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DraftKings PGA: Wyndham Championship

Len Hochberg

Hochberg covers golf for RotoWire. A veteran sports journalist, he contributes to Sports on Earth and was an editor and reporter at The Washington Post for many years.

WYNDHAM CHAMPIONSHIP

Purse: $5.6M
Winner's Share: $1,008,000
FedEx Cup Points: 500 to the Winner
Location: Greensboro, N.C.
Course: Sedgefield Country Club
Yardage: 7,127
Par: 70
2015 champion: Davis Love III

Tournament Preview

A regular season that began way back in October comes to an end this week, and with a surprisingly strong field. Many golfers are still jockeying to get into the top 125 in the point standings to qualify for the playoffs, which begin next week. The North Carolina tour stop dates to 1938, when Sam Snead won the inaugural Greater Greensboro Open. Snead amazingly also won the event in 1965 for the last of his record 82 tour wins. He remains the oldest winner ever in a PGA tour event, at 52, but last year's winner was no youngster. Davis Love III, then 51, shockingly rallied on Sunday to become the third oldest winner on record. And the tournament also featured Tiger Woods in a last-ditch effort to qualify for the playoffs, but he fell short. The tourney switched to Sedgefield in 2008, the lone Donald Ross design on the PGA Tour schedule. Rickie Fowler and Patrick Reed, fresh off playing in the Olympics, are in the field, and that's a surprise. It should be akin to playing the week after a major -- not impossible, but there should be a letdown. Furthermore, Reed is playing for a fourth successive week. Besides those two, the OWGR top-30 is well represented, including Jimmy Walker, Jim Furyk, J.B. Holmes, Hideki Matsuyama, Brandt Snedeker, Kevin Kisner and Rafael Cabrera-Bello (another Olympian). Reed and Snedeker are former champions in a tournament that clearly is a birdie-fest, with the winning score the last few years largely in the 15- to 20-under range. The fairways are some 10-15 yards narrower than golfers experienced the past two weeks at the Travelers and John Deere, so we think driving accuracy will be an important factor. The sixth hole is among the toughest, a downhill 423-yard par-4 that features a creek across the fairway at the 280-yard-mark, giving the golfers something to think about. It played over par last year. Par is also a good score on No. 7, a par-3 whose green is guarded on three sides by water. Weather-wise, it will be hot and humid, with rain in the forecast for much of the tournament.

Key Stats to Winning at Sedgefield Country Club

Driving accuracy (more than distance)
Greens in regulation
Proximity to the hole
Scrambling
One-putt percentage

Past Champions

2015 - Davis Love III
2014 - Camilo Villegas
2013 - Patrick Reed
2012 - Sergio Garcia
2011 - Webb Simpson
2010 - Arjun Atwal
2009 - Ryan Moore
2008 - Carl Pettersson
2007 - Brandt Snedeker
2006 - Davis Love III

Champion's Profile:

Former champion Webb Simpson believes Sedgefield is get-able even for golfers unfamiliar with the track, who haven't played there before. He said course knowledge comes quickly there, as opposed to many other stops on tour. The course rookies will learn quickly that the Sedgefield greens are fast and undulating, placing a premium not only on greens in regulation but proximity to the hole. And if you miss the green, you better be a good scrambler. We're not going to dismiss driving distance, but recent history places more importance on accuracy. Love was T18 in GIR last year, T9 in scrambling, T7 in proximity and, his difference-maker, third in strokes gained-putting. The year before, Villegas was first in scrambling, fifth in driving accuracy, T8 in GIR and 16th in SGP. Reed, in 2013, was first in GIR, second in proximity and fifth in SGP, offsetting some poor scrambling.

DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS
(Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values

Jim Furyk - $11,000 (Winning odds at golfodds.com: 20-1)
John Rahm - $10,400 (25-1)
Webb Simpson - $10,200 (25-1)

DraftKings Tier 2 Values

Bill Haas - $9,600 (25-1)
Tyrrell Hatton - $9,400 (40-1)
Kevin Na - $9,100 (30-1)
Kevin Kisner - $8,300 (50-1)

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Ben Martin - $8,000 (60-1)
Robert Garrigus - $7,700 (80-1)
Billy Horschel - $7,600 (80-1)
Harris English - $7,500 (60-1)

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Bud Cauley - $7,000 (80-1)
Geoff Ogilvy - $6,500 (125-1)
Morgan Hoffmann - $6,300 (100-1)
Retief Goosen - $6,100 (Field, 2-1)

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Cash Game Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Bill Haas - $9,600
Tyrrell Hatton - $8,400 $9,400
Kevin Na - $9,100
Harris English - $7,500
Chris Kirk - $7,200
Bud Cauley - $7,000

Rarely has there been a week in which we are so disenchanted with the top-priced golfers. We're steering clear of the top two, Reed and Fowler, for the reasons stated above. Besides, Fowler is not playing well, and neither is the third priciest golfer, Hideki Matsuyama. The No. 5 choice, Ryan Moore, is coming off a big win, and there's a natural letdown to be expected. We drop all the way to the 10th most expensive golfer for our top guy -- Haas -- who has four straight top-25s at Sedgefield, three of them top-10s. Hatton continues to surprise us every week, no matter the course, and we're done being surprised. We're jumping on the bandwagon for the Englishman, who has top-20s his past four starts, two of them on U.S. tracks he hadn't played before. Na hasn't played Greensboro since a T18 in 2010, but he fits the champion's profile at fourth on tour in strokes gained-approach the green (SGATG), 36th in proximity to the hole and 19th in putting average. English was 31st last year, his first appearance since a T10 in 2012. He's sixth on tour in strokes gained-putting. We really like Cauley at his price point, so Kirk made our lineup almost by default. Though he did have a top-25 in 2012, he is 37th on tour in SGATG and 31st in scrambling, Cauley missed the cut in 2013-14 but was T3 in 2012. He sits 143rd in the point standings in his first year back from injury, and faces a daunting task in trying to crack the top-125. He's made four straight cuts, including T8 last week at the Deere.

Higher-Risk Tournament Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)


Jim Furyk - $11,000
John Rahm - $10,400
Kevin Kisner - $8,300
J.B. Holmes - $8,100
Geoff Ogilvy - $6,500
Andrew Loupe - $5,700

Furyk is hot, averaging 58 over his last round. Kidding aside, we like him better than the three golfers costlier than him: Reed, Fowler and Matsuyama. And Furyk still has lots to play for, such as improving his points standing, currently No. 106, after missing much of the season following wrist surgery. We have to admit that we've been slow to embrace Rahm, but he continues to impress no matter the course. Kisner has bitten us often this season, but still, we're back for more. He skipped Greensboro last year but was T8 in 2014. His GIR numbers are unsightly, but he's sixth in SGP. And get this: Kisner is first on tour in scrambling from the fringe, a remarkable 38-for-38 on the season. Holmes hasn't played the tournament since an MC in 2012, but he's far more accomplished now -- sixth in strokes gained-off the tee, ninth in birdie average and 27th in putting average. Ogilvy has played only six times since June, but was T16 at the Deere last week and T9 at the Canadian Open in July. He's 167th in the points and would need to be otherworldly to crack the top-125 to qualify for the playoffs. Lastly, we have only $5,700 left and, after swearing off Loupe following so many disappointments, we're going to take another sip of the Kool-Aid. He missed the cut last year but was T24 the year before. He's coming off a T16 at the Deere, a finish that snapped a string of seven straight MCs. Is there any lineup more risky than one that includes Loupe? We think not.
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