- Field: 156 players / Top 65 and ties make cut
- Course: Sedgefield CC
- Greens: Bermuda
- Length: 7,127
- Par: 70
- Defending Champion: J.T. Poston
PGA Championship recap
The golf world was given a real treat in the final round of the PGA Championship. So many of the big names in the game were in contention and it was exciting all the way to the finish, with Collin Morikawa eventually conjuring up a few clutch shots down the stretch to walk away with his first major championship. As mentioned in last week’s outrights preview, Morikawa was one of my key bets at the start of the event. He was able to fend off the likes of Paul Casey, Bryson DeChambeau, and Dustin Johnson – among others – to capture the title. His tee shot on the 16th hole to ultimately set up a clinching eagle putt will be shown on replay for years to come. The year’s first major lived up to the hype and then some, making the next couple of months that much more exciting as we approach the FedEx Cup Playoffs, the US Open, and eventually The Masters.
I gave out Morikawa as one of my favorite bets of the week before the tournament, but that didn’t stop me from having other golfers in play. With outright betting, we are just looking for our guys to be in contention come Sunday, then seeing if we can grab some live opportunities to give ourselves more chances at the end. I was able to hit a first round leader bet on Jason Day this week. Instead of taking the profits, I decided to reinvest those earnings into other outright plays. By the time the golfers were teeing off on Sunday, I had five guys inside the top 8 attached to outright bets. This strategy with live betting increases the chances of being able to hit a winner and maintain profit over time.
This week the Tour heads across the country to Greensboro, North Carolina as the players take on Sedgefield Country Club for the Wyndham Championship. This is the first time this tournament will take place the week after the PGA Championship, and the emotional effect a major has on the players may come into effect with some of the top names in the field. We are one week away from the start of the playoffs and plenty of golfers are still jockeying for position, which should lead to a fun and intense weekend.
Coming off a major championship, we know the field won’t quite be as strong, but the top of the betting market still offers plenty of household names. Starting off the odds board will be the likes of Brooks Koepka, Webb Simpson, Patrick Reed, and Tommy Fleetwood. The next tier offers other familiar names like Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia, and Jordan Spieth. Some of the former winners of this event competing again this year are JT Poston, Brandt Snedeker, Si Woo Kim, Reed, and Simpson.
A few other golfers who finished near the top of the leaderboard last year and who now return are Billy Horschel, Josh Teater, Brice Garnett, and Jason Kokrak. A key withdrawal in the field for this week is one of the early market favorites – Abraham Ancer.
Sedgefield Country Club is the host for the Wyndham Championship this week as the tour moves to North Carolina. This is a Donald Ross designed course that is a par 70, which plays just over 7,200 yards in length. The course features Bermuda greens that, in the past, have run faster than average greens. The rough length is average compared to other courses and the scoring has typically been easier than most PGA Tour venues.
Water will come into some effect on the back nine but the main obstacles for the golfers to contend with are the strategically placed bunkers, the speed of the greens, and the tall trees that line most of the holes. With this again being a par-70, there are only two par-5s on the card. Both of these are gettable for most of the field, however, playing as the two easiest holes on the course. The 5th hole had an eagle rate of over 6% last year, one of the highest on tour.
The majority of the par-4s will fall in the range of 400 – 450 yards, which is down some from last week. Approach shots will be more in the 125 – 150 yard range, as opposed to the 175 – 200 yard average we have been looking at with the past couple of events. The par-3s are longer than average, with two of them playing over 220 yards, meaning long iron play will definitely still be important.
At the end of the tournament, the golfer who is most consistent and finds a hot putter will come away with the title. The previous winners at this event have all flashed different skill sets (driving distance, approach, ball striking, etc.) so we will do our best to look for consistencies to capitalize on as the week progresses. What we do notice is that all past winners have gained strokes on Putting, Approach, and Tee to Green. This will be our starting point when attempting to handicap the field.
- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Strokes Gained: Putting (Bermuda specific)
- Strokes Gained: Tee to Green
- Par 4s 400 – 450 yards
- Proximity from 100 – 150 yards
- Proximity from 200 + yards
High end value
Webb Simpson +1000
I will be breaking one of my only rules this week, which is to never take a golfer under +1500. I typically follow this rule because of how many variables are in play when trying to win a golf tournament. That is, until I find all necessary stats, course history, and form match up in the right place at the right time. We have such an occurrence this week with Webb.
Let’s start with course history. Since 2015, Webb Simpson has had four finishes of 6th or better at this event, including a 2nd place finish in each of the past two years. This is simply too much success on one course to pass up. Then again, recent form is a common counter argument to course history. Luckily for Webb, he has that going for him too.
