2020 Wyndham Championship betting preview

The PGA Tour heads into its last regular season event of 2019-2020.

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The PGA Tour heads into its last regular season event of 2019-2020 this week as the players travel cross country to North Carolina to tackle the Wyndham Championship. The Wyndham is one of the oldest stops on Tour, dating all the way back to 1938 when it went under the title of the Greater Greensboro Open. 

It moved to its current venue, Sedgefield Country Club, back in 2007 and has remained there ever since. Over the last decade or so it has become known as the last official shot for players to get themselves inside the top-125 in FedEx Cup points, and secure their playing cards for the next season. As such, if you’re planning on watching the action live this week on a screen, expect to hear a lot about where players currently stand in the season-long rankings. 

The event has also become synonymous with birdies over the years. Brandt Snedeker won in 2018 at 21-under par after posting a first round 59. Last year’s tournament featured similar scoring and was won by J.T. Poston at 22-under par. Poston had four bogey-free rounds last season yet still only managed to win by one stroke over multiple-time runner-up – and 2011 Wyndham winner – Webb Simpson

PGA Championship roundup

The first major of the year went off last week, with Collin Morikawa taking down the title in thrilling fashion. With many of the top players deciding to skip this week’s event though, there unfortunately isn’t a lot to decipher from that finish, for betting purposes. TPC Harding Park played tough but fair, as thicker rough and a longer layout led to much higher scores than we’re bound to see this week. 

One interesting fact about the PGA is that when it’s been played directly prior to the Wyndham Championship, success there hasn’t necessarily meant a ton of success for players choosing to tee things up at Sedgefield. Over the last 10 years, only Henrik Stenson (2017) and Brandt Snedeker (2018) have managed to win at Sedgefield after playing and making the cut in the PGA Championship the week prior. It’s at least something to think about this week when researching players, as a poor week or missed cut at TPC Harding Park may actually be a blessing in disguise for some golfers. 

Wyndham Championship course details 

Sedgefield Country Club

  • Par: 70, 7,127–Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Greens: Champion Bermuda
  • Design: Donald Ross 
  • Defending Event Champion: J.T. Poston (-22) 

Sedgefield grades out as a shorter Par 70 venue that will give players the opportunity to go pin seeking throughout the week. While it is important to keep the ball in the fairways to ensure you’re getting plenty of birdie looks, the fairways at Sedgefield are generally very easy to hit. The field averaged a healthy 65% driving accuracy rate here last year, a mark 3-4% higher than the Tour average. Winners at Sedgefield have also done well at keeping the ball out of trouble off the tee, as seven of the last nine winners have finished inside the top-15 in Driving Accuracy for the week of their win. 

While consistency off the tee is important, hitting your irons pure is generally the biggest difference maker at Sedgefield. Last year’s winner J.T. Poston led the field in strokes gained approach stats, and the last four winners here have all finished inside the top-3 in SG:APP for the weeks of their win. 

As a layout, Sedgefield features eight Par 4s that fall inside (or very close to) the 400-450 yard range. Efficiency in this range will therefore be key this week, as Par 4 scoring specialists will again benefit from there being just two (very easy) Par 5s on this course. 

Finally, it’s worth noting that the venue is a Donald Ross design. Several of his courses are featured throughout the Tour, with the most popular stops being the Detroit Golf Club (Rocket Mortgage), Sedgefield, Aronomink (BMW Championship rota), and East Lake (the host of the Tour Championship). Billy Horschel (winner of the 2014 Tour Championship) and Justin Rose (winner of the 2010 AT&T National at Aronomink) are just two of the players who have shown particular aptitude for Ross’ designs over the years. 

Apr 14, 2019; Augusta, GA, USA; Brooks Koepka hits his tee shot on the 12th hole during the final round of The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

Wyndham Championship betting discussion and picks

Top of the market

Brooks Koepka is the biggest name from last week to make the trip across the country. Ranked out at just 92nd in the current FedEx Cup standings, Koepka needs a decent week here to improve both his playoff standing and his confidence after a disastrous final round at the PGA – one that was made infinitely worse by his trash-talking Dustin Johnson the night before. He’s currently going off as second favorite this week to Webb Simpson, at around +1000, but is an easy avoid given the short price, a course design which de-emphasizes power, and an attitude no longer brimming with swagger. 

Koepka will be joined at Sedgefield by Paul Casey, the man who beat him by eight strokes on Sunday and who is available at +1800 or better at many sportsbooks. Casey played great all week at TPC Harding Park, gaining over +12 strokes Tee to Green and finishing the event in T2. Casey has played Sedgefield a couple of times before, finishing T13 here last year and T3 in 2015. His outright price is more enticing than Brooks’, and his confidence should be high, although an emotional letdown is possible after coming so close to winning a major. 

