Steve Bamford

Steve Bamford's Wyndham Championship Tips 2021

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Golf often produces strange Sundays, but even so seeing both Abraham Ancer and Erik van Rooyen take their maiden PGA Tour victories in the same week has to stretch the probability envelope. Congratulations if you were on-board either at Monday leading prices of 45/1 and 66/1 respectively. I landed a full 60/1 each-way place on Brandon Hagy at the Barracuda, with Gary Woodland missing my each-way frame by the obligatory single place!

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 New Jersey. 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. And the top 125 more pertinently is also the bubble for full PGA Tour playing privileges for season 2021/22 which starts in mid-September.

Before we go into the detail surrounding the Wyndham Championship, we always have new visitors to Golf Betting System, Welcome and let me point you in the direction of our weekly Golf Betting System podcast (published every Tuesday of the golfing calendar), the Steve Bamford Golf Channel on YouTube and our hugely popular, +5,900 strong, 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 accuracy from the tee over outright power. 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 -22/258, -21/259, -22/258, -21/259 and -22/258 being the 5 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: 7,131 yards; Number of Holes with Water In-play: 6; 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. 2020: 68.78 (-1.22), Rank 29 of 41 courses.

Widths Fairway Widths (yards): Below are the fairway widths for Sedgefield Country Club and how they compare to recent courses on Tour:

  • Sedgefield: 250 yards from tee: 29 yards wide; 275:28; 300:26 325:23; 350:22.
  • TPC Southwind: 250 yards from the tee: 29 yards wide; 275:29; 300:28; 325:31; 350:25.
  • Old Greenwood: 35-40 yards.
  • TPC Twin Cities: 250 yards from the tee: 38 yards wide; 275:38; 300:31; 325:30; 350:36.
  • TPC Deere Run: 250 yards from tee: 41 yards wide; 275:40; 300:36 325:33; 350:30.
  • Detroit Golf Club: 250 yards from tee: 34 yards wide; 275:34; 300:35 325:34; 350:33.
  • TPC River Highlands: 250 yards from the tee: 38 yards wide; 275:36; 300:29; 325:29; 350:28.
  • Torrey Pines South: 250 yards from the tee: 26 yards wide; 275:27; 300:25; 325:24; 350:23.
  • Colonial: 250 yards from tee: 27 yards wide; 275:26; 300:27; 325:26; 350:23.
  • Ocean Course – Kiawah Island: Up to 50 yards wide.
  • Quail Hollow: 250 yards from tee: 33 yards wide; 275:32; 300:31; 325:30; 350:29.
  • Copperhead: 250 yards from the tee: 24 yards wide; 275:20; 300:21; 325:23 350:19.
  • Harbour Town: 250 yards from tee: 29 yards wide; 275:26; 300:22; 325:26; 350:22.

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

  • Aronimink – 2010/11 AT&T National + 2018 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 2020 with 30 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 often 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 Bermudagrass greens are receptive (as they were in 2017, for the opening 36 holes of 2018/19 and the final 3 rounds of 2020), 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: 2020: Jim Herman (-21); 2019: J.T. Poston (-22); 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).

Lead Score Progression:

  • 2020: Round 1 -8; Round 2 -10; Round 3 -18; Round 4 -21.
  • 2019: Round 1 -8; Round 2 -13; Round 3 -17; Round 4 -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 | SG 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, Hideki Matsuyama, Brandt Snedeker, Louis Oosthuizen, Ryan Armour, J.T. Poston, Brian Harman, Mito Pereira, Si Woo Kim and Kevin Kisner.

