Steve Bamford Golf Tips

Steve Bamford's Wyndham Championship Tips 2020

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It was fantastic to see Collin Morikawa capture his first Major Championship at TPC Harding Park for this column at 35/1. With Dustin Johnson another of my selections at 20/1, we had the 102nd PGA Championship surrounded last week. That’s a US PGA 3-peat for me having won with Brooks Koepka at 20/1 in 2018 and Koepka again in 2019 at 11/1.

This week we travel to the Wyndham Championship, played at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro in North Carolina. It’s a milestone for the Tour as it signifies the final tournament of the regular season. That means that the Wyndham is critical for a couple of key reasons.

Firstly only the top 125 players proceed to the money spinning FedEx Cup Playoffs which start next week in Boston. No players want to miss out on what could be a very lucrative run in the PlayOffs, with the top 30 ultimately travelling to Atlanta, Georgia for the Tour Championship.

Secondly this is the end of the Wyndham Rewards Top 10 initiative with the top 10 in the regular season FedEx Cup standings receiving part of a $10 million bonus. Simpson, Im, Reed and Todd all sit in the money spots at the moment, with the likes of Lanto Griffin and Sebastian Munoz all in North Carolina looking to break into the top 10.

Before we talk the Wyndham Championship, the number of new visitors to Golf Betting System is increasing by the week. Welcome to you all and let me point you in the direction of our weekly Golf Betting System podcast (published Tuesday) the Golf Betting Show on YouTube and our hugely popular private group on Facebook – you can Join Here.

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Course Guide: Sedgefield is an original Donald Ross design which has typical Carolina course overtures. A short par-70 by modern standards, the course still favours longer hitters with accuracy from the tee also being rewarded. Ultimately streaky scorers have got the job done here, with scoring being dictated solely by the firmness of the greens when wind isn’t a factor. Champion Bermudagrass greens were laid for the 2012 renewal and they undoubtedly run faster than the tired Bentgrass putting surfaces they replaced, particularly if conditions remain dry. But as the greens have settled, scoring continues to improve with -21/259, -22/258, -21/259 and -22/258 being the latest winning totals.

Sedgefield Country Club, Greensboro, North Carolina: Designer: Donald Ross 1926, with Kris Spence renovation 2007; Course Type: Carolina, Resort; Par: 70; Length: 7,127 yards; Number of Water Hazards: 5; Fairways: Bermudagrass; Rough: Bermudagrass 2.5″; Greens: 6,000 sq.ft average featuring Champion Bermudagrass; Stimpmeter: 12ft; Course Scoring Average 2012: 69.37 (-0.63), Difficulty Rank 35 of 49 courses. 2013: 69.97 (-0.03), Difficulty Rank 23 of 43 courses. 2014: 69.21 (-0.79), Rank 38 of 48 courses. 2015: 68.86 (-1.14), Rank 40 of 52 courses. 2016: 68.97 (-1.03), Rank 37 of 50 courses. 2017: 68.81 (-1.19), Rank 37 of 50 courses. 2018: 68.69 (-1.31), Rank 40 of 51 courses. 2019: 68.18 (-1.82), Rank 41 of 49 courses.

Course Designer Links: For research purposes other Donald Ross designs include:

  • Aronimink – 2010/11 AT&T National + 2019 BMW Championship
  • Detroit Golf Club –  Rocket Mortgage Classic
  • East Course at Oak Hill – 2013 PGA Championship
  • East Lake – Tour Championship
  • Pinehurst Number 2 – 2014 US Open
  • Plainfield – 2011 & 2015 Barclays

Course Overview: Sedgefield CC is perennially one the two easiest Par-70s on the PGA Tour alongside Waialae CC (Sony Open). Take 2019 for instance, with 47 players finishing double-digits under par.

Set to the south-east of Greensboro, the course has a typical Carolina feel with tree-lined fairways, pine straw and Bermudagrass throughout. Fairways are quite tight, but relatively easy to find if conditions are soft. Driving accuracy helps, but the key to the course, which measures just over 7,200 yards, are Ross’s green complexes which although undulating and surrounded by shaved run-off areas, are actually large for the length of the course.

If the Champion Bermuda greens are receptive (as they were in 2017 and for the opening 36 holes of the past 2 renewals), that’s the green light for low scoring. Winners here year-in, year-out must hit a minimum 13 greens per round and invariably break par every 1 in 3 holes. A fast start, excellent and consistent approach play and a reasonably hot putter are they keys to victory, plus it’s noteworthy that the front 9 plays far easier and has to be capitalised upon.

wyndham championship tips

Winners: 2019: J.T. Poston (-21); 2018: Brandt Snedeker (-21); 2017: Henrik Stenson (-22); 2016: Si-Woo Kim (-21); 2015: Davis Love III (-17); 2014: Camilo Villegas (-17); 2013: Patrick Reed (-14); 2012: Sergio Garcia (-18); 2011: Webb Simpson (-18); 2010: Arjun Atwal (-22).

