- Mar 6, 2018
Best bets for the Wyndham ChampionshipESPN PLUS ($ MATERIAL)
The PGA Tour heads to Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, NC this week for the Wyndham Championship, an event that Jim Herman snuck up and won last year.
Which players are the favorites this time around, who offers good odds and what props are worth considering?
Sports betting deputy editor David Bearman and betting analysts Chris "The Bear" Fallica, Joe Fortenbaugh, Tyler Fulghum and Anita Marks offer their best bets.
Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill unless otherwise noted.
Bets to win
Webb Simpson to win (+1200); Top-10 finish (+110)Bearman: I'd be doing something wrong if I didn't pick Simpson in some capacity or even in every capacity this week. I mean, he named his daughter Wyndham after having success in this event. And what kind of success? Well, his results since 2010 are as follows: T8, W, T22, T11, T5, T6, T72, 3, T2, 2, T3. For those counting at home, that's 11/11 in cuts made, six Top 10s, including each of the last four years. Each of his last 9 and 11 of his last 12 rounds at Sedgefield CC have been 4-under or better. No surprise that over the last 10 years, he leads the all golfers at this course in total shots gained, shots gained T2G and ball striking, while he is second on approach. He's a crowd favorite, native of nearby Raleigh, lives in nearby Charlotte and went to school at Wake Forest. Are there any negatives? As I noted in last week's column when I hesitantly picked Simpson for a Top 10 and Top 20 at the WGC, he only has one top 10 since February, not playing at the peak of his game. However, after spending most of the week in the middle of the pack, Simpson finished with a final-round 64 in Memphis to pay our Top 20 bets off with a T-15 finish. He gained over four shots tee-to-green on Sunday. Maybe that's the round he needed heading into his favorite course. He sits 49th in the FedExCup standings, so he won't have any issues qualifying for the first two playoff events, but will need some work to get to Atlanta and it could start here with a W.
Will Zalatoris to win (+2800); Tourney matchup over Kokrak (-105)Marks: Zalatoris needs to win in order to attain a full PGA Tour card and qualify for next week's playoffs at the Northern Trust. His ball-striking has been top notch, and being a former Wake Forest player, he knows this track better than most.
Jason Kokrak to win (+2800), Top-10 finish (+170)Fallica: He has a game that will travel pretty much anywhere as he's in the Top 30 in GIR and Top 5 in SG: Putting. Three Top 20s here in the last four years and he's playing better than he ever has on Tour. In his last five events that were not major or a WGC Event, he's finished T-12, 1st, T-13, T-9, T-8. He'll be in contention again this weekend.
Sungjae Im to win (+3000); Top-10 finish (+275)Bearman: You had to expect a little bit of a let down from Im last week in Memphis after not medaling at the Olympics and failing to get the South Korean military exemption. Plus, at you noticed with Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas and others, the cross-world travel adds up. He still hung in there versus a stacked field and was middle of the pack until a Sunday 73 had him finish T-44. But now he is back at a course that he has played very well, against a sub-par field. In two appearances at Sedgefield Country Club, Im has finished T-6 and T-9, going 16-under both times. He was the first round leader in 2019 with a 62, has been under par in even of his eight rounds and is 5th in shots gained, 9th tee-to-green during those eight rounds. The Rocket Mortgage at Detroit Golf Club was a birdie-fest, shortish course with a sub-par field and Im finished T-8. He's 35th in shots gained total on the season and 34th in hitting greens, both of which will be in the Top 10 when considering the field. Assuming he has gotten past not medaling in Japan, I expect Im to content this week in the Carolinas.
Kevin Na to win (+4500), Top-10 finish (+300)Fallica: Na hasn't played here since 2017 when he strung together T-10 and T-4 finishes. He came close to his second win of the year at the John Deere where he was runner-up to Lucas Glover. He's one of the better players on Tour around the green, and that will come in handy this week.
Chart Schwartzel to win (+4500), Top-10 finish (+400)Fallica: Schwartzel has had a bit of a career resurgence this year. He's got three Top 3 finishes in his last nine events, including a runner-up at the 3M Open. He missed the cut here last year, but has a T-3 and another Top 15 finish going back to 2012.
C.T. Pan to win (+8000), Top-10 finish (+700)Bearman: For my longshot pick, I was looking for someone near the Top 125 playoff cut line who would have extra motivation to win and who has at least played well on this type of course before. C.T. Pan, who won the bronze medal in Japan two weeks ago and did not play last week (so he's more rested), finished runner-up at this event in 2018. He made the cut in his two other appearances but finished at the bottom of the pack, which is what you are going to get from the 136rd ranked player in the world. Some hits and some misses, like 13 made cuts and 12 missed cuts. Pan is 120th in the FedExCup rankings, so he is likely going to have to at least make the cut to advance to the playoff.
