What the hell!!
Seriously, where do I begin? How on earth did we fail to have the winner last week. We had one and two heading into the final round, with Harris English leading Bryson DeChambeau. The two players pulled even further clear halfway through the final round as English had a three-shot lead, and DeChambeau had a further two-shot lead over the pursuing pack. However, disaster struck as both players struggled with the par three’s and found the water numerous times.
English ended up missing out on making the playoffs by a single shot as Ancer won the championship. DeChambeau finished back in eighth, four shots off the eventual winner. Our other picks saw Morikawa pick up a respectable 26th spot, and only for a disastrous final round, Brooks Koepka would have been much closer than his 54th placed finish. Overall our picks did well, but you can’t help but think if only.
This week we’re heading to Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro for the Wyndham Championship. Let’s try and build on our good display last week and get back in the win column. We will begin, as always, by taking a look at the history of the tournament as we start to build this week’s Beerlife profile.
The History of the Wyndham
The Wyndham Championship is most closely connected with Sam Snead, who has the most victories on the PGA Tour (82) alongside Tiger Woods. Snead won the tournament for the first time in 1938 and went on to win eight times in total, five more than second-place Davis Love III. Snead’s last Wyndham victory, in 1965, was remarkable because he became the oldest player to win a PGA event at the time, a record that he still holds today. In his later years, Snead assumed the position of tournament host. The Sam Snead Cup is the winner’s trophy.
The Wyndham Championship had its roots in 1938 when it was known as the Greater Greensboro Open. The event was held on three separate courses in Greensboro, North Carolina area. Sedgefield Country Club, the current host site, was the home course in the early years before moving there permanently from 1961 to 1976 and then again from 2008 to the present. Ralph Guldahl, Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, Lloyd Mangrum, Billy Casper, Julius Boros, Gary Player, Seve Ballesteros, Raymond Floyd, and Sandy Lyle are among the famous victors.
Let’s turn our attention to the form of the previous five winners, analyze their rounds and see if we can find some crucial links to begin our BeerLife profile.
2020 Jim Herman – 259 (-21) – Form 77/CUT/CUT/33
2019 J. T. Poston – 258 (-22) – Form 29/CUT/11/CUT
2018 Brandt Snedeker – 259 (-21) – Form 42/8/CUT/3
2017 Henrik Stenson – 258 (-22) – Form 13/17/11/CUT
2016 Si Woo Kim – 259 (-21) – Form 25/CUT/23/2
This week’s host location is Sedgefield Country Club. Since the 2008 edition, it has held the host position, and the course has remained relatively unchanged over the years. Despite the rise in driving distance on the TOUR, this Donald Ross design has only gained 14 yards since the 2008 edition, when it was a par 70 at 7,117 yards.
The course isn’t challenging by TOUR standards, but it can still test these pros as a classic design with tight, tree-lined fairways and doglegs that make you take fewer clubs off the tee. Because the Bermuda rough can be challenging to control in terms of distance, identifying the fairways is essential.
In that way, it’s incredibly similar to the TPC Southwind layout from last week. Distance is not a criterion at both courses, and precision is more critical than at the usual TOUR stop. The bermudagrass greens are slightly smaller than the TOUR average, and they can get quite fast, typically running over 12 feet on the stump with a lot of slopes to emphasize that pace. Overall, this is a course that utilizes the entire field. Keep it between the pipes, lock in with your mid-irons, and putt strong to finish.
The weather will be a mixed bag this week. It will start decent on Thursday and Friday, but it will worsen as the week goes on, and come the weekend, there could be quite a bit of rain about.
Golfers who do not finish in the top 125 on the FedEx Cup points list after the final round at Sedgefield Country Club will be eliminated from postseason contention, and some may lose their PGA Tour cards for the next season. The FedEx Cup champion takes home $15 million. The majority of the top golfers have elected to forego the competition to recuperate and prepare for the playoffs. The favorites to win are Hideki Matsuyama, Louis Oosthuizen, and Webb Simpson. Matsuyama is coming off a playoff loss at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, Simpson has been second or third at the Wyndham for four years in a row, and Oosthuizen has come agonizingly close to winning on multiple occasions in 2021.
From Patrick Reed defeating Jordan Spieth in a playoff in 2013 to Tiger Woods contending for the title in 2015, to Brooks Koepka, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Webb Simpson, Reed, Spieth, and co. giving a formidable presence to last year's tournament, the Wyndham hasn't lacked for star power.