Tournament Stats: We’ve published some key player statistics for this week’s event that are well worth a look. Naturally they’ll help to shape a view on players who could go well this week: Current Form | Tournament Form | First Round Leader | Combined Stats.

Published Predictor Model: Our published predictor is available here. You can build your own model using the variables listed on the left hand side. Top 10 of my published predictor are Webb Simpson, Kevin Kisner, Brooks Koepka, Justin Rose, Billy Horschel, Patrick Reed, Si Woo Kim, Chesson Hadley, Jordan Spieth and Paul Casey.

Recent Player Skill Rankings: These rankings are based on an 8-tournament window that stretches back to the RBC Heritage, which includes PGA Tour and European Tour (where recorded) events. Players must have played in a minimum of 2 Tour events to be included and rankings are based on performance relative to the rest of the field:

  • Driving Accuracy: 1) Ryan Moore; 2) Andrew Landry; 3) Brendon Todd; 4) Henrik Norlander; 5) Jim Furyk; 6) Arjun Atwal / Brian Stuard; 8) J.T. Poston; 9) Tyler Duncan; 10) Chris Baker; 11) Austin Cook / Jim Herman; 13) Jason Dufner / Chesson Hadley / Russell Henley / Chez Reavie / Webb Simpson; 18) Adam Schenk; 19) David Hearn; 20) Paul Casey / Tim Wilkinson.
  • Greens in Regulation: 1) Brice Garnett; 2) Kyle Stanley; 3) Doug Ghim; 4) Ryan Moore / Chase Seiffert; 6) Matthias Schwab; 7) Paul Casey; 8) Henrik Norlander; 9) C.T. Pan / Tom Lewis; 11) Jim Furyk / Doc Redman; 13) Jason Dufner / Michael Gligic / Brooks Koepka; 16) Russell Henley; 17) Jhonattan Vegas; 18) Hank Lebioda; 19) Aaron Wise; 20) Sergio Garcia.
  • Scrambling: 1) Harris English; 2) Bill Haas; 3) Kevin Kisner; 4) Michael Gellerman; 5) Kristoffer Ventura / Adam Long; 7) Rory Sabbatini; 8) Brandt Snedeker; 9) Shane Lowry / Henrik Norlander; 11) Brendon Todd; 12) Arjun Atwal / Brian Harman; 14) Paul Casey / Michael Gligic; 16) Tyler Duncan; 17) Ben Taylor; 18) Zach Johnson; 19) Charley Hoffman; 20) Chez Reavie.
  • Putting Average (Putts per GIR): 1) Webb Simpson; 2) Chris Stroud; 3) Chris Kirk; 4) J.T. Poston; 5) Brooks Koepka; 6) Danny Lee; 7) Billy Horschel / Patrick Reed / J.J. Spaun; 10) Brandon Hagy / Seamus Power; 12) Patton Kizzire; 13) Andrew Landry; 14) Austin Cook / Adam Schenk / Sepp Straka; 17) Mark Anderson / Harris English / Michael Gellerman / Jordan Spieth; 21) Christiaan Bezuidenhout / Scott Harrington / Matt Jones / Adam Long / Pat Perez / Xinjun Zhang.

Recent Player Strokes Gained Rankings: These top 25 in the field rankings are based on an 8-tournament window that stretches back to the RBC Heritage, which includes both PGA and European Tour events where recorded. Players must have played in a minimum of 2 Tour events to be included and rankings are based on performance relative to the rest of the field:

  • Top 25 SG Off The Tee: 1) Sergio Garcia; 2) Tom Lewis; 3) Paul Casey; 4) Corey Conners / Kristoffer Ventura; 6) Jhonattan Vegas; 7) Adam Schenk; 8) Dylan Frittelli / Brice Garnett / Jason Kokrak; 11) Joaquin Niemann; 12) Ryan Brehm / Tommy Fleetwood / Kramer Hickok / Luke List / J.T. Poston / Webb Simpson / Xinjun Zhang; 19) Sungjae Im; 20) Tyler Duncan / Brooks Koepka; 22) Joseph Bramlett / Sam Burns / Justin Rose; 25) Ryan Moore.
  • Top 25 SG Approach: 1) Chris Baker; 2) Wesley Bryan; 3) Joaquin Niemann; 4) Paul Casey / Henrik Norlander; 6) Nick Watney; 7) Harris English; 8) Lucas Glover; 9) Corey Conners / Russell Henley; 11) Jason Dufner; 12) Brice Garnett / Scott Stallings; 14) Michael Gligic; 15) Brooks Koepka / Ryan Moore; 17) Hank Lebioda / Shane Lowry / Chez Reavie; 20) Doc Redman; 21) Jim Furyk; 22) C.T. Pan; 23) Lanto Griffin; 24) Chase Seiffert / Brian Stuard.
  • Top 25 SG Around The Green: 1) Arjun Atwal; 2) Brandon Hagy; 3) Brian Harman; 4) Tommy Fleetwood; 5) Sergio Garcia; 6) Luke Donald; 7) Charles Howell III; 8) Christiaan Bezuidenhout; 9) Doug Ghim; 10) Rory Sabbatini; 11) Patrick Reed; 12) Matt Wallace; 13) Dylan Frittelli; 14) Chris Kirk / Michael Kim; 16) Harris English / Bill Haas; 18) Greg Chalmers / Will Gordon /  J.T. Poston; 21) D.J. Trahan; 22) Si Woo Kim / Hank Lebioda; 24) Russell Knox / Chez Reavie / Webb Simpson / Brandt Snedeker.
  • Top 25 SG Tee to Green: 1) Sergio Garcia; 2) Henrik Norlander; 3) Harris English; 4) Russell Henley; 5) Paul Casey / Joaquin Niemann; 7) Brice Garnett; 8) Michael Gligic / Webb Simpson; 10) Dylan Frittelli / Brooks Koepka / Hank Lebioda; 13) Chris Baker; 14) Corey Conners; 15) Wesley Bryan / Doug Ghim; 17) Jason Dufner; 18) Tyler Duncan / Luke List / Tommy Fleetwood; 21) Sam Burns / Patrick Reed / Chase Seiffert; 24) Lucas Glover / Ryan Moore.
  • Top 25 SG Putting: 1) Michael Gellerman; 2) Harris English; 3) Brandon Hagy / Kevin Kisner; 5) Adam Long; 6) Webb Simpson; 7) Christiaan Bezuidenhout; 8) Chris Stroud; 9) Mark Hubbard; 10) Denny McCarthy; 11) Brendon Todd; 12) Ben Taylor / Kristoffer Ventura; 14) Charles Howell III; 15) Chris Kirk; 16) Charley Hoffman / Billy Horschel / Tom Lewis / Sepp Straka / Nick Watney; 21) Carlos Ortiz; 22) Zach Johnson / Brandt Snedeker; 24) Bo Hoag / Pat Perez / Troy Merritt.
  • Top 25 SG Total: 1) Harris English; 2) Henrik Norlander; 3) Webb Simpson; 4) Tom Lewis; 5) Brendon Todd; 6) Chris Kirk; 7) Sam Burns / Kevin Kisner / Brooks Koepka / Kristoffer Ventura; 11) Pat Perez / Jhonattan Vegas; 13) Chris Baker / Brandon Hagy; 15) Christiaan Bezuidenhout / Sergio Garcia; 17) Brice Garnett / Russell Henley / Adam Long; 20) Michael Gellerman / Patrick Reed; 22) Charles Howell III / Doc Redman; 24) Cameron Davis; 25) Arjun Atwal / Dylan Frittelli / Mark Hubbard.

Winners & Prices: 2019: J.T. Poston 100/1; 2018: Brandt Snedeker 28/1; 2017: Stenson 14/1; 2016: S.W. Kim 150/1; 2015: Love III 500/1; 2014: Villegas 125/1; 2013: Reed 80/1; 2012: Garcia 40/1; 2011: Simpson 20/1; 2010: Atwal 200/1. Past 6 Renewals Average: 153/1; Overall Average: 126/1.

Weather Forecast: The latest weather forecast for Greensboro, North Carolina, is here. We very much revert to PGA Tour type this week in North Carolina.  Up to 34 degrees Celsius, little wind and the continual threat of thunderstorms. With 59mm of rain last week, the course has already had a good soaking, but playing conditions really depend on what rain is received from Wednesday onwards.

Right now (Monday afternoon UK-time), there is more than a 50% chance of precipitation across Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. So soft conditions may prevail and with the PGA Tour in control, expect another responsive green birdie-fest.