Recent Player Strokes Gained Rankings: These top 25 in the field rankings are based on an 8-tournament window that stretches back to the U.S. Open, which includes PGA Tour, European Tour events and the Olympics. Players’ rankings are based on performance relative to the rest of the field:

  • Top 25 SG Off The Tee: 1) Bubba Watson; 2) Alex Smalley; 3) Mito Pereira; 4) Luke List / Davis Thompson; 6) Jim Herman; 7) Louis Oosthuizen; 8) Patrick Rodgers; 9) Joel Dahmen / Branden Grace / Robert MacIntyre; 12) Si Woo Kim; 13) Anirban Lahiri / K.H. Lee; 15) Jhonattan Vegas; 16) Kiradech Aphibarnrat; 17) Kramer Hickok / Jason Kokrak; 19) Hudson Swafford; 20) Tom Lewis; 21) Martin Laird; 22) Jonas Blixt; 23) Sungjae Im / J.J. Spaun; 25) Jason Dufner.
  • Top 25 SG Approach: 1) Michael Gellerman; 2) Russell Henley; 3) Hideki Matsuyama; 4) Seamus Power; 5) Jhonattan Vegas; 6) Cameron Percy; 7) Chez Reavie; 8) Talor Gooch; 9) Luke List; 10) Zach Johnson; 11) Kyle Stanley; 12) Louis Oosthuizen; 13) Sebastian Munoz; 14) Ryan Moore / Henrik Norlander / Mito Pereira; 17) Bo Hoag / Robert MacIntyre; 19) Joel Dahmen / Lanto Griffin / Jim Herman / Sepp Straka; 23) Branden Grace / Sungjae Im / Matthew NeSmith / Charl Schwartzel.
  • Top 25 SG Around The Green: 1) Talor Gooch; 2) Hank Lebioda; 3) Rory Sabbatini; 4) Patton Kizzire; 5) Brian Harman / Seamus Power; 7) Luke List; 8) Robert MacIntyre; 9) Kevin Na / Brendon Todd; 11) Kevin Kisner / Nate Lashley; 13) Aaron Baddeley / Si Woo Kim / Kevin Tway / Camilo Villegas; 17) Matt Jones; 18) Hideki Matsuyama; 19) Kramer Hickok; 20) Beau Hossler / Padraig Harrington / Michael Thompson; 23) K.J. Choi / C.T. Pan; 25) Tommy Fleetwood / Webb Simpson / Martin Trainer.
  • Top 25 SG Tee to Green: 1) Hideki Matsuyama / Seamus Power; 3) Russell Henley; 4) Jhonattan Vegas; 5) Luke List; 6) Mito Pereira; 7) Louis Oosthuizen; 8) Robert MacIntyre / Charl Schwartzel; 10) Kyle Stanley; 11) Chez Reavie; 12) Joel Dahmen; 13) Michael Gellerman / Hank Lebioda; 15) Zach Johnson; 16) Sebastian Munoz; 17) Doug Ghim / Jim Herman / Mark Hubbard / Cameron Percy; 21) Alex Smalley; 22) Kiradech Aphibarnrat / Bubba Watson; 24) Branden Grace / Patrick Rodgers.
  • Top 25 SG Putting: 1) Adam Scott; 2) Hank Lebioda; 3) Kevin Kisner / J.T. Poston; 5) John Senden; 6) Kevin Na; 7) Lucas Glover / Tommy Fleetwood / Kevin Tway; 10) Adam Hadwin; 11) Charl Schwartzel; 12) Mackenzie Hughes / Beau Hossler / Louis Oosthuizen; 15) Sam Ryder; 16) Martin Trainer; 17) Michael Gligic / Jim Herman / Sungjae Im; 20) Seamus Power / Brian Stuard; 22) Rhein Gibson; 23) Henrik Norlander; 24) C.T. Pan; 25) Brandt Snedeker.
  • Top 25 SG Total: 1) Seamus Power; 2) Russell Henley / Hank Lebioda; 4) Louis Oosthuizen / Charl Schwartzel; 6) Hideki Matsuyama; 7) Mito Pereira; 8) Adam Scott / Louis Oosthuizen; 10) Jim Herman / Mark Hubbard / Luke List; 13) Branden Grace / Chez Reavie; 15) Tommy Fleetwood / Sungjae Im / Robert MacIntyre / Bubba Watson; 19) Lucas Glover; 20) Adam Schenk; 21) Talor Gooch / Kevin Kisner / Cameron Percy; 24) Brandt Snedeker; 25) Ryan Moore / Brian Stuard.

