The Wyndham Championship is synonymous with Sam Snead for two reasons, as he won the inaugural event way back in 1938, and remains the oldest player to win a PGA Tour Event when claiming the last of his 8 wins when just 2 months shy of his 53rd birthday.
However, the tournament now has a significant place in the calendar, as it’s the last event before the Fedex Cup play-offs begin. That means players outside the current top-125 in the standings have a last chance saloon to make the play-offs, and secure their PGA Tour card for the following season.
The current venue for the Wyndham Championship is the Sedgefield Country Club in North Carolina, and the 7,127 yards par-70 offers shorter-hitters a decent chance of success after last week’s brutal test at Quail Hollow. Sedgefield is more a test of accuracy than power, and finding the fairways is an advantage when it comes to hitting approaches into smaller than average Bermuda Grass greens that usually run at around 12 on the Stimpmeter.
However, whilst big-scores are common place amongst players not in control of their games, expect a winning score in the region of –16 to –21.
Henrik Stenson and Kevin Kisner are both capable of shooting that sort of score, and it’s no surprise to see them heading the market this week, as they both have decent course form. However, Kisner will surely be exhausted after last week, whilst Stenson is much more likely to spring into life when the big-money is up for grabs in the Fedex Cup.
Therefore, the two players I want on side near the top of the market this week are Bill Haas and Bud Cauley. Haas has a very consistent record here since the greens were changed to Bermuda in 2012, finishing 7/20/2/6/22, and he’s expected to put on a bold show in what looks an average field. Meanwhile, Cauley has finished 3rd and 10th in just 4 visits here, and this could be the week the youngster makes his big breakthrough.
The Fedex Cup 125 cut-off is also a big motivation this week, and I’m hoping two players just either side of that cut-off line will be motivated this week. Graeme McDowell is on the wrong side of that line at 131 but, having finished fifth here last season on his only visit, a similar showing should be enough to secure his card for next season. Meanwhile, at 124 in the standings, Daniel Summerhays will be one of those players looking over his shoulder this week, and he’ll need to put up a bold showing to make sure he doesn’t slip out of the top- 125. 17th is his best finish here and, with three top-20s in his last 10 events, another similar showing should be enough to secure his card.
2017 Wyndham Championship Tips
Bill Haas 1.5 Points Each-Way @ 25/1 William Hill (6 places)
Graeme McDowell 1 Point Each-Way @ 80/1 Unibet (6 places)
Bud Cauley 2 Points Top-20 @ 2/1 Paddy Power