His past five events played have resulted in the following finishes:
|8/2/20||12||WGC – St Jude|
Outside of a missed cut at Muirfield Village, Webb has been dialed in since golf’s return and I don’t see any reason that he can’t continue the trend this weekend. Then there are the relevant stats. Throughout the past two months, he has been gaining 2.1 strokes putting, 1.6 strokes on approach, and 3.4 strokes Tee to Green – all three of which are important stats to us this weekend. When sorting by putting just on courses with Bermuda, there is no one better. Put all three of those together and it is too much for me to pass up. I will be in on Webb Simpson at 10/1.
Harris English +2500
A golfer can only appear on the top of leaderboards so often before they have an eventual breakthrough, and this is the current trend that best describes Harris English. He has finished in the top 20 at four straight events, including the WGC and PGA Championship. All of these are premier fields much stronger than the one we find this week at Sedgefield. The stats tell the story for English’s strong finishes as of late.
He has gained strokes on approach in four straight events, including at the Memorial where his 3.7 strokes gained was truly impressive given the difficulty of hitting those greens. His all around tee-to-green game has been one of the best on tour. What I love to see is the steady improvement in his stats. Below are the strokes gained numbers from the past 5, 10, and 20 events played.
|Average Strokes Gained Summary|
|Tournaments||SG: Total||SG: T2G||SG: OTT||SG: APP||SG: ARG||SG: P|
The positive regression shown for approach and putting are signs that a win is just around the corner for English. I am hoping we find it this weekend at 25/1.
Ryan Moore +4500
The University of Nevada alum is finally turning the corner with his play after missing a trio of cuts to return from the hiatus. Moore has strung together finishes of T40, T12, and T12 in his past three starts, with his irons and tee-to-green game leading the charge. In his 12th place finish at the 3M Open, he gained over 7 strokes with his irons and 8.3 strokes tee-to-green.
This week, Moore returns to the course that he was able to win on back in 2009. He also has finishes of 6th and 10th at Sedgefield within the past few years. Compared to the rest of the field, he ranks 6th in proximity from 100 – 125 yards and 6th in Par 4 scoring on holes of 400 – 450 yards, which the golfers will be seeing 7 of this week. He is also in the top 15 in the field in overall approach and tee-to-green. Yes, Ryan Moore is garbage around the greens but if you have been following the articles, you know those are just my type of guys. Hopefully his other stats can make up for his poor putting this week and put him in contention to pay off a bet at 45/1.
Russel Henley +5000
Take everything we just said about Ryan Moore and double it, and that’s what you get with Russel Henley this week at Sedgefield. Henley has been a ball striking machine as of late. Just take a look at his last four starts:
|Date||Event||SG: Total||SG: T2G||SG: APP|
|7/12/20||Workday Charity Open||9.6||11||6|
Even when losing strokes overall at the 3M, he still gained on approach and tee-to-green. Sounds like all signs point to success, right? Well, then there’s the putting:
|7/12/20||Workday Charity Open||-1.5|
Looks like Russell Henley is precisely my type of guy, but here’s the thing: Bermuda is his preferred putting surface. He gains almost a full stroke on Bermuda as opposed to only .1 on bent, and he loses .1 on Poa. If there were ever a week for Henley to piece it all together, it could very well be here in Greensboro at 50/1.
Talor Gooch +14000
A inconsistent golfer who flashes signs of greatness from time to time? That’s exactly what I’m looking for when taking shots on golfers over 100/1, and Talor Gooch fits the bill given his past four starts, with results of 17th, Missed Cut, 18th, and Missed Cut. If this trend continues, we could be in line for a strong finish this coming week.
The former golf stand out from Oklahoma State has been on tour since 2017 and is still looking for his first victory. He has a handful of top 5 finishes and, when flirting with the top of leaderboards that often, it’s only a matter of time until his breakthrough arrives. The stats point to a high potential for such an emergence this week in North Carolina. Gooch has gained on approach in three of his past four events, including gaining a full 5 strokes en route to an 18th place finish at the 3M. He can certainly get wayward with the driver but, if he keeps it in the fairway, I don’t see any reason he can’t be in the mix come Sunday. That is all we can ask from a golfer at such high odds.
Other numbers that stood out as value are as follows:
- Justin Rose +2200
- Kevin Kisner +3300
- Corey Conners +5500
This will most definitely be a live betting week for me. Most weeks are but, with the multitude of different abilities needed over the years to compete at this course, I will be watching closely for line movement and any value that presents itself. We are approaching an exciting stretch of the PGA Tour season but these smaller events provide just as much edge. Hopefully we find success with the outrights this week at Sedgefield CC, and then move it on to the playoffs from there.