Expert Picks for Wyndham Championship
The Wyndham Championship has been played at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C. since 2008, but the site also hosted the event off and on since the tournament began as the Greater Greensboro Open in 1938. With the start of the four-week playoff for the FedExCup beginning after this event, those sitting around the top 125 cutoff in points are looking to secure their position. Meanwhile, others are here to fine-tune their game and some know this will be their last event of the 2011 regular season. As a result, many of the elite players already locked into the playoffs are taking the week off. Fantasy managers will have a limited field to evaluate but one that could allow them make a big difference in the standings.
The runner-up from last year’s Wyndham Championship returns coming off an impressive T4 at the PGA Championship and a T9 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Earlier in the season, Toms won the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, was THE PLAYERS Championship runner-up and posted three other top-five finishes prior to last week. On Tour, Toms ranks second in greens in regulation percentage, fourth in driving accuracy percentage, seventh in scoring average, eighth in birdie average and second in All-Around Ranking. With so many impressive statistics, Toms is easily the top choice among this otherwise soft field.
Webb Simpson [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #72
After making 11 consecutive cuts, Simpson struggled at the PGA Championship and did not get to see the weekend. However, he only finished worse than 21st twice during the aforementioned streak which included a runner-up performance and three other top-10s. Simpson still ranks second in birdie average, eighth in scoring average and first in All-Around Ranking. After last week’s setback, expect a strong rebound from Simpson.
Last year at Sedgefield, Glover entered Sunday tied for second, but faded back to finish in seventh. Aside from struggling at the PGA Championship last week, Glover has been getting off to good starts in his recent tournaments, shooting par or better in the opening two rounds in three of his last four events. He’s already won once this season and got very close a year ago. If the Glover fits, wear it.
Brandt Snedeker [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #21
After winning this event back in 2007 at a different venue, Snedeker has been just fine with the move to Sedgefield. In the last two years, he’s finished T8 and T5 while shooting all eight rounds in the 60s. This season, Snedeker ranks second in stroke gained – putting, 17th in eagles (holes per), 18th in scoring average and 21st in All-Around Ranking. Although he’s missed two of his last four cuts (both in major championships), Snedeker has the putting ability to go low on course like this that will see a lot of birdies.
Bill Haas [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #44
In his last two starts at Sedgefield, Haas has finished T28 and T10. After a fast start to the 2011 season, Haas struggled a bit in the month of June, although he still made all three cuts. However, he’s rebounded over his last three starts with a share of second at The Greenbrier Classic and a T12 last week at the PGA Championship. Haas ranks seventh in greens in regulation – percentage, 13th in total driving and 28th in All-Around Ranking.
Although he’s missed the cut in his two starts at Sedgefield, de Jonge has finished 13th or better in three of his last four starts and is coming off a T26 at the PGA Championship. Aside from sitting 26th in birdie average, the native of Zimbabwe doesn’t place inside the top 30 in any other standard statistic. However, de Jonge has been playing quite well lately and deserves a slot on most rosters.
Charles Howell III [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #103
In his lone start at Sedgefield, Howell finished T13 back in 2009. He’s made eight consecutive cuts, which included a streak of three straight top-fives from June into early July. Howell ranks fifth in scoring average and has already seen some success on this course.
Cameron Tringale [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #164
Over his last seven starts, Tringale has collected a top-five, two other top-10s and a total of five finishes of 25th or better while missing two cuts. He missed the cut in this event a year ago, but has gained a lot of experience since then and is playing well at the moment.
Chez Reavie [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #131
Prior to finishing T50 at the Reno-Tahoe Open, Reavie had four consecutive finishes inside the top 20. Reavie ranks fifth in total driving and 16th in greens in regulation percentage. He’s also performed well at Sedgefield, finishing T10 in 2009.
Jason Dufner [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #62
After missing four straight cuts, Dufner blew an excellent opportunity to win the PGA Championship last week. Despite the stretch of poor performances, he didn’t exactly come out of nowhere. In 18 starts this season, Dufner now has two runner-up performance and a total of five top-10s. Despite losing a five-stroke lead over the last four holes, Dufner figures to be more than just a one-week wonder.
After sitting in 10th entering the weekend a year ago at Sedgefield, Levin collapsed to finish T53. Over his last seven starts of 2011, he’s recorded three top-15s and is coming off a T26 at the PGA Championship. If he can avoid last year’s missteps, Levin will continue to build upon his career year.
After getting off to a strong start at the PGA Championship, Jobe slipped in the final two rounds to end up T45. That pattern was fairly similar to his performance at The Greenbrier Classic. Jobe ranks second in total driving, 19th in greens in regulation percentage, 25th in birdie average and 21st in All-Around Ranking. If he can keep it together over four rounds, Jobe could emerge as a contender.