England’s Tommy Fleetwood will also be joining these two at the top of the market, carrying similar odds to Casey. Fleetwood couldn’t build on a second round 64 last week and still seems to be searching for his trademark, tee to green consistency. Perhaps he finds it this week but this will likely be another stepping stone event for him as he tries to put together a little momentum before the US Open. Justin Rose is the third well-known Englishman making the trip over and has a bit more value than his two counterparts at around +2200. His T9 finish last week went a little under the radar and a solid follow-up here wouldn’t be surprising. Of these four, Rose likely carries the best potential and value given his slightly larger price. 

Course horses 

With Sedgefield being an old venue in possession of a steady time slot on the PGA for over a decade now, it’s not surprising that some serious course horses have emerged for this event. Webb Simpson has absolutely dominated at this venue over the last decade, winning his first ever PGA event here in 2011. He’s also finished runner-up at the Wyndham in each of the last two seasons. Ranked inside the top-20 on the PGA in both SG: Putting and Approach this season, he’s a deserved favorite at +1000 and a player who will likely be seen inside the top-5 of the leaderboard at some point during the week. 

2013 winner Patrick Reed is another player who should be mentioned on this list. He also won his first ever PGA event at Sedgefield in 2013, and has come back multiple times since finishing T22 here last season. A T13 finish last week at the PGA puts him on the radar although his +1400 betting price looks too short to really consider. 

Finally, there’s the enigmatic Si Woo Kim, who has been on a roll of late and comes in off a T13 from last week as well – a result that equaled his best previous result in a major. Kim shot a 60 here in 2016 en route to his first ever PGA Tour victory and posted a T5 finish here last season as well. The South Korean’s consistency has, unfortunately, caused his outright betting price to drop drastically into the +3300 range, which makes him less of a target for me as other names have caught my eye over him. 

Jul 3, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Webb Simpson plays his shot from the sixth tee during the second round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic golf tournament at Detroit Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Favorite bets 

Russell Henley +5000 or better (each-way)

When you consider that winners at Sedgefield often end up finishing the week inside the top-5 in SG:APP stats for the week, Henley has to be someone you almost automatically consider when filling out your betting cards. While he’s still suffering from a putter that simply will not let him climb leaderboards on the weekend, the rest of his game remains fully intact and should set up beautifully for this simple yet exciting second-shot venue. 

Henley led the field in strokes gained approach stats at the PGA Championship last week and ranks out first in that statistic over the last 24/36/50 rounds on Tour at the moment. Sedgefield hasn’t been an every year stop for him, but a T31 here last season is significant because he was able to pick up +1.3-strokes on the greens – a mark he’d kill for right now given the way the rest of his game is going. Bermuda has always been his best surface to putt on, however, and he’s actually ranked 11th in this field in lifetime strokes gained on Bermuda greens. 

Considering Henley was priced around or smaller than the likes of Ryan Moore and Harris English just a couple of weeks ago at the 3M Open, his +5000 outright number begins to look fairly palatable when compared to those players and some others this week. He’s a nice way to start out a betting card for me, as a player who will almost certainly challenge for a top-10 position at worst, if he putts anywhere above the field average for the week. 

Tom Lewis +6600 or better (each-way)

Two weeks ago, Lewis nearly took down a major-calibre field at the WGC Memphis event, with two short misses on his last three holes the only thing that stopped him from forcing a playoff. His T2 finish already seems to be forgotten by bookmakers though, as his price in this week’s much softer field remains extremely bettable. 

Lewis has always been a talented player, winning his first professional event at the age of 20 on the European Tour. While he took some time to develop after that early win, he’s won multiple times there since, and also added a shock win on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2019, where he blitzed a quality field by getting to 23-under par for the week. The Englishman has always been known as a pure scorer, and he led the field in birdies-made at WGC Memphis suggesting his form in that regard remains on point at the moment. 

While you could point to his missed cut at the PGA Championship last week as a negative, it’s worth noting that when the Wyndham has been played directly after the PGA Championship, only two of the past ten winners here have ended up playing the weekend in that event. In short, Lewis looks like a terrific fit for this week’s shootout and might even get a boost from not having to slog it out for two extra rounds on the tough Harding Park course in San Francisco last week. Given his talent for birdie-making, I see no reason not to embrace him for an each-way bet again at this number. 

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Henrik Norlander +7000 or better (each-way) 

Norlander has been in solid form since the restart, landing five straight made cuts in a row now. The level of consistency the Swede has shown of late hasn’t necessarily been brought on by just one factor either. While his iron game has proven extremely adept, leading to multiple performances where he’s gained +5-strokes or more on the field on APP, he’s also had a couple smashing weeks with the putter, particularly at the Memorial where he gained over +8 strokes on the greens. 