Winners & Prices: 2020: Jim Herman 600/1; 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 7 Renewals Average: 216/1; Overall Average: 169/1.

Historical Weather:

  • 2020: Thursday: Cloudy with a high of 84. Wind ENE 4-8 mph. Friday: Cloudy with a high of 83. Wind NE 4-8 mph. Saturday: Cloudy. High of 80. Wind ENE 5-10 mph. Sunday: Mostly cloudy with a high of 78. Wind NNE 10-15 mph.
  • 2019: Thursday: Partly cloudy, with a high of 88. Wind SSW 4-8 mph. Friday: Mostly cloudy, with a high of 81. Wind SSE 4-8 mph. Due to 3.17 inches of rain overnight, preferred lies were utilized for the second consecutive day. Saturday: Mostly cloudy, with a high of 86. Wind NE 4-8 mph. Sunday: Partly cloudy, with a high of 88. Wind SW 4-8 mph.
  • 2018: Thursday: Partly cloudy. High of 91. Wind SW 5-10 mph. Friday: Partly cloudy. High of 90. Wind SW 6-12 mph. Saturday: Mostly cloudy. High of 83. Due to a dangerous weather situation, round three was suspended at 3:27 p.m. and eventually called for the day at 6:45 p.m. Sunday: A total of 30 players were back in position at 8 a.m. Round three concluded at 10:24 a.m. Mostly cloudy. High of 88. Wind WSW 5-10 mph.
  • 2017: Thursday: Partly cloudy, with an afternoon high of 90. Wind SSW 4-8 mph. Friday: Partly cloudy, with a high of 92. Wind SW 6-12 mph. Saturday: Partly cloudy, with a high of 89. Wind WNW 4-8 mph. Sunday: Partly cloudy. High of 91. Wind ESE 5 mph.
  • 2016: Thursday: Mostly sunny, with an afternoon high of 90. Wind NNW 6-12 mph. Friday: Mostly cloudy, with an afternoon high of 88. Wind WNW 5-10 mph. Saturday: Mostly cloudy. High of 85. Wind 5-10 mph. Sunday: Mostly cloudy. High of 89. Wind W 10-15 mph with gusts of 20 mph. Due to a dangerous weather situation, final-round play was suspended from 5:32 p.m. until 6:53 p.m. totalling 1 hour and 21 minutes.
  • 2015: Thursday: Mostly overcast, with highs in the mid-80s. Winds SW at 10-20 mph. Friday: Mostly sunny, with an afternoon high of 85. Wind NNE at 5-10 mph. Saturday: Mostly sunny, with afternoon highs in the mid-80s. Winds NNE at 4-8 mph. Sunday: Mostly cloudy. High of 86. Wind SW at 5-10 mph.

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 56mm of rain in August already, the course has already had a good soaking, but playing conditions really depend on what rain is received from Wednesday onwards. Whatever happens with the PGA Tour in control, expect another responsive green, birdie-fest.

Tournament Trends & Key Factors: Analysing the final stats of the past 9 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:

  • 2020, Jim Herman (-21). 298 yards (51st), 82.1% fairways (4th), 87.5% greens in regulation (1st), 30’2″ proximity to hole (30th), 44.4% scrambling (71st), 1.71 putts per GIR (23rd).
  • 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: 40th, Driving Accuracy: 16th, Greens in Regulation: 9th, Proximity to Hole: 10th, Scrambling: 28th, Putting Average 11th.

Strokes Gained Tournament Trends:

  • 2020, Jim Herman (-21). SG Off the Tee: 5th, SG Approach: 4th, SG Around the Green: 56th, SG Tee to Green: 4th, SG Putting: 3rd.
  • 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: 23rd, SG Approach: 3rd, SG Around the Green: 29th, SG Tee to Green: 3rd, SG Putting: 14th.