Tournament Trends & Key Factors: Analysing the final stats of the past 8 winners here since the green complexes were changed to Champion Bermudagrass in 2012 gives us a little more insight into the requirements for this test:

  • 2019, J.T. Poston (-22). 297 yards (53rd), 80.4% fairways (2nd), 86.1% greens in regulation (1st), 26’11” proximity to hole (3rd), 100% scrambling (1st), 1.69 putts per GIR (20th).
  • 2018, Brandt Snedeker (-21). 315 yards (25th), 57.1% fairways (51st), 80.6% greens in regulation (19th), 27’10” proximity to hole (12th), 57.1% scrambling (46th), 1.64 putts per GIR (2nd).
  • 2017, Henrik Stenson (-22). 294 yards (71st), 75.0% fairways (8th), 87.5% greens in regulation (3rd), proximity to hole 25’9″ (1st), 44.4 % scrambling (67th), 1.62 putts per GIR (2nd).
  • 2016, Si-Woo Kim (-21). 307 yards (51st), 73.2% fairways (6th), 83.3% greens in regulation (8th), proximity to hole 24’11” (1st), 81.5 % scrambling (1st), 1.63 putts per GIR (2nd).
  • 2015, Davis Love III (-17). 298 yards (33rd), 71.4% fairways (10th), 77.8% greens in regulation (18th), proximity to hole 29’1″ (7th), 75.0 % scrambling (9th), 1.71 putts per GIR (11th).
  • 2014, Camilo Villegas (-17). 301 yards (39th), 76.8% fairways (6th), 77.8% greens in regulation (8th), 29’5″ proximity to hole (6th), 87.5 % scrambling (1st), 1.75 putts per GIR (24th).
  • 2013, Patrick Reed (-14). 298 yards (11th), 64.3% fairways (42nd), 83.3% greens in regulation (1st), 29″6″ proximity to hole (2nd), 58.3% scrambling (56th), 1.72 putts per GIR (14th).
  • 2012, Sergio Garcia (-18). 302 yards (26th), 73.2% fairways (13th), 72.2% greens in regulation (26th), 32″2″ proximity to hole (29th), 80.0% scrambling (1st), 1.63 putts per GIR (2nd).

Tournament Skill Average:

  • Driving Distance: 39th, Driving Accuracy: 17th, Greens in Regulation: 11th, Proximity to Hole: 8th, Scrambling: 23rd, Putting Average 10th.

Strokes Gained Tournament Trends:

  • 2019, J.T. Poston (-22). SG Off the Tee: 28th, SG Approach: 1st, SG Around the Green: 13th, SG Tee to Green: 1st, SG Putting: 13th.
  • 2018, Brandt Snedeker (-21). SG Off the Tee: 47th, SG Approach: 3rd, SG Around the Green: 5th, SG Tee to Green: 2nd, SG Putting: 19th.
  • 2017, Henrik Stenson (-22). SG Off the Tee: 35th, SG Approach: 3rd, SG Around the Green: 29th, SG Tee to Green: 6th, SG Putting: 3rd.
  • 2016, Si Woo Kim (-22). SG Off the Tee: 1st, SG Approach: 5th, SG Around the Green: 42nd, SG Tee to Green: 1st, SG Putting: 34th.

Strokes Gained Tournament Skill Averages:

  • SG Off the Tee: 28th, SG Approach: 3rd, SG Around the Green: 22nd, SG Tee to Green: 3rd, SG Putting: 18th.

So let’s take a view from players as to how Sedgefield Country Club since the introduction of Bermudagrass greens has set up in the past and what specific skills it requires:

J.T. Poston: Ball-striking’s been really good, haven’t missed many greens. Just keep giving myself a lot of looks and hit a lot of good putts. Made a few, but just really steady, solid golf for the most part. The golf course was easy enough to where if you hit fairways, you could attack some pins, and my iron play was really solid all week. So it was nice to give myself some looks, and today I finally made some putts and was able to get that low one in there.”

Brandt Snedeker: “Yeah, I’m playing a lot better than I have been early in the year. I’m excited about the way I’m rolling the ball, putting great again. For whatever reason, seems like every week I have a bad round or a bad nine holes that kind of keeps me out of contention. So a big focus this week is staying patient. This is a golf course I had a lot of success on, I love it. It breeds kind of my kind of play hit, hit fairways, hit some greets, lots of wedge opportunities. It’s going to turn into a birdie-fest like it always does because the course is in great, shape so you know what you have to do when you step up on the first tee, put the ball in play and give yourself a lot of opportunities. So excited about that and excited about seeing how my game’s feeling. After last week at the PGA I kind of found something I thought on the weekend and hopefully it kind of stays in there and gives me a good chance to win this week.”