At Sedgefield, the name of the game isn’t power but simply keeping yourself out of trouble off the tee, and Norlander is certainly a player who can execute such a plan, as his 10th overall ranking in Driving Accuracy this year would indicate. He’s also a player whose best finishes have all come on shorter Par 70 tracks, with a T9 this year at the Sony Open and a playoff loss at the RSM Classic in 2016 marking a couple of his best results on Tour. 

With an iron and putting game that’s trending right now and some good course history to lean on, there seems little reason not to chance Norlander at this price, especially at an event that has crowned multiple first-time winners recently in Poston (2019), Kim (2016), Reed (2013), and Simpson (2011). He’s also someone who sticks out to me in the top-20 market, where +400 or better can likely still be found at some sportsbooks. 

Doc Redmon +8000 or better (each-way) 

The 22-year-old Redmon has already made a name for himself as a steely competitor on Tour. The winner of the US Amateur event back in 2017 nearly won in Detroit last summer in just his eighth start on Tour. While he’s yet to close out a win on the PGA, the runner-up finish he landed in Detroit – at another softer Donald Ross designed venue – certainly gives some hint as to his potential in weaker field events where the birdies are flowing early and often. 

Redmon has looked quite solid at times since the restart and is coming off a confidence-building T29 at the year’s first major. Seeing him compete for his first win this week wouldn’t be overly shocking to me, and the fact he ranks out seventh in SG:APP stats over the last 50-rounds, plus has some local ties to the region, only adds to his appeal. 

While his first two results at this venue yielded missed cuts, poor performances on the greens can be blamed for both. It’s worth noting that last year’s winner – JT Poston – had to undergo a similar trial by fire, as he could only yield a MC and T50 in his first two starts at Sedgefield before winning. Seeing Redmon follow a similar path this season wouldn’t shock me in the least, and his near triple-digit price makes him an easy add for me as an outright or each-way. 

*Given the consistency Redmon has shown since the restart, he’s also an interesting play in the top-20 market at around +325 or bigger. 

Sam Burns +10000 or better (each-way)

Burns is a bit of a late add for me here. The 22-year-old was going off at around +2800 for the Barracuda just two weeks ago, so to see his price vault back into the triple-digit range so quickly was a bit jarring. This is a player who can absolutely light up greens with his putter and his favorite surface, by far, is Bermuda. Over the last 50-rounds he ranks fourth in SG:Putting on the surface and has seen five of his six top-10’s on Tour come at venues with some kind of Bermuda-strained greens. 

Burns’ iron game has also been trending of late, as he gained over +2 strokes on APP at both the 3M Open and Workday Open, where he posted T32 and T17 finishes. His tendency to spray the ball off the tee could get him in trouble at the tighter Sedgefield – a venue he’s yet to play – as mistakes won’t be tolerated at an event where 20-under par or better will be needed to grab the win. Still, at such a big price, that’s a fault I’m willing to accept here. Burns is worth the small investment for me this week given the potential he brings with the flatstick alone.

The following was updated on 8/10 at 10:15 am ET

Tournament matchups 

Henrik Norlander -120 over Matthias Schwab 

While Schwab is a clear talent and a better long term bet, the course this week really plays to Nordlander’s strengths. The Swede has done all of his best work on shorter Par 70 courses on Tour and heads into this week having gained strokes tee to green in six straight starts. The experience factor also leans Norlander here as he’s played Sedgefield twice now and posted a T16 at this venue in 2018. Schwab could easily set the course ablaze with some early birdies, but also feels much more likely to struggle here early if things aren’t firing early like they were at the Barracuda two weeks ago. Norlander feels like the play here even if he carries less pure talent onto the course. 

For more on matchup betting in golf, dive in here.

First-round leader

Patrick Rodgers +6600 or better (each-way)

Rodgers has a very early tee time on Thursday that should keep him out of the worst of the wind and hopefully present him with a softer course in case we get any overnight rain. While he only has one top-10 finish on the year he’s been getting off to some fast starts of late posting a 67 or better in five of his last eight events. Ranked 22nd in round one scoring, Rodgers also opened with a 63 here last season. Definitely a player worth eyeing for a quick start this week, especially since he’s coming off a week of rest. 

Danny Lee +10000 or better (each-way)

Lee isn’t a player I’d want to trust long-term but he’s certainly proven adept at putting in some low rounds, often when you least expect them. The former winner of the Greenbrier has putted well of late gaining over a stroke putting in five of his last six events. He’s coming off a couple of solid made cuts and should find the course this week much better suited to his game than the longer Harding Park last week where he struggled to make birdies. Lee last played the Wyndham in 2018 where he closed with a 64. At triple digits, he’s a player who could certainly light things up for a round on Thursday, where he also has an early wave tee time. 

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