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:

Jim Herman: Yeah, 61, it’s great anytime you can do that. Just gave myself good looks. You’ve got to be below the hole, got to have makeable putts out here or you’re going to be playing defensive. If you’re above the hole, you’re going to be just lagging all day long. I had a really good approach game today, I think I hit almost every green. The one green I did miss, I putted in from off the green. Yeah, good iron play. Starts off the tee with me, got to hit it in the fairway. I’m not as long as most guys out here, so I’ve got to put it in play, give myself a chance from the fairway.”

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.

Path to Victory: Below are the end of round positions for the last 9 winners of the Wyndham Championship:

  • 2020 – Jim Herman: Round 1: 13th, Round 2: 36th, Round 3: 5th.
  • 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 9 winners of the Wyndham Championship and where they were positioned in terms of shots from the lead during the tournament:

  • 2020 – Jim Herman: Round 1: 4 back, Round 2: 5 back, Round 3: 4 back.
  • 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:

  • Jim Herman: 77th PGA/MC Memorial/MC Workday Open/33rd RBC Heritage.
  • 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 2019. Full First Round Leader stats are here.

  • 2020 – Hoge/Sloan/Varner III – 2PM/1AM -8/62 – 125/1/200/1/80/1.
  • 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 – Brian Gay, Bill Haas, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar.
  • 3 – Si Woo Kim, Brandt Snedeker, Camilo Villegas.
  • 2 – K.J. Choi, Luke Donald, Jason Dufner, Matt Every, Rickie Fowler, Fabian Gomez, Russell Henley, Chris Kirk, Kevin Kisner, Scott Piercy, Justin Rose, Adam Scott, Webb Simpson, Robert Streb, Bubba Watson.
  • 1 – Ryan Armour, Aaron Baddeley, Jonas Blixt, Austin Cook, Tyler Duncan, Branden Grace, Lanto Griffin, Adam Hadwin, Padraig Harrington, James Hahn, Jim Herman, Mackenzie Hughes, Sungjae Im, Matt Jones, Sung Kang, Patton Kizzire, Satoshi Kodaira, Martin Laird, Andrew Landry, Adam Long, Peter Malnati, Keith Mitchell, Francesco Molinari, Sebastian Munoz, Kevin Na, Sean O’Hair, C.T. Pan, J.T. Poston, Rory Sabbatini, Charl Schwartzel, John Senden, Scott Stallings, Kevin Streelman, Brian Stuard, Hudson Swafford, Nick Taylor, Brendon Todd, Michael Thompson, Jhonattan Vegas, Nick Watney, Aaron Wise, Gary Woodland.

Recent winning totals of -21, -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 Bentgrass and Poa Annua grasses. On the current PGA schedule the only courses with Champion Bermudagrass greens feature at last week’s WGC-venue TPC Southwind, Congaree (Palmetto Championship), 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, J.T. Poston and Jim Herman all primarily won through their ability to create enough birdie opportunities with neat tee-to-green play which they then converted.

Those looking for Donald Ross-positive players should look no further than PGA Tour tracks Aronimink (AT&T National 2009/10), Detroit Golf Club (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 first 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, 83rd and 192nd suggest that we should certainly look a little deeper than the very obvious candidates this week.

My selections are as follows:

Kevin Kisner 1.5pts EW 50/1 (8EW, 1/5) with Betfred

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, 8th only 3 outings ago plus 3rd (2020) at Detroit Golf Club and 3rd (2020), 8th (2014) and 10th (2016) here at Sedgefield Country Club, Kisner clearly gets Donald Ross designs.

A 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). And from a correlating course perspective, not many have closer links than Harbour Town Golf Links where previous Wyndham champions Garcia, 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.