Henrik Stenson: “I think whenever you play a week after a Major championship, which isn’t all the time for me I found in the past you can find the golf courses quite easy when you play the tougher course the week before and you still kind of keep a strong mindset in terms of one shot at a time which, again, you always want to have but probably even more so at the Majors. It’s crucial. I’ve had some good success in particular playing in Germany the week after the U.S. Open a lot of times and done well.

Have left the driver out this week. Strong 3-wood, 4-wood and 2-iron. Putting myself in position and trying to stay out of that bermuda rough. If you do that you got pretty short clubs and you can be accurate with your second shots. Plenty more of the same tomorrow. I’m trying to be kind of offensive to defensive spots, if you know, off the tee on a few of holes but then you get a lot of 8, 9 irons, wedges into these greens and they’re pretty receptive. You can be pretty aggressive if you’re feeling you got good numbers and feels right, go for it. We’ll produce a lot of birdie chances the first two days. My putting has been excellent. I’ve seen the lines nicely. Hit a lot of good putts and I’ve been hitting a lot of good iron shots as well, some wedges and some mid to short irons, and that’s kind of what I keep on doing and trying to hit a lot of fairways with the 3-wood and trying to attacking the hole and that’s been working nicely so far. No need to change that for tomorrow.

Luke Donald: “It’s a course I really enjoy. I love the design of this course. The greens are very true, very fast, quite undulating. You have to have some imagination. And nice to get off to a solid start. Conditions were nice out there. The greens are holding for the most part and not too much wind. So, you’re playing well there’s some opportunities out there. I struggled a little bit visualizing that tee shot. It was a couple tee shots you don’t see them land and 18 is one of them. I hit a poor tee shot left and had to chip out. I had a good number with a little wedge, stick it to that pin. Would have been disappointing to drop one there after playing so well for the rest of the round.

Webb Simpson: “It goes back to the point of the golf course. Bay Hill, Tiger won so many times. Akron produces long hitters winning there. Depending on the golf course you kind of create your own pool of winners that are usually going to win there, whereas this course, like I said, it favours nobody. So I think that’s what makes it hard to repeat, that if you have a field of whatever, what did we have, 156 players, that most everybody in the field has a legitimate chance to win whereas, you know, maybe you go to San Diego, I can’t remember the last time somebody who didn’t bomb it winning there. That’s a place where you take out 50 percent of the field from the start of the week. like I said earlier about the golf course, I don’t think it’s one where you have to play many years to learn it, where a lot of courses you do. Like Augusta is a good example whereas this golf course is more straight in front of you and, again, it’s a level playing field for everyone which I wish we played more like these.

Tiger Woods: “The golf course is tricky. I know it’s wet and the fairways, ball in hand but the greens are so fast. They’re so speedy. Hideki, myself, even Brooks, we ripped a couple putts down there probably 10, 15 feet past the hole and even though as wet as they are, they’re still that fast downhill, down-grain and got to respect it and it puts such a premium on iron play to put the ball in the right spot and give yourself putts. For the majority of the day I was putting myself in perfect spots where I can be aggressive.

Carl Pettersson: “Well, it’s changed slightly. When they changed the greens from Bent to Bermuda, but it’s still a scorable golf course if you’re playing well. If you’re not playing well, it’s difficult because the rough is thick, the ball really sits down in the Bermudagrass, so that part of it is difficult, and if you don’t hit the greens, it’s difficult to get it up and down. But definitely if you’re on your game, you feel like you can shoot a fairly low round here for sure.

Padraig Harrington: “The greens are quite fast, to be honest, and undulating, so a lot of the difficulty is getting yourself in position on the greens, and by necessity then you have to be in position on the fairway to get into position on the greens. So it’s a lot about strategy, what pins to go at, making sure you don’t short side yourself because of the speed of the greens and the undulation.

Path to Victory: Below are the end of round positions for the last 8 winners of the Wyndham Championship:

  • 2019 – J.T. Poston: Round 1: 16th, Round 2: 9th, Round 3: 5th.
  • 2018 – Brandt Snedeker: Round 1: 1st, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2017 – Henrik Stenson: Round 1: 2nd, Round 2:3rd, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2016 – Si-Woo Kim: Round 1: 41st, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2015 – Davis Love III: Round 1: 7th, Round 2: 3rd, Round 3: 10th.
  • 2014 – Camilo Villegas: Round 1: 1st, Round 2: 7th, Round 3: 8th.
  • 2013 – Patrick Reed: Round 1: 3rd, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2012 – Sergio Garcia: Round 1: 20th, Round 2: 3rd, Round 3: 1st.