Simpson, the former Wake Forest standout and 2012 U.S. Open champion, two-time Wyndham winner Brandt Snedeker, and last year's tournament winner Jim Herman, along with Si Woo Kim, J.T. Poston, Ryan Moore, Camilo Villegas, and K.J. Choi's addition gives the Wyndham eight previous champions on board for the PGA Tour tournament in Greensboro, which takes place Aug. 12-15.
Bubba Watson, who has won the Masters twice and major winners Jason Day, Francesco Molinari, Gary Woodland, and Rose. Tommy Fleetwood, runner-up at the Masters, Will Zalatoris, former FedExCup champion Bill Haas, and East Carolina native Harold Varner III round out the Wyndham lineup.
We run each player in the field through our Beerlife profile analysis to come up with our selections. This is what we are looking for this week:
Fast Start – This is purely based on the weather forecast as players at the top of the leader board come Friday evening could be hard to peg back.
Early Scoring Average
- Webb Simpson
- Justin Thomas
- Cameron Smith
- Emiliano Grillo
- Daniel Berger
Driving Accuracy – The rough is awkward around here, so players will want to be accurate off the tee to avoid it. Plus, of the last 13 tournaments, the winner has ranked inside the top 16 for driving accuracy.
Driving Accuracy Percentage
- Brendon Todd
- Brian Stuard
- Ryan Armour
- Ryan Moore
- Chez Reavie
GIR – The last two winners of this championship have topped the list regarding greens in regulation which proves how important this is around here.
Greens In Regulation Percentage
- Cameron Percy
- Collin Morikawa
- Matthew NeSmith
- Jon Rahm
- Emiliano Grillo
Par 4 Scoring – The first seven renewals of this tournament at Sedgefield, the winner ranked either first or second for par four scoring.
Par 4 Scoring Average
- Emiliano Grillo
- James Hahn
- Seamus Power
- Abraham Ancer
- Collin Morikawa
Rocketman – Of all the Donald Ross-designed courses, this setup is similar to the one at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, so we could get an idea by looking at who did well there. In 2019 J. T. Poston did well there before winning this one.
Rocket Mortgage Classic
- Cam Davis
- Troy Merritt
- Joaquin Niemann
- Alex Noren
- Hank Lebioda
After looking at the above data and running the field through our BeerLife Sports profile builder, we have selected the following picks.
Must-Have Players – These players may cost a bit more but are sure to be worth it.
|Odds To Win +4500|
|Draft Kings $8,500|
|Power brings arguably the best form into the tournament and seems to love playing Donald Ross-designed courses. He won the Barbasol Championship last time out and finished eighth in his previous two tournaments at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and the John Deere Classic. He has been the epitome of consistency, having not missed a single cut in his previous nine events. He is one of the best par four scorers on tour this season which, as we know, should help him here. He ranks thirds for strokes gained around the green and third at scrambling, proving he has a great short game. |
The scrambling aspect will certainly help here as the rough can be an issue on this course. Power is ranked second for putting from 10-15’ and seventh from inside 10', which shows a superb all-around game.
Steady Eddies – These guys should give a good account of themselves but won’t break the bank to add them to your lineup.
|Odds To Win +7000|
|Draft Kings $7,600|
|Hank Lebioda had three consecutive top-ten finishes before withdrawing from the 3M Open last time out. Two of those finishes were inside the top five. Of those two, he finished fourth at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, which should see him in good stead here. While he might not be the best off the tee, and he might not be the best iron player, he certainly knows how to get out of a tough spot. |
He ranks fourth for scrambling and sixth for proximity to the hole from sand which will undoubtedly serve him well around this course. Hank is ranked second on tour for his final round average, so if he is towards the top of the leaderboard come Saturday evening, expect a grandstand finish. Lebioda has also made his last eight cuts proving what a solid prospect he is this week.
Long Shots – These guys will cost a lot less but still have a decent chance and can undoubtedly make up a team if you're running low on funds.
|Odds To Win +25000|
|Draft Kings $6,300|
|This is a good tournament for the elder players on tour due to the lack of power required off of the tee. Percy is on the cusp of making the FedEx playoffs (ranked 133), and a good tournament here could see him move inside the top 125. Again, players who have been on the cusp of the playoffs tend to do well here, presumably as they are more focused. |
Percy recently came 11th at the John Deere Classic and has only missed one cut in his previous nine events. He tops the charts for greens in regulation on tour and is ranked inside the top ten for proximity to the hole. Therefore, he doesn't only hit the green regularly; he gets it close too.