We’ve barely recovered from a helter-skelter Sunday at the St Jude Classic. What a Sunday it was, with the lead chopping and changing and seemingly nobody wanting to win! It was Abraham Ancer who ultimately held his nerve and claimed his first and very well-deserved PGA Tour title.
Our selections didn’t pan out so well, with Collin Morikawa, Rory McIlroy, Matt Fitzpatrick, and Lee Westwood all putting in solid performances over the course of the weekend but not doing enough to challenge the top of the leaderboard.
Attentions now turn towards the 2021 Wyndham Championship, with this being the last opportunity for players to break into the top 125 and stay alive for the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs. Big names such as Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, and Francisco Molinari all currently sit outside of the magical top 125 elimination line and will be looking for a strong weekend in order to sneak in.
Before we dive into our selections let’s take a quick look at the course.
The Wyndham is being held at Sedgefield Country Club and has been played every year at this venue since 2008. Founded in 1928, Sedgefield was the brainchild of course designer Donald Ross who has also designed East Lake and Pinehurst.
Playing as a par 70 and measured at just a tad over 7000 yards, Sedgefield demands that a player putts well and gives themselves plenty of looks for birdie. Past winners and winning scores include Jim Herman (-21), J.T Poston (-22), Brandt Snedeker (-21) and Henrik Stenson (-22).
In a week where some of the world’s biggest names are resting up ahead of what’s set to be an intense series of playoff tournaments, the betting for this week is wide open, but hopefully, we can find a winner!
MAIN BET: JASON KOKRAK +2200
One of the leading FedEx Cup performers, Jason Kokrak is teeing it up this week and at +2200 for the outright victory I think represents some really good value.
Kokrak has had a great year, currently lying in 11th place in the FedEx standings he was a winner at the Charles Schwab and has had a string of top-ten finishes.
Kokrak has played this tournament multiple times and in his last six trips has made the top 10 once and the top 20 three times. Last year he finished 15th. Given Kokrak’s consistent year, it’s no surprise to see him show up in many of the stats needed to contend well this week.
Lying in 5th for strokes gained with the putter and hitting 68% of his greens in regulation, Kokrak should be giving himself lots of looks for birdie this week. Ranked 13th in birdie average with just over four per round and sitting in the mid-thirties for scoring averages, Kokrak should have the game to compete in a shootout which this week is bound to turn into.
DARK HORSE: RUSSELL HENLEY +3000
Arguably one of the Tour’s most consistent players this season has been Russell Henley. Henley heads to the Wyndham fresh off three top 20 finishes in his last four events. He leads the field this week in strokes gained through his approach play, therefore you know with Henley you should have a player that is able to give himself plenty of looks for birdie. He sits in 18th for hitting greens in regulation and lies in 7th for his approaches being closest to the hole.
Scoring wise Henley should be able to go low, he sits in 7th place in scoring average and manages over three birdies per round. He also doesn’t seem to mind how the course is set up with Henley sitting in the top 15 for scoring averages on both the front and back 9s. Henley has some good recent form at Sedgefield managing to finish 9th back in 2020, so he could be a real contender this week.
LONG SHOT: J.T POSTON +8000
J.T Poston returns to the scene of his only PGA Tour success to date. Winning the Wyndham back in 2019 with a score of -22, Poston clearly has the game to do well around Sedgefield. One of the contributing factors to his 2019 victory would have been his putter, and this year the putter is still hot – as Poston ranks second on tour through strokes gained through the money maker.
Poston put up a poor showing last year failing to make the cut, so he will be hoping for a bounceback this week.
Poston has had a solid year, sitting comfortably inside the top 125 in the FedEx Cup rankings in 67th. He also heads into this week off the back of a 2nd place finish at the Barbassol and a top 30 finish at the 3M Open. Odds of +8000 look long for the outright victory but odds of +1600 for a top 5 and +700 for a top 10 look attractive.
Poston’s Twitter handle is J.Tthepostman and his backers this week will be hoping that he can deliver once again.
Two other bets we like for this week are Sungjae Im +3000 and Will Zalatoris +2800.
Im leads the field in shooting rounds in the sixties, with the scoring set to be low it makes sense to back the man who can shoot low consistently. Im has had a bit of a bumpy year but he will be looking to consolidate this week ahead of a playoff run.
Zalatoris is arguably one of the game’s brightest stories. Still reasonably fresh off plying the Korn Ferry Tour, Zalatoris has continued his fine rise up the rankings with yet another top 10 finish at last week’s St Jude Classic.
Zalatoris finds himself in a weird place this week, as this could be his last tournament before the playoffs. Not having full PGA Tour status has meant that he doesn’t have a FedEx Cup ranking. Therefore despite probably sitting inside the top 10 if he had a live ranking, Zalatoris needs to win this week to make it into the playoffs. Backing the Z-Man could be a smart play as there is bound to be no man more motivated to succeed this week.