Even though the last two weeks of golf have included a major championship and a WGC, maybe the most interesting portion of the last part of this season’s schedule is this week at the Wyndham Championship. That’s because 156 golfers will be fighting for either 1. Their PGA Tour cards or 2. A gateway into the Korn Ferry Tour Finals or 3. Positioning for the FedEx Cup Playoffs. There’s a lot at stake this week in Greensboro.
Let’s take a look at this week’s contest.
What: Wyndham Championship | When: Aug. 1-4
Where: Sedgefield Country Club — Greensboro, North Carolina
Ranking the field (odds)
- Webb Simpson (10-1): Who would have predicted two years ago that Webb Simpson would be a heavy favorite over Jordan Spieth (18-1)?
- Collin Morikawa (18-1): Who would have predicted two months ago that Collin Morikawa would have the same odds in a PGA Tour event as Jordan Spieth?
- Hideki Matsuyama (14-1): He had a scorching summer followed by two mini bumps at The Open and last week’s WGC in Memphis. A return to this lesser-field event should help him.
- Viktor Hovland (25-1): His last chance to win and get his PGA Tour card. He’s been resting since the John Deere Classic, but could join Matthew Wolff and Morikawa as rookies to get their cards this summer.
- Jordan Spieth (18-1): He’s 14th in birdie average but 35th in scoring. All the mistakes.
- Paul Casey (25-1): Only player in the top 10 on the season-long money list to show up.
- Brandt Snedeker (25-1): Shot a 59 (and won) here last season. Top three the last two times he’s played here.
- Alex Noren (40-1): Tough season for the No. 125 golfer in the FedEx Cup standings has been buoyed by a pair of top-12 finishes in the last two tournaments (a WGC and a major).
- Billy Horschel (25-1): He’s been in the top 15 at this event in two of the last three years.
- Patrick Reed (20-1): I’m just hoping we get a Reed-Spieth playoff here like we did in 2013.
Field strength — B: I love this field, and for being the week after a major-WGC double, it’s fairly elite. When you throw in the Wolff-Morikawa-Hovland trio, it becomes one of the better non-major fields of the last two months.
Three things to know
1. Top 125: This tournament is always interesting because of who’s around No. 125 in the FedEx Cup standings. If you’re 125 or better after this tournament, you get into the FedEx Cup Playoffs. If you’re 126-200, you’re headed to the Korn Ferry Tour Finals. Some big names make up this year’s list, including Alex Noren (125), Daniel Berger (131), Jason Dufner (136), Bill Haas (140) and Martin Kaymer (146).
2. Top 200: The more compelling story, however, might be the names around 200. If you’re No. 201 or worse, you’re likely going back to Q-School to try and earn your Korn Ferry Tour card. The big names on this bubble include Charl Schwartzel (192), Ben Crane (200) and Sangmoon Bae (204).
3. Getting Spieth in order: It was a mild surprise that Spieth (No. 67 in FedEx Cup) added this week’s tournament given how much he’s played and will play in the coming weeks, but after missing the Tour Championship last year, he wants to push to get into the top 30 leading into East Lake at the end of August. Because a playoff event was removed, and there are only two playoff opportunities to earn your way into the finale, adding this became logical. He is almost always one of the most interesting players in the field, and given how he’s been scoring (see above) and the fact that he led the field at last week’s WGC in birdies, I’m intrigued to see if it clicks this week in Greensboro.
- 2018: Brandt Snedeker
- 2017: Henrik Stenson
- 2016: Si Woo Kim
- 2015: Davis Love III
- 2014: Camilo Villegas
Wyndham Championship picks
Winner — Webb Simpson (10-1): I know it’s super sexy to pick the favorite, which is why I do it every week. He’s been massive on this course (seven top-11 finishes in nine appearances this decade), and has been playing some of the most underrated golf of anyone in the top 25 of the world this summer.
Top 10 lock — Hideki Matsuyama (14-1): Finished T3 in his last outing at Sedgefield. Six straight top-25 finishes going into The Open, where he missed his first cut in a year.
Sleeper — Johnson Wagner (200-1): He has one of the better histories on this course for his skill level of anyone in this field. He hasn’t missed a cut here since 2015, and finished top five in 2016. Great value at 200-1, and he’s coming in off four straight made cuts.