoffs.

Not in the top 125 in FedEx Cup Points = your season is over.

So who do we think you should pick out of those on the brink?

Paul Casey
Casey is No. 125 at the moment but has been streaking much more positively this season. While he hasn't locked down a victory, he has shown much improvement this year after being injury ridden for several years. Recently, he tied for 11th in New Orleans (which included a 64), 16th at the Byron Nelson (which included a 63) and 13th at Memorial (which included two 66s). Statistically, he's 37th in scoring average this year on the PGA Tour.

Greg Chalmers
Ditto with Chalmers. He, like Casey, hasn't gotten into the winner's circle but has also contended multiple times this season. Currently 128th in points, he tied for 22nd at the Nelson (which included a 67 and a 65) and 30th at the Quicken Loans National (which included a 66). He ranks fourth in strokes gained-putting.

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