Shots From the Lead: Below are the last 8 winners of the Wyndham Championship and where they were positioned in terms of shots from the lead during the tournament:

  • 2019 – J.T. Poston: Round 1: 3 back, Round 2: 3 back, Round 3: 3 back.
  • 2018 – Brandt Snedeker: Round 1: 4 ahead, Round 2: 2 ahead, Round 3: 1 ahead.
  • 2017 – Henrik Stenson: Round 1: 1 back, Round 2: 1 back, Round 3: 1 ahead.
  • 2016 – Si Woo Kim: Round 1: 5 back, Round 2: 2 ahead, Round 3: 4 ahead.
  • 2015 – Davis Love III: Round 1: 2 back, Round 2: 1 back, Round 3: 4 back.
  • 2014 – Camilo Villegas: Round 1: 1 ahead, Round 2: 2 back, Round 3: 4 back.
  • 2013 – Patrick Reed: Round 1: 1 back, Round 2: 1 ahead, Round 3: level.
  • 2012 – Sergio Garcia: Round 1: 5 back, Round 2: 2 back, Round 3: 1 ahead.

Incoming form of winners since 2010:

  • J.T. Poston: 29th Barbasol/MC JDC/11th Rocket/MC Travelers.
  • Brandt Snedeker: 42nd PGA/ 8th Canadian/MC Open/3rd Greenbrier.
  • Henrik Stenson: 13th PGA/17th Bridgestone/11th Open/ 26th Scottish Open.
  • Si-Woo Kim: 25th Travelers/MC PGA/23rd Canada/2nd Barbasol.
  • Davis Love III: MC PGA/MC Canada/54th Greenbrier/MC Travelers.
  • Camilo Villegas: WD Canada/45th JDC/26th Greenbrier/MC Quicken National.
  • Patrick Reed: 9th Canada/7th JDC/MC Greenbrier/34th Quicken National.
  • Sergio Garcia: MC PGA/29th Bridgestone/MC Open/29th BMW Intl.
  • Webb Simpson: MC PGA/9th Greenbrier/16th Open/8th AT&T National
  • Arjun Atwal: MC Price Cutter/17th Witchita/68th Greenbrier/74th Canada.

First Round Leader Analysis: First round leader(s), their wave and winning score since 2010. Full First Round Leader stats are here.

  • 2019 – An/Im – Both AM/PM -8/62 – Both 66/1.
  • 2018 – Snedeker – AM -11/59 – 33/1.
  • 2017 – Every – AM -9/61 – 200/1.
  • 2016 – Cabrera-Bello/Na – Both AM -7/63.
  • 2015 – Compton/Hoge/McGirt – 2AM/1PM -8/62.
  • 2014 – Villegas – PM -7/63.
  • 2013 – Fisher/Stroud – AM/PM Split -6/64.
  • 2012 – Pettersson – AM -8/62.
  • 2011 – Gainey/Quinney – AM/PM Split -7/63.
  • 2010 – Atwal – PM -9/61.

For the record, here’s the breakdown of Bermudagrass PGA Tour victors in the field since 2008:

  • 4 – Jim Furyk, Bill Haas, Zach Johnson, Patrick Reed.
  • 3 – Brian Gay, Billy Horschel, Davis Love III, Brandt Snedeker, Jordan Spieth.
  • 2 – Paul Casey, Luke Donald, Jason Dufner, Matt Every, Sergio Garcia, Fabian Gomez, Russell Henley, Si Woo Kim, Kevin Kisner, Scott Piercy, Justin Rose, Webb Simpson.
  • 1 – Ryan Armour, Arjun Atwal, Aaron Baddeley, Wesley Bryan, Corey Conners, Austin Cook, Tyler Duncan, Harris English, Branden Grace, Lanto Griffin, Charles Howell III, Mackenzie Hughes, Sungjae Im, Patton Kizzire, Brooks Koepka, Adam Long, Peter Malnati, Graeme McDowell, Keith Mitchell, Sebastian Munoz, Grayson Murray, C.T. Pan, Pat Perez, Carl Pettersson, J.T. Poston, Rory Sabbatini, Charl Schwartzel, Scott Stallings, Robert Streb, Brian Stuard, Brendon Todd, D.J. Trahan, Jhonattan Vegas, Nick Watney, Aaron Wise.

Recent winning totals of -22, -21, -22, -21, -17, -17, -14 and -18 highlight that the key to success in Greensboro is two-fold: make plenty of eagles and birdies plus minimise dropped shots. It’s also worth noting that we’re returning to a Champion Bermudagrass greened golf course this week – naturally many have played months of just Bentgrass and Poa Annua grasses. On the current PGA schedule, the only courses with Champion Bermudagrass greens feature at the recent WGC venue TPC Southwind, Quail Hollow (since the 2017 PGA Championship) and the Country Club of Jackson.

