Out of the Rough: Wyndham Championship (2022)
In a rare week, we didn’t make a single dollar. I should have known that Tony Finau was destined to win back-to-back events with the way he won the 3M Open a week back before shooting a record -26 at the Rocket Mortgage Open. Patrick Cantlay was my favorite last week and he did shoot a final round of -6 but Finau was too far ahead. Other notables include Russell Henley who went T10th. We’re onto the regular season finale this week at the Wyndham Championship with the FedEx Cup Playoffs beginning next week. Due to this, we’re in line for a fun week with golfers looking to both secure their spots outright or advance their placement.
Patrick Cantlay (-21) - T2nd
Max Homa (-12) - T24th
Russell Henley (-16) - T10th
Chris Kirk (-14) - T17th
Nate Lashley (-7) - T57th
Will Zalatoris (-13) - T20th
Kevin Kisner (-1) - MC
Adam Hadwin (-10) - T37th
Joel Dahmen (+3) - MC
John Huh (-7) - T57th
We head to the Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina for the Wyndham Championship.
As previously mentioned, we’re just a week away from the FedEx Cup Playoffs that helps bring the end of the current PGA season. Along with it, comes a large cash lump-sum to those who make the field.
Do to this, we have a bit of a tournament within a tournament with names such as John Huh, Ryan Brehm, Tyler Duncan, Matthias Schwab, Patton Kizzire, Stewart Cink, Webb Simpson, Lucas Glover, Kevin Tway and Nick Taylor who are all on the bubble of claiming a spot.
As for Sedgefield Country Club, it’s the second straight week on tour that the field takes on a Donald Ross designed course. Due to this, this course plays similar to what we saw last week at the Rocket Mortgage Championship.
Although similar, these two courses have vast differences. Detroit Golf Club was a bombers paradise. A large-lengthy par 72 with wide-open fairways. Sedgefield is a much more condensed course that plays as a par 70.
We are still in line for a lot of low scores this week. Heck, we saw Brandt Snedeker shoot an opening round of 59 just a few years back here.
Sedgefield also takes the tour from its short stay in the midwest to the southeast. Therefore, we’ll see a change in putting greens. Sedgefield features Champion Bermudagrass.
With all of this being said, we’ll see less drivers off the tee and see an importance in hitting the fairways and getting to the green in regulation as golfers will have to club down off the tee.
With it still projected to be a birdie-fest, we have to pay attention to birdie or better percentage and overall eagles made on tour this season.
Strokes Gained: Approach will remain the key statistic to follow with these tight fairways and the need to put the ball close, leaving no strokes behind on the greens.
Putting it simple, there will be no room for error with scores set to be in the minus-20s.
As for the weather this week, we could see a wet one. There is rain predicted Friday through Sunday. The forecast currently projects a 40-percent chance of rain on Friday and a 50-percent chance for both Saturday and Sunday. Thursday is set to be an ideal day however with highs in the low 90s as temperatures will drop to the mid 80s by Sunday.
Important statistics to consider this week include Strokes Gained: Approach (SG: APP,) Birdie or Better Percentage, Eagles Gained, Hit Fairway Percentage, Greens in Regulation Percentage, Strokes Gained: Putting (SG: PUTT,) Three-Putt Avoidance and Par Four Efficiency 400-450 Yards.
I have several golfers in low price ranges above my two suggestions in this price top price range. That doesn’t mean that there obviously isn't two great options to lead your lineups either. Leading off we have Sungjae Im ($10,500.) Last time we saw Im was two weeks ago at the 3M Open where he took second, three strokes behind Finau. Im is ninth on tour in par four efficiency 400-450 yards, 12th in greens in regulation percentage, 21st in eagles gained and 41st in both hit fairway percentage and birdie or better percentage. He’s also 57th in SG: APP and 61st in SG: PUTT. The downfall to his game and ultimate placement in our module this week is his well below average finish in three-putt avoidance. Dating back to The Masters, Im has three top tens, five top 15s and six top 25s in nine tournaments. Also consider Shane Lowry ($10,600.) We haven’t seen Lowry since The Open back in mid-July where he went T21st. He is actually the only golfer in the entire tournament that is above average in every statistical category we’ve highlighted. He’s 11th on tour in SG: APP, 27th in greens in regulation percentage, 38th in SG: PUTT and 54th in par four efficiency 400-450 yards. He’s also 78th in hit fairway percentage, 89th in birdie or better percentage, 97th in eagles gained and 99th in three-putt avoidance. In his last 24 rounds, only Russell Henley is better in terms of SG: APP than Lowry and just Henley and Will Zalatoris top him in their last 100 rounds. Lowry has made ten cuts in his last eleven tournaments. In that same time span he’s had four top threes, seven top 15s and besides a missed cut at the U.S. Open, his worst finish was T32nd at the Memorial. As he gets tuned up for the FedEx Cup Playoffs, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lowry playing deep into Sunday.
