The fourth and final major is over, but that doesn’t mean the golf season is. Next week, The FedEx Cup Playoffs start at The Northern Trust, but before that we have one tournament to attack, The 2018 Wyndham Championship. This event will take place at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina and it has been held here the last ten seasons. Sedgefield is a Donald Ross designed par 70, that is 7,127 yards long and Henrik Stenson is the defending champion, shooting -22, one stroke better than Ollie Schniederjans, a year ago. To no surprise, as a par 70, par four scoring has been pivotal to winning at this course. Stenson ranked T3 in scoring on these 12 par fours (eight are between 400-450 yards) and the last five winners have all ranked inside the top ten in par four scoring at Sedgefield.
This is a track that favors accuracy over distance off the tee. The past four Wyndham champions have ranked T10 or better in driving accuracy and the last five have had a modest average drive of 299.5 yards. I will be looking for players who have been finding fairways consistently, but I will also be putting a heavy weight on approach stats. Stenson ranked T3 in GIR last season and the last five winners have gained 6.2 strokes when approaching the green. With the winning score likely cracking 20 strokes under par again, we must prioritize strong birdie makers, with the Stenson and Si Woo Kim, the 2016 champion, both leading the field in birdies made. Finally, with this being the final event before the start of The FedEx Cup Playoffs, it’s also important to watch the players who are hovering around the top 125 in the FedEx Cup point standings, as only the top 125, will be competing in at The Northern Trust next week. @Hunta512.
Rafael Cabrera-Bello: (10,100)
When looking at the top tier of players, RCB looks like the best value. I like Webb Simpson, but he is a little too pricey to go all in on for cash games, while Henrik Stenson and Hideki Matsuyama are both not in the greatest form, and Shane Lowry and Brandt Snedeker are just simply overpriced, leading me to a surging Cabrera-Bello, who is trending up, after a rough patch in July. In that month, he missed three straight cuts, but since then, he has made three in a row, improving in each start, posting finishes of T74, T17, and T10 in that order. The last finish was at The PGA Championship, where he gained 8.8 strokes total and finished 1st in average putts per round and T7th in par four scoring.
He was one of the only players to make the cut in all four majors this season and after this, he ranks 5th in SGT2G and 1st in SG on par fours in his last two starts. (via Fantasy National) He missed the cut in first attempt at a Wyndham in 2014, but he bounced back nicely in his second crack at the event, with a T5 two years ago. In this new found form, Cabrera-Bello has all the tools to shine once again at Sedgefield.
Tyler Duncan: (7,300)
Duncan is a steal at this price. For a weaker field like this, Duncan, who has made ten straight cuts, should easily be priced over $8,000. His play has slowly gotten better, with two top 20s in his last three starts, including a T12 at The John Deere Classic and then a T17 at The RBC Canadian Open. These were two of his four top 20s this season and it’s also worth pointing out that both were his first appearances in those events, which is the same case with him and The Wyndham this week. One of his main reasons for his T17 at The RBC Canadian Open was his accuracy, with him ranking T1 in fairways found at Glenn Abbey Golf Club.
If you compare all of these players last 24 rounds, no player looks like a better fit for Sedgefield than Duncan. In that time he ranks 4th in SGT2G, 1st in SG APP, 3rd in GIR, 20th in fairways found, 3rd in ball striking, 20th in BOB%, 20th in SG on par fours, and 16th in SG on par fours between 400-450 yards. (via Fantasy National) At this soft of a price tag, Duncan needs to be used in all formats.
Chris Kirk: (7,500)
Kirk has only missed one cut in his past 14 starts. He has posted five top 25s in this run and is fresh off a solid T31 at The PGA Championship at Bellerive, where he ranked T10 in fairways hit. In his last 24 rounds, he has been great with his irons (3rd in SG APP) and on par fours. (2nd in SG on par fours)
He has been such a strong par four player this season (15th in par four scoring), that he has yet to miss a cut on a par 70, in six tries, with an average finish of 15.8th place. Also, this will be Kirk’s fifth Wyndham Championship and he is 3/4 at Sedgefield for his career. With the success he has had on par 70s this season, Kirk presents excellent upside, at a very reasonable cost.
Joaquin Niemann: (9,700)
The end result wasn’t great, but Niemann made it to the weekend in his first major at The PGA Championship. (T71) The 19 year old rookie is now seven for his last eight, with five top 25s in that span. The kid is a statistical dream, ranking 11th in SGT2G, 13th in SG APP, 9th in GIR, 35th in fairways found, 2nd in ball striking, 8th in SG on par fours, and 1st in BOB% in his last 24 rounds. (via Fantasy National) He is at 28/1 to win (via Bovada) and I think the rising star will do just fine in his first start at Sedgefield.
Ryan Moore: (9,000)
Moore is the perfect type of player for this track and it has shown in the past, with him making 5/7 cuts at Sedgefield, including a T10 in 2015 and a win in 2009. He has has six top 20s and has only missed two cuts in his last 12 starts. He ranks 2nd in SGT2G, 9th in SG APP, 3rd in fairways gained, 6th in ball striking, and 1st in SG on par fours in his last 24 rounds. Furthermore, he ranks 19th in SG on par fours ranging from 400 to 450 yards. (via Fantasy National) Moore was priced at $9,600 last year for this tournament and this is a nice discount for a true course horse.
Harold Varner III: (8,900)
In his last four events, Varner has finished T41, T5, T6, and T17. In those last three, he is gaining an awesome 9.0 strokes per start, while ranking 2nd in SGT2G, 5th in SG APP, 7th in GIR, 3rd in ball striking, 11th in SG on par fours, and 1st in BOB%. (via Fantasy National) He finished T10 here last season and even though the price is at a season’s peak, I still think Varner is a nice value in this weak field.
Steve Stricker: (8,300)
As usual, Stricker has been a steady player all year, making 9/11 cuts and four top 25s. He needs to post another high finish this week if he wants to qualify for The FedEx Cup Playoffs, with him currently sitting at 141st in the standings. He has accomplished things like this in the past, most recently last season, when he was denied a special exemption to compete in The U.S. Open at Erin Hills, which is near his hometown in Wisconsin. After he found out The USGA wouldn’t give him an entry by request, Stricker stepped up his game, making four cuts in a row and finally qualifying in the Monday qualifier before the start of the tournament. He then played very well in his home state, posting a T16 at Erin Hills. His stats are never going to jump off the page, but he has gained strokes in nine of his last ten events. Even though he has never played at Sedgefield, Stricker’s short and accurate game off the tee is a match made in heaven for this course, and I am expecting a made cut and top 25 from the old man.
Nick Watney: (7,100)
Watney is way too cheap for how consistent of a cut maker he has been. In the year 2018, he has only missed two cuts in 19 total starts. The finishes haven’t been that high, with only two top 20s, but at this price, all we are asking for is him to make the cut, which seems very possible right now. He has made it to the weekend in five straight events, including The PGA Championship last week, and he is 3/6 at Sedgefield, with his best being a T5 in 2015. At only $7,100, Watney seems like a fine last piece to a cash game lineup.