It won’t surprise in a tournament where 4 straight rounds of 65/66 is the target that streaky scorers dominate the contending positions. However game-wise since the swap to Champion Bermudagrass greens, it’s safe to say that Garcia, Reed, Villegas, Love III, Si Woo Kim, Henrik Stenson, Brandt Snedeker and J.T. Poston all primarily won through their ability to create enough birdie opportunities with neat tee-to-green play which they then converted with a ‘Bermuda-positive’ putter. Those looking for Donald Ross-positive players should look no further than PGA Tour tracks Aronimink (AT&T National 2009/10), Detroit Golf Club (this year’s Rocket Mortgage Classic), East Lake (Tour Championship) as well as Oak Hill (2013 PGA Championship) and Pinehurst No2 (2014 U.S. Open).

Sedgefield has a habit of producing 1st time PGA Tour winners with J.T. Poston, Si Woo Kim, Patrick Reed, Webb Simpson, Arjun Atwal and Ryan Moore all recording their first main-Tour victories here since 2008. FedEx Cup standings-wise, Webb Simpson was 12th in the standings when he captured his first title here at 20/1 in 2011. Since then 102nd, 78th, 105th, 187th, 44th, 75th, 80th and 83rd suggest that we should certainly look a little deeper than the very obvious candidates this week.

My Final Wyndham Championship Tips Are As Follows:

Justin Rose 2.5pts EW 22/1 (8EW, 1/5) with William Hill

At the head of affairs, I’ll take Justin Rose who seems to be the elite player with everything to gain this week.

You almost get the feeling that the 40 year-old Englishman has paced himself for late 2020 which still contains the rather lucrative FedEx Cup Playoffs, a U.S. Open and The Masters. Since the PGA Tour resumption, 7 appearances have seen Justin finish 3rd at Colonial, 14th at Harbour Town and 9th last week at the PGA Championship. We’ve also seen 4 Missed Cuts which is very un-Rose like, but in elite golf you have to look at what you’ve just witnessed and I thought Rose was magnificent at TPC Harding Park. 14th for SG on Approach, 11th for Scrambling, 3rd for SG Putting and 15th for Putting Average (Putts per GIR), the Englishman made 20 Birdies, a total that was only bettered by Bryson DeChambeau, Scottie Scheffler and Dustin Johnson.

He has an issue though which requires immediate attention. In the FedEx Cup Playoff era, since 2010 Rose has played in 9 of 10 Tour Championships – you’ll remember he won the 2018 FedEx Cup in its entirety. And that excellent record is in immediate danger as he sits 103rd in the FedEx Cup standings. Remember you need to be in the top 70 to proceed past the opening Northern Trust at TPC Boston next week.

So a long-overdue 11th PGA Tour win this week would be most welcome. And it’s interesting to see that 3 of Justin’s past 4 PGA Tour wins have come with winning scores of -22/266 (2015 Zurich Classic of New Orleans), -20/260 (2018 Forth Worth Invitational) and -21/267 (2019 Farmers Insurance Open). A potentially soft and receptive Sedgefield Country Club, would be to his liking this week and he was 5th here way back in 2009 on his last visit, losing by the mere matter of 2 strokes to Ryan Moore on the old Bentgrass greens.

3rd on the Champion Bermudagrass greens of Quail Hollow last year highlight a liking for the putting surface, and Rose’s record on Ross designs is excellent. 1st (2010) and 2nd (2018) at Aronimink; 6th at Plainfield (2011); 12th at Pinehurst Number 2 (2014); plus 2nd (2012), 6th (2013), 4th (2014), 2nd (2015) 10th (2017) and 4th (2018) at East Lake highlight a player who is very Donald Ross-positive. RESULT: MC

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Kevin Kisner 1pt EW 50/1 (8EW, 1/5) with William Hill

Kevin Kisner is a Bermudagrass destination selection and I always love him on Donald Ross designs and shorter golf courses.

3rd (2017) plus 9th (2019) at East Lake, 3rd only 4 outings ago at Detroit Golf Club and 8th (2014) plus 10th (2016) here at Sedgefield Country Club, Kisner clearly gets Donald Ross designs. And despite a fairly disappointing season for ‘KK’ who sits only 52nd in the FedEx Cup standings, the Georgia resident and South Carolina native is peaking as we move towards the end of the summer.