This price range is where you can find my favorite to win this week as well as my third favorite. Leading off, my favorite for the week is Russell Henley ($9,800.) Henley is an elite ball striker as he’s second on tour in SG: APP to only Zalatoris. Actually over the last 24 rounds, no one is better than Henley in terms of SG: APP. If we even take a broader look into this, no one is also better than him in SG: APP over their last 100 rounds. He’s also sixth in greens in regulation percentage and tenth in birdie or better percentage. Henley is also 24th in hit fairway percentage, 41st in eagles gained and 66th in par four efficiency 400-450 yards. He is below average when it comes to SG: PUTT and three-putt avoidance. We’ll hope that his elite ball striking can keep him close enough to the hole where he won’t need to ask a lot out of his putter. Henley has only missed two cuts in 19 events this season and is fresh off a T10th at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Placing tenth at Detroit Golf Club as a slightly-below average tour driver is a great sign as he takes on this Donald Ross design as well. Also consider Corey Conners ($9,600.) Conners is currently seventh on tour in greens in regulation percentage, 23rd in par four efficiency 400-450 yards, 26th in SG: APP and 34th in hit fairway percentage. Like Henley, over his last 100 rounds, Conners is in the top five in SG:APP. He’s also 85th in eagles gained and 88th in SG: PUTT. His score drops a bit this week due to his below average finish in three-putt avoidance but a well-above average finish in SG: APP and being elite in getting to the green in regulation, we hope that he won’t have many chances to get to three putts. Conners has made the cut in four of his last five events, highlighted by a sixth at the RBC Canadian Open and T13 at the Memorial. The last time we saw Conners was at The Open where he went for T28th.
Both of my suggestions in this price range can be found at the very bottom, which opens up a lot of lineup flexibility. First off we have Aaron Wise ($8,100.) Wise is a top-tier ball striker on tour as he’s currently 24th in SG: APP. Although not in the top five, he’s sixth in his last 24 rounds in SG: APP and eighth in his last 100 rounds. He’s also 27th in birdie or better percentage, 33rd in greens in regulation percentage, 40th in eagles gained and 89th in hit fairway percentage. He drops module points on the greens where he’s slightly below average in SG: PUTT and well below average in three-putt avoidance. Like the great ball strikers we’ve already highlighted previously, we’re hoping placement onto the greens eliminate some putting strokes. Wise has missed just one cut in his last eight tournaments and even has a second place finish at the Memorial and a T6th at the Mexico Open at Vidanta. He’s at +3700 to win at the time of writing this as well. That’s a very nice early-week bet in my opinion. Also consider Davis Riley ($8,000.) Riley has now missed consecutive cuts but prior to that made eighth straight. Included in those eight straight made cuts were three top fives, four top tens and six top 15s. He’s currently 19th on tour in birdie or better percentage and 35th in par four efficiency 400-450 yards. He’s actually top 81 in all of the statistical categories we’ve taken into consideration outside of his 127th finish in three-putt avoidance. Being comfortably above average in each of these categories is a major bonus, especially for a guy who is just $8,000 on DraftKings.
Mark Hubbard ($7,900) was a name I somehow forgot about last week as he was one of my favorites. He did miss the cut a week ago but his game still lines up perfectly for this week at the Wyndham Championship. Hubbard is well below average off the tee so his game lines up better for this week than last anyhow. He’s currently ninth on tour in three-putt avoidance, 14th in eagles gained, 27th in SG: APP and 42nd in both hit fairways percentage and SG: PUTT. He’s also 55th in birdie or better percentage and 106th in par four efficiency 400-450 yards. Prior to last week’s missed cut, Hubbard made seven straight cuts. In back-to-back weeks from July 10th to July 17th, he went third at the Barbasol Championship and fourth at the Barracuda Championship. Also consider Tyler Duncan ($7,100.) Duncan is tenth on tour in hit fairway percentage, 15th in par four efficiency 400-450 yards, 44th in eagles gained, 45th in greens in regulation percentage, 46th in three-putt avoidance, 51st in SG: APP and 69th in birdie or better percentage. Duncan has made four straight cuts, including last week’s Rocket Mortgage Championship. He’s also made six cuts in his last seven events. As a long shot at +14000 to win, he’ll get a few of my dollars this week.