Webb Simpson Top-10 finish (-110)Fallica: It's about as a no-brainer of a bet there is. He's only won here once, but in the last four years, just six golfers have finished in front of him as he's gone T-3, 2, T-2 and 3.
Seamus Power Top-20 finish (+200)Marks: Power is coming in hot after a win at the Barbasol, and is playing the best golf of his career. He thrives on short par 4s, and fast Bermuda greens as well. On top of that, he rarely misses a cut, especially since last May.
Rickie Fowler Top-20 finish (+225)Bearman: Imagine a world where a young, former Top 5 player in the world with five career PGA Tour wins and eight worldwide wins has to play this week just to get into the 125-person FedExCup field. And here we are with Fowler, currently 130th in the standings and 110th in the world rankings. There are no metrics, course form or recent form to tell us to take Fowler here. You don't play an entire season and enter the last week 130th on Tour if you have anything positive going on. In fact, there is nothing at all to tell us to play Fowler except for the fact he is going to need a decent finish to keep his season alive. The lone bright spot was a two-week period where he went T-8 at the PGA Championship and T-11 the next week at Jack's place... two bright spots against tough fields. The play here is for Fowler to find some of his old magic to best a weak field and survive into the playoff. If I had any strong convictions, I'd pick him to win, but I don't, so a Top 20 to get him into next week is as good as it is going to get.
Charl Schwartzel Top-20 finish (+225); Top South African (+333); matchup over Kevin Kisner (-125)Marks: Schwartzel has played Sedgefield twice and both times finished in the Top 15. He is accurate off the tee, shoots darts to help with SG in greens in regulations, and putts well on fast Bermuda greens.
Charl Schwartzel Top-20 finish (+225)Fulghum: Schwartzel has made the cut in 10 of his last 11 starts with four top-20 finishes in his last seven events. He's gained 5 strokes on approach in his last two starts and has a T-14 and T3 in 2 of 3 starts at Sedgefield CC (MC last year).
Brian Harman Top-10 finish (+250)Marks: Harman excels at the metrics that matter most this week: driving accuracy and putting on fast Bermuda greens.
Webb Simpson Top-5 finish (+275); matchup over Hideki Matsuyama (-137)Marks: Simpson sports seven Top 6 finishes on this track, five of those were Top 3s, and one was a win. His game has been inconsistent this season, but he comes in with two Top 20s in his last two starts. Another former Wake Forest golfer who is uber familiar with this track, and he named one of his daughters Wyndham -- because he loves this tournament that much!
Si Woo Kim Top-10 finish (+350)Bearman: Much like his fellow countryman Sungjae Im, Kim had to try and overcome the post-Olympic letdown of not medaling to avoid military service. Kim fared worse during the WGC event, but a lot of it was on the one hole, where he carded a 10-over 13 with five balls in the water. Take that out and he finishes middle of the pack with Im. I am expecting him to put that disaster behind him and play well at a course he has done great at in the past. Kim won here in 2016 and recorded Top 5 finishes each of the last two years, holding the 36 and 54-hole lead last year before a T-3 finish. He missed the cut the two times he didn't finish in the Top 10 here. Buyer beware as Kim backers have learned he is very volatile with seven MCs to go along with four top 10s and 3 WDs this season. A lot of boom or bust with Kim, but he has played well here and if you see him in contention over the weekend, he may be worth a live bet, but if he is near the cut line, stay away.
Fallica: Another horse for course as in his last four trips here, Kim has a win, T-3 in which he led after 54 holes and a 5th place finish.
Kevin Na Top-10 finish (+350)Marks: Na's game has been on point as of late, especially on short, old school courses that demand great shot making. This week Na's game checks all the boxes to score well, especially on 400 to 450 yard par 4s, and he can get hot with his putter at any time.
Ryan Armour Top-20 finish (+400)Fulghum Armour is 3rd in the field in driving accuracy, an important stat at this course, and has four consecutive top-25 finishes at Sedgefield CC. He's also on that cut line for the playoff, entering the event 122nd in the FedExCup standings.
Brandt Snedeker Top-10 finish (+500)
Bearman: When looking for my last Top 10 play, I was torn between Sneds and Kisner and might end up playing both by Thursday morning, but for now, riding with Brandt. While his last two appearances here weren't stellar, he won here in 2018 with a wire-to-wire win after carding at 59 in the first round. That alone gets him on my card, but then add in five additional Top 10s and 11/13 cuts made. He has played at Sedgefield CC every year since 2008 except once and even won the event at a different course in 2007, giving him more money won at the Wyndham than anyone not named Webb Simpson. Looking at the all-important FedExCup standings, Sneds is 93rd and comfortably into the first leg of the playoff next week in Jersey, but he has work to do to make the Top 70 and advance to the BMW. He had back-to-back top 20s at the Open and 3M last month before missing the cut last week. This is the type of event in which Snedeker can find his game, just as he enters the playoffs, which he won in 2012.