5th at the Travelers Championship where he ranked 3rd for Strokes Gained Putting and 8th at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, where he ranked 11th for Strokes Gained Approach and 12th for Tee to Green prior to the Open Championship and last week’s WGC St Jude Invitational, ‘KK’ at 69th in the FedEx Cup standings will want to finish strong, as he did 12 months ago when 3rd at the Wyndham, 4th at the Northern Trust and 25th at the BMW Championship took him all the way to East Lake for the 5th time in 6 PGA Tour seasons. RESULT: Winner

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Sebastian Munoz 1pt EW 50/1 (8EW, 1/5) with Coral

Sebastian Munoz is the sort who can undoubtedly win a Wyndham Championship.

At 65th in the FedEx Cup standings he probably expected a better season when leaving East Lake last September, having just landing 8th place in the FedEx Cup PlayOff standings. The Colombian had undoubtedly arrived on golf’s world stage.

18th at the Northern Trust, 8th at the BMW Championship and 7th in real scoring at the Tour Championship, Sebastian highlighted exactly what is achievable in the PlayOffs. That success though was based on a great start to the campaign where in the Fall of 2019, he was 7th at Greenbrier, won his maiden PGA Tour success at Sanderson Farms and was 5th at the RSM Classic. The win at Jackson Country Club came at -18/270 on Champion Bermudagrass greens and naturally he beat Sungjae Im in the play-off.

So with that 2019 burst, which also included 9th at the Barbasol and 11th at the Barracuda at the latter end of the previous season, plus his 2020 FedEx Cup PlayOff heroics, he’s undoubtedly one to follow when hot. And across his past 8 outings Munoz has now finished 3rd at Colonial, 4th at the Deere Run and 3rd across 72 holes at the Olympics. From a Strokes Gained perspective that equated to 1st for Approach and 13th for Tee to Green at Deere Run, allied to, 14th for Approach and 11th for Tee to Green at Kasumigaseki Country Club. Top 20 Putting performances across both outings were also noteworthy. RESULT: T29

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J.T. Poston 1pt EW 70/1 (8EW, 1/5) with Betfred

2019 Wyndham Championship champion J.T. Poston makes my squad this week and also makes the top 10 in this week’s Predictor Model, which of course you can use free of charge, here at Golf Betting System.

The history of this tournament is littered with multiple champions such as Byron Nelson, Sam Snead, Doug Sanders, Billy Casper, Sandy Lyle, Davis Love III and Brandt Snedeker, and in J.T. Poston we have a North Carolina native, where this tournament means a great deal, and who’s playing some excellent stuff.

40th at the U.S. Open in June was the best Major finish to date for the 28 year-old and that was followed in July by 2nd at the Barbasol Championship. J.T. had that tournament under control coming down the stretch, until one of the unluckiest drives of the season on 15 saw him go out of bounds by millimetres, opening the door for Seamus Power, who beat the World Number 104 in a play-off after finishing with a score of -21/267. Poston ranked 1st for Greens in Regulation, 20th for Strokes Gained Tee to Green and 2nd for Strokes Gained Putting at Keene Trace. 28th the week after at the 3M Open will have cleared any negative cobwebs and contained -6/65s across both Friday and Sunday.

Low scoring tournaments have always been the speciality of ‘The Postman’ since his arrival on the PGA Tour back in 2016. 5th at the 2018 Barbasol, 7th at the 2019 Desert Classic, his win here in 2019 and 8th at the 2020 RBC Heritage all came at -21, -19, -21 and -17. Plus he’s undoubtedly Champion Bermudagrass positive, that statement being backed-up with a 3rd place finish this season at the Sanderson Farms Championship, won by 2012 Wyndham champion Sergio Garcia. 12 eagles season to date (T16 season to date) is also a handy knack at a course where 8 of the past 10 winners have landed at least one when winning. RESULT: MC

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C.T. Pan 1pt EW 80/1 (8EW, 1/5) with Paddy Power

C.T. Pan finds himself in a strange spot. This season has seen him finish 7th at The Masters, 3rd at the Honda Classic and last time out at the Olympics he won the Bronze Medal, beating Paul Casey, Hideki Matsuyama, Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa, Sebastian Munoz and Mito Pereira in a 7-man play-off.  Clearly the Taiwanese 29 year-old can play, but he arrives in North Carolina this week still under plenty of pressure. At 120th in the FedEx Cup standings, his full playing privileges are under threat, so he can hardly take a ‘week off’ as he returns to a track where he’s had success in the past.