Leading off this price range we have Hayden Buckley ($6,900.) Buckley is actually tops on tour in par fours gained 400-450 yards and you’re finding this in the cheapest price range, I’ll take that every day of the week. He’s also 11th in greens in regulation percentage, 16th in hit fairway percentage, 22nd in eagles gained and 82nd in SG: APP. Dating back to the U.S. Open where he took T14th, Buckley has made six consecutive cuts, including last week’s Rocket Mortgage Championship where he placed T24th. Also consider Vaughn Taylor ($6,400.) Although Taylor has missed three straight cuts, I feel like this is the tournament where he can make some noise. Taylor is one of the worst distance wise off the tee but the rest of his game along with this compact course could carry him. He’s 13th on tour in hit fairway percentage, 29th in par four efficiency 400-450 yards, 42nd in SG: APP and 44th in three-putt avoidance. He’s yet to make an eagle this season and he is slightly below average in birdie or better percentage, but at such a low price allowing lineup flexibility, making the cut for Taylor will go a long way this week.
Strokes Gained: Proximity to Course
Strokes gained: Proximity to Course (SG: PTC) is the patented statistic developed by Lenny of the Out of the Rough Podcast. Each week, Lenny will pick a golfer local to the course to be his SG: PTC choice. Last week Lenny went with Ryan Brehm, a Mount Pleasant, Michigan native and Michigan State University alumni. He made the cut at last week’s Rocket Mortgage Championship going -7, good enough for T57th.
This week Lenny will go with Chesson Hadley who was born and still resides in Raleigh, North Carolina. Raleigh is just under an hour-and-a-half away from Sedgefield Country Club.
SG: PTC Past Results
The Honda Classic - Chase Seiffert (+1) - T25th
The Arnold Palmer Invitational - John Pak (+8) - T52nd
The Players - Billy Horschel (WD)
The Valspar Championship - Sam Ryder (-1) - MC
WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play - MC
The Valero Texas Open - Adam Long (-5) - T35th
The Masters - Patrick Reed (+6) - T35th
The RBC Heritage - Brian Harman (-6) - T35th
The Zurich Classic - Jay and Billy Haas (E) - T59th
The Mexico Open - Carlos Ortiz (-5) - T51st
The AT&T Byron Nelson - Harry Higgs (-4) - MC
The PGA Championship - Talor Gooch (+1) - T20th
The Charles Schwab Challenge - Tom Hoge (+4) - MC
The Memorial Tournament - Mackenzie Hughes (+2) - T37th
The RBC Canadian Open - Adam Svensson (-6) - T21st
The US Open - Fran Quinn (+13) - MC
The Travelers Championship - Keegan Bradley (-9) - T19th
The John Deere Classic - Doug Ghim (+1) - MC
The Genesis Scottish Open - Robert MacIntyre (+5) - MC
The Open - Tyrell Hatton (-11) - T11th
The 3M Open - Mardy Fish (+13) - MC
Rocket Mortgage Championship - Ryan Brehm (-7) - T57th
One and Done
*Rules: A golfer can only be played once all season unless the chosen golfer wins the respective tournament. If the chosen golfer wins, he can be used again. We will keep track of success via monetary earnings to add value to bigger tournaments. We will track my choices for the rest of the season below.
Another week of success in the one-and-done. Although we didn’t hit the winner we’ve now hit back-to-back-to-back second place finishes. We’re nearing that $10,000,000 mark. This week I’ll get to roll with my favorite yet again in Russell Henley. A win would not only put us over $10,000,000, but over $11,000,000.
The Masters - Shane Lowry ($870,000)
The RBC Heritage - Adam Hadwin ($54,844)
The Zurich Classic - Marc Lesihman ($24,111.50)
The Mexico Open - Gary Woodland ($60,955)
The AT&T Byron Nelson - Sam Burns ($0)
The PGA Championship - Justin Thomas ($2,700,000)
The Charles Schwab Challenge - Mito Pereira ($246,540)
The Memorial Tournament - Xander Schauffele ($142,800)
The RBC Canadian Open - Corey Conners ($315,375)
The US Open - Matt Fitzpatrick ($3,150,000)
Travelers Championship - Joaquin Niemann ($0)
The John Deere Classic - Nate Lashley ($0)
The Genesis Scottish Open - Justin Thomas ($0)
The Open - Rory McIlroy ($933,000)
The 3M Open - Sungjae Im ($667,500)
Rocket Mortgage Championship - Patrick Cantlay ($635,600)