With the last WGC event of the 18/19 PGA Tour season safely in the hands of World number one Brooks Koepka the tour moves on this week to its last regular-season event, The Wyndham Championship.
Much has changed schedule wise on the PGA Tour this year but one event that has stayed put in its traditional place is this week’s trip to Sedgefield G&CC in Greensboro, North Carolina.
A par 70, Donald Ross layout measuring to 7,127 yards, the venue offers players a last opportunity before the Fedex Cup Play Offs begin, to sneak into the top 125 to earn their PGA Tour card for next season.
With so much on the line for those who are either side of the Top 125 bubble – it will be a tense week as tour cards are won or lost based on birdies or bogey’s at the 72nd hole.
For the vast majority of the field there are no such concerns, particularly so for Webb Simpson, who heads the market.
Simpson never skips this event to ‘rest up’ as he was born in North Carolina and still lives in the state. He’s flourished on this low-scoring, short track, which requires strong iron play and a hot putter.
He lifted his first PGA Tour title here in 2011 and finishing inside the top six four times in the past five years.
He even named his first-born daughter Wyndham in honour of his first tour victory here!
A string of strong performances, which culminated in a second place finish at the WGC-Fedex St Jude on Sunday, Simpson heads up our team this week, despite being the 9/1 favourite.
Behind Simpson in the market we have Hideki Matsuyama, new wonder kid Collin Morikawa who clinched his first tour title on Sunday in the ‘opposite field event’ played in Reno, and a still hugely ‘up-and-down’ Jordan Spieth.
I’ll stand corrected but none appeal at the odds.
Of more interest are Patrick Reed, a former champion here, and Billy Horschel, who came close to landing a nice e/w return for us last weekend. However, I want to look at bigger odds for my each-way selections, so Cameron Smith @ 30/1 and Martin Kaymer @ 50/1 are drafted in.
Smith is a Tour ‘winner-in-waiting’ and after a couple of months in the doldrums, he has found his mojo again, finishing 12th in Memphis last weekend. The young Aussie has made three trips to Sedgefield CC and finished seventh here on his last visit. He looks primed for a big week.
As for Kaymer, there is an obvious connection here. Former winners at TPC Sawgrass, like Simpson, Stenson and Si Woo Kim have won at this venue, and the former Players’ Champion has finished top 20 on both his two previous starts here.
The German has been in really solid form lately and makes plenty of appeal.
We’ll round off by including Brian Harman @ 70/1 and Nick Taylor @ 80/1. Harman flourishes on shorter par 70 tracks and was third here a few years back. He was playing very nicely before a missed cut at The Open Championship, while Canadian Taylor was eighth here last year, 15th on his last start and has been a model of consistency recently.
With Paddy paying 1/5 the odds on the first eight places we should hopefully be well represented to get a return this week.
*Odds correct at time of publishing but are fluid