2nd to Brandt Snedeker here in 2018 when he fired 25 birdies, C.T. was also 10th here after 36 holes on his only other visit 12 months ago. Back then he was in dire form and eventually fell away to 69th spot. But the World Number 136 clearly likes Sedgefield Country Club, and let’s not forget he also won his maiden PGA Tour title around another Carolina-type track in 2019. Yes Cheng-tsung was the winner of the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town, a course where recent Wyndham champions in the form of Sergio Garcia, Si Woo Kim, Davis Love III, J.T. Poston, Brandt Snedeker and Camilo Villegas have all had real success.

A streaky putter, whose putter seems to be in the ascendancy at the moment, Pan has the neat and tidy game to go well again this week in Greensboro. RESULT: T29

Ryan Armour 1pt EW 80/1 (8EW, 1/5) with Paddy Power

Ryan Armour must be looking forward to this week as well. At 122nd in the FedEx Cup standings he can seal his full playing privileges for next season, but actually on the quiet I expect he fancies his chances on a Sedgefield Country Club track he really likes.

149th in the standings going into Palmetto, the possibility of a return to the Korn Ferry Tour was very, very realistic. But since then 8th at Congaree, 5th at Keene Trace and 6th at TPC Twin Cities, at least guarantees 126-150 Partial Status on the PGA Tour. But at a track where power off the tee is not a factor, Ryan has a superb record here.

4th (2017), 8th (2018), 22nd (2019) and 25th (2020) across his last 4 visits, Armour sits in the top 10 in this week’s Predictor Model and 5th for Strokes Gained Total here at the Wyndham Championship across the past 5 renewals. Impressive stuff. And it’s worth noting that Ryan was also 4th at the 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic played on another Donald Ross design at Detroit Golf Club.

A 280 yard driver, the Ohio State University graduate has always been the sort who likes scoring assignments on short tracks, and it’s fascinating to note that along with his 4th and 8th here at Sedgefield, his 2017 Sanderson Farms Championship win also came on Champion Bermudagrass greens. RESULT: MC

Camilo Villegas 1pt EW 250/1 (8EW, 1/5) with Paddy Power

There are plenty of players outside of the top 125 in the FedEx Cup standings which you would not have expected at the start of the season going into the last tournament of the regular season.

Rickie Fowler (130th), Tommy Fleetwood (136th), Justin Rose (138th) and Francesco Molinari (140th) all face not being in New Jersey next week for the start of the Playoffs at The Northern Trust. It’s not ideal, especially for the likes of Justin and Tommy, who are expecting (Tommy) or in the fight for (Justin) a Team Europe Ryder Cup spot, but ultimately previous win exemptions, and in Tommy’s case a lofty OWGR rank, will see him on the PGA Tour next season.

That isn’t the case for multitudes of others and every year we always see a player or players from around the 125 bubble very close to the top of the leaderboard. Camilo Villegas sits at 129th in the standings and despite 5 consecutive made cuts, still has status troubles for next year. He started the season on a Major Medical Extension and now finds himself just 4 spots away from landing full status for next season, starting in September. And if there are a couple of things we know about ‘Spiderman’ it’s that he loves Bermudagrass greens and Sedgefield Country Club. Indeed 3 of his 4 PGA Tour wins have come on Bermudagrass with 2 of those coming on Donald Ross designs. And even this season his best has come on Bermuda across Sea Island (6th), PGA National (8th) and Copperhead (11th).

From a Donald Ross design perspective, we’re looking at a CV which contains 6th at Plainfield (2011), 9th (2007), 1st (2008) and 9th (2010) at East Lake, plus 9th (2011), 1st (2014) and 16th (2017) here at Sedgefield Country Club. RESULT: T46

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Odds and bookmaker offers correct at 18:10BST 9.8.21 but naturally subject to fluctuation.