The Wyndham Championship is this week’s PGA Tour event and marks the cut-off point for the FedEx Cup. After this Sunday, players in the Top 125 on the FedEx points list will go forward to next week’s The Barclays event so there’s a lot to play for this week.
The Wyndham will be played over the Sedgefield course in Greensboro, North Carolina which is a tight, tree-lined affair which rewards extreme driving accuracy over brute power, while its small, undulating greens are typical of a Donald Ross design with shaved areas around the greens. There are several dog-leg holes and water plays its part also. The assembled field for this event isn’t the strongest, however, so plenty of pitfalls await unwary punters and cases can be made for a large number of the field.
The first name to make the shortlist this week is Brandt Snedeker, who is a huge admirer of Donald Ross-designed courses. Snedeker has strong form here at Sedgefield and last year shot four sub-70 rounds enroute to finishing in 5th place. Snedeker showed his liking for Ross-designed courses earlier in the season at Aronomik where he finished in a tie for 16th place and again in the Greenbrier Classic. He is the number one ranked putter on the tour this season in both Putting Average and Putts per Round and played well enough at Whistling Straits – a course that didn’t play to his strengths – to be of major interest this week at 28/1.
Scotsman Martin Laird hasn’t performed as well as one might have expected in 2010, but he is most at home on bent-grass greens which he’ll encounter here and his recent form makes good reading in this field. Finishes of 26th, 16th and 48th places in his past three events added to a 4th place finish here in 2008 give the Scotsman a chance of regaining the winning thread and 70/1 is a good value each-way price.
Australian Michael Sim was expected to go onto bigger things after bursting from the Nationwide Tour last season, where he won three times in 2009. He has since gone close to a big prize on the main PGA Tour this season twice; finishing runner up in the Farmers Insurance event and also tying for 3rd at Turning Stone two weeks ago where he led the field in putting. 50/1 about the Aussie looks a big price in this weak field.
Sim’s fellow Aussie, Marc Leishman could also go well at a similar price. Leishman was 2009 Rookie of the Year and has carried his form well in 2010 with seven Top 25 finishes to his credit. Leishman finished in 7th place at the Aronomik, suggesting he will cope with this layout.
Fred Couples is a surprise inclusion in this week’s event, as he would undoubtedly have ranked among the favourites for the Champions Tour’s final major of the season, The Tradition. So it’s worthwhile taking a look at Couples as a potential winner here this week at 50/1. Couples has some course form to his name with a tied-5th finish here last year, and with an outside chance of a Ryder Cup wild-card pick, he’ll be anxious to do well.
Richard S Johnson arrives at Sedgefield in good form and boasts some of the strongest recent form on offer this week, as well as some decent course form which really makes his chances stand out. The US-based Swede made a rare sojourn to Europe where he won the Scandinavian Masters before finishing tied-21st at The Greenbrier and tied-8th at Turning Stone on his last two starts. The tight, narrow fairways will suit his accurate play and at Turning Stone he was ranked 5th in Putting average. Another player priced at 50/1, he looks excellent value for each-way punters.
Selection: Brandt Snedeker
Savers: Richard S Johnson, Michael Sim