Even relaxed weeks on the PGA Tour are exciting. Following a run of amazing events that culminated in last week’s PGA Championship and a string of more amazing events ahead (the FedEx Cup Playoffs and U.S. Open), this week’s Wyndham Championship is nestled right in the middle. Still, six of the top 20 players in the world are playing this week, and an event that would normally only have implications for who makes the playoffs takes on a new air in a new year.
Let’s take a closer look at this week’s contest, with odds and prop bets provided via William Hill Sportsbook.
What: Wyndham Championship
When: Aug. 13-16
Where: Sedgefield Country Club — Greensboro, North Carolina
Three things to know
1. Spieth? Like the current college football landscape, I will believe anything. He closed out his PGA Championship with a 76-67 on the weekend, which is very indicative of how this year has gone. On Saturday, I was reading his last rites. On Sunday, I was proselytizing about what the future holds. He’s only played this event twice, and on one occurrence he finished second. The other outing he made the cut but didn’t finish because he missed a third-round cut. That also sums things up quite nicely.
2. Koepka again: What do we make of Brooks Koepka right now? He’s on a run of six weeks in a row of tournament play, and after taking a blowtorch to the leaderboard on Saturday night of the PGA Championship, he limped home to a 74 on Sunday while beating just one player in the field (Jim Herman). He has been notoriously disengaged from regular PGA Tour events in the past, but he’s currently 92nd in the FedEx Cup race and has some work to do to get to East Lake. It will be interesting to see how he responds to both of those realities.
3. U.S. Open exemptions: This hasn’t been talked about a ton because there are a lot of other things going on, but during a year in which there is no qualifying for the U.S. Open, players are getting to Winged Foot by posting top-10 finishes from week to week. At the PGA Championship last week, Matthew Wolff and Cameron Champ qualified for the U.S. Open by finishing in the top 10 at TPC Harding Park. This week is even more wide open with a field that isn’t nearly as strong as the PGA and loads of names who have not yet qualified for Winged Foot.
Grading the field
Webb Simpson, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, Paul Casey, Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose and Jordan Spieth highlight this week’s terrific field. One of the unintended benefits of a year with a pandemic is that events that normally don’t see high-quality fields get more top-25 and top-50 players than normal. That’s a great thing for viewers, even if all of them are still only able to tune in on television. Grade: B+
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1. Harris English top 10 (3-1): He’s quietly had four straight top 20s, including one last week at the PGA Championship. Having (by far) the best strokes-gained year of his life, which is a bit concerning given that I think he’s performing at a level I’m not sure he’s capable of maintaining for a long period of time. Thankfully, I don’t need him to, I just need him to continue it for one more week.
2. Russell Henley top 20 (+250): More on him below as my sleeper, but this is good value. I really like the way he’s playing and the way this course sets up for him. Sedgefield rewards accuracy off the tee (he’s 45th on the PGA Tour) and good approach shots (he’s 4th). Great spot for him to make some noise.
Wyndham Championship picks
Who will win the Wyndham Championship, and which long shots will stun the golfing world? Visit SportsLine to see the simulated leaderboard, all from the model that’s nailed six golf majors and is up more than $8,000 since the restart.