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FanDuel PGA: Wyndham Championship

Michael Riek

Michael is the 2016 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year winner. He is a former collegiate golfer with a passion for analytics and strategy.

Wyndham Championship – Greensboro, NC

Sedgefield CC (7,127 yards, par 70)
$5.8M Purse
$1,044,000 and 500 FedEx Cup points to the winner

Tournament Preview

Representing the last event before the FedEx Cup Playoffs kickoff, the Wyndham Championship holds the last chance for players on the bubble to squeak in or improve their position heading into the first leg of the playoffs. Many top players are resting up after the mental grind of the PGA Championship last week. Just one from the top-10 in the FedEx Cup standings - last week’s 54-hole leader Kevin Kisner – is in this week’s field. As is typically the case, the field makeup is mostly players surrounding the 125th rank in the FedEx Cup standings, which is the cutoff for both the playoffs and fully exempt status for the 2017-18 wraparound season. In fact, 85 percent of those ranked 90-190 are teeing it up. The host, Sedgefield Country Club, has held this event since 2008, making 2017 its 10th installment. The Donald Ross designed par-70 course features two par-5s, 12 par-4s, and four par-3s. Henrik Stenson, the field’s top-ranked player at World No. 9, headlines a field of middling talent, featuring just four of the top-25 in the FedEx Cup standings. Expect plenty of birdies and drama to unfold as players compete for both a playoff spot and high finish.

Prior Decade Champions

2016 – Si Woo Kim
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

Key Stats to Winning at Sedgefield CC

• Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green
• Par-4 Scoring Average
• Scrambling Percentage
• Players already guaranteed a spot in the FedEx Cup Playoffs

Champion’s Profile

Unlike last week’s PGA Championship, length is not a major factor in conquering Sedgefield, but precision is. The par-70 course has 12 par-4 holes, making par-4 scoring important. A strong look at strokes gained tee-to-green is recommended as many past champions were elite in the ball-striking category during their wins here. Though some players respond well to the additional pressure of playing for PGA Tour status and a playoff spot, it’s best to avoid players who are pressing for job security, whether it’s for next week or next season. Target players who are guarantees or virtual locks for making the top-125, meaning those starting the week 100th or better in the FedEx Cup standings.

FanDuel Value Picks

The Chalk

Henrik Stenson, $9800 – Stenson is the top-ranked player in the field at World No. 9; the next closest is Kisner at a distant No. 24. Factor in that he’s posted top-20s his last three events, and Stenson is a clear favorite despite never making the cut at this venue. It seems his motive is to improve his current position of 75th in the FedEx Cup to set himself up for a playoff run.

Kevin Kisner, $9600 – Last week’s 54-hole leader at Quail Hollow crumbled on Sunday, but we’ll chalk it up to limited experience in majors. Kisner will have redemption on his mind as he plays a course where he feels at home with top-10s in his last two appearances (2016, 2014).

Bill Haas, $9300 – Haas enters as one of just 10 players with 12 or more starts at Sedgefield. In the most recent five years he’s posted top-25s, including three top-7 efforts. Haas is one of the best drivers of the ball on Tour and fits the course profile nicely as he ranks 37th in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and 31st in par-4 scoring average this season.

Webb Simpson, $8800 – Simpson stands out as a player to watch as he combines a fifth-ranked par-4 scoring average with solid ball-striking and a string of seven straight cuts here, including his 2011 victory.

Longer Shots Worth a Risk

Chad Campbell, $6800 – Campbell has quietly earned nearly $1.3 million this year and sits in 73rd in the FedEx Cup standings, currently holding a streak of seven straight made cuts. Campbell is a strong candidate to make the cut this week and more as he looks to improve his position heading into the playoffs.

Grayson Murray, $6800 – Murray’s recent victory at the Barbasol Championship combined with his great driving off the tee this season make him a solid play at Sedgefield this week. Though it’s his first time seeing the course, his recent form is enough to assume he’ll find it matches his game well, if he hits it accurately.

Chris Stroud, $6600 – Two weeks ago Stroud put on a show to win the Barracuda Championship in a modified stableford format and he backed it up by making the final group Sunday at the PGA Championship. Stroud has had spotty success at Sedgefield with just 4-of-10 made cuts but you can’t ignore his recent play and good value at $6600.

Ben Martin, $6500 – In three career starts at the Wyndham, Martin has two missed cuts and a top-10 finish, making him somewhat of a risky play. But at $6500, you’re betting on him making the cut, which he’s done 11 of his last 12 events.

Strategy Tips for this Week (based on 60k standard salary cap)

Focus most of your strategy using metrics for ballstriking this week, the most recommended being Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green. If further analysis is required, check into statistics like par-4 scoring and scrambling percentage, as they have proven critical at Sedgefield in past years.

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