3rd at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, 25th at the WGC-St Jude Invitational and 19th at the PGA Championship, a first visit to Greensboro since 2017 must be viewed as a positive rather than a chore for the 36 year-old, 3-time PGA Tour winner. All of those wins have come on short golf courses featuring Bermudagrass, be that green complexes (Sea Island – 2015 & Austin Country Club – 2019) or Fairways and Rough (Colonial – 2017).

From a correlating course perspective, not many have closer links than Harbour Town Golf Links where previous Wyndham champions Villegas, Love III, Si Woo Kim, Snedeker and Poston have all performed well in the past. Well Kevin has finished 2nd (2015), 11th (2017) and 7th (2018) at Harbour Town, so passes that test with flying colours.

10th for Strokes Gained on Approach, 7th for SG Putting and 2nd for Putting Average (Putts per GIR), Kisner fired 19 Birdies at TPC Harding Park last week and closed with weekend rounds of 68-67. My predictor model Number 2 selection and within the top 6 in this field over the past 5 years for performances in soft, receptive conditions, if the North Carolina heavens decide to open, this week presents a great opportunity in my opinion for Kisner. RESULT: T3

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Ryan Moore 1pt EW 55/1 (8EW, 1/5) with William Hill

I have been in this business for far too long and the amount of players who have won the outing after I tipped them is plentiful. Well this week I’m making sure that Ryan Moore doesn’t fall into that category as I love his chances this week.

The sort who always goes well when scoring is low, the assignment at Sedgefield Country Clun looks right up his street. At 86th in the FedEx Cup his ranking is in the sweet spot of recent winners and his form has been miles better of late. 12th at the 3M Open saw him finish 5th for SG on Approach, 6th for SG Tee to Green and 1st for Greens in Regulation. I then tipped him up at the Barracuda Championship where he again came 12th much to my chagrin! But again he played well leading after Round 1 and ranking 3rd for Driving Accuracy and Total Driving, 3rd for Greens in Regulation, 1st for Ball Striking and 1st for All-Round. Even the putter worked as he finished 13th for Putting Average (Putts per GIR). So he must return to Sedgefield with growing confidence, to a course where he has finished 1st (2009 with Bentgrass greens), 10th (2015) and 6th in 2018.

Over and above his Sedgefield finishes, his Donald Ross design body of work is excellent, with 2nd at Aronimink (2010) plus 9th (2010), 3rd (2012) and 2nd (2016) at East Lake. If Moore can continue to get the ball in the hole to a level we have seen across his past 3 outings – 22nd at Muirfield Village, 27th at TPC Twin Cities, 13th at Old Greenwood for Putting Average (Putts per GIR) – then I think he can be a factor come Sunday at a good each-way price. RESULT: MC

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Henrik Norlander 1pt EW 90/1 (8EW, 1/5) with William Hill

Henrik Norlander has been playing some outstanding golf this season and has undoubtedly powered many a DraftKings Fantasy Golf team. But I think he’s a decent betting proposition this week at a tournament where J.T. Poston, Si Woo Kim, Patrick Reed, Webb Simpson, Arjun Atwal and Ryan Moore all recorded their first main-Tour victories

Up over 100 spots in the Official World Golf Rankings so far in a season which has delivered 5th at the RSM Classic, 9th at the Sony Open, 12th at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, 6th at The Memorial and 23rd last time out at the 3M Open, Henrik finds himself guaranteed both a spot at FedEx Playoff starting Northern Trust next week and in September’s U.S. Open.

The 33 year-old is a bit of a late developer in terms of top-level golf, but the Augusta, Georgia educated and residing Swede has been stellar from tee to green this season. 10th for Driving Accuracy, 19th for Greens in Regulation and 46th for Strokes Gained on Approach across the season tells the story with regards Henrik’s strengths. But across the last 8 weeks within my trackers he’s upped to a new level as he sits 4th for SG Approach, 2nd for SG Tee to Green and 2nd for SG Total.The putter has also started to defrost with Norlander 25th and 2nd for SG Putting across the Workday Open & Memorial Tournament, plus 2nd and 33rd for Putting Average (Putts per GIR) across the Memorial Tournament and 3M Open.

Yes he may have peaked, but when you look at most of Norlander’s best efforts since his promotion to the PGA Tour in 2013, they tend to come on Bermudagrass greens. 2nd at Sea Island in 2016 saw him shoot -17/265 and lose in a 5 man play off to Mackenzie Hughes. And 2 of his 3 top 10 finishes this season came on Bermudagrass, again at Sea Island and Waialae. 16th here way back in 2013, I’d suggest the Swede will be arriving in North Carolina with masses of confidence. RESULT: T59

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Odds and bookmaker offers correct at 16:40BST 10.8.20 but naturally subject to fluctuation.