GOLF guru Louis Ross (@LouisRoss67) shares his thoughts on the upcoming Wyndham Championship from North Carolina.
The Wyndham Championship | Thursday-Sunday | Sky Sports
A good old-fashioned putting contest is on the menu this week.
Welcome to the Sedgfield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina – a par-70 of some 7,130 yards. The Donald Ross-designed course traditionally plays as just about the easiest par-70 on the PGA Tour.
Changes were made to the relatively small green complexes in 2012 with a switch to Bermudagrass and speeds of 12 on the stimpmeter. The work carried out was seen as an attempt to curb scoring but it has had little if any effect with Davis Love recording a second successive low mark of -17 to take victory in 2015.
There are elements of last week’s John Deere Classic here although fairways are slightly narrower at the pinch points. This is very clearly a tournament where putting will separate the wheat from the chaff but it's also very easy to get hooked up on stats concerning the short stick.
As mentioned earlier, greens here are fairly small and full of undulations. Putting the ball in the right place is crucial and ball striking along with greens In regulation are key areas to focus on.
Length off the tee is no huge advantage but not something I would completely ignore. What you can afford to ignore when making your final pick is current form – Love came here off the back of three missed cuts and a 54th.
There are plenty of similar figures back through the years, should you care to look. Sedgfield also provides plenty of first-time winners and one of those former champions will headline my picks this week.
Brandt Snedeker (25/1 each-way Ladbrokes) won this in 2007 and has backed that up with fifth, fifth and eighth from his nine starts.
Sneds is an old favourite – I tipped him for this last year and he was fifth with 18 holes left after a second round 61. The less said about his Sunday, the better.
Snedeker needs a win here to secure a Ryder Cup spot. I am hoping this will be a third event that he wins multiple times.
Bill Haas (28/1 each-way Bet365) performed brilliantly at The Open just a few weeks ago and it is often the forgotten man in tournaments like this. Haas’ recent form here is exceptional.
Since 2009, he has finished in the top-28 six times including four top-10s. In this final tournament of the regular season, Haas is another man looking to force his way into Ryder Cup contention.
Like Snedeker, Haas relishes this tournament and would love to win in his home state. Haas has won four times on Bermudagrass – a big chance.
Bud Cauley (90/1 each-way BetVictor) was golfs next big thing in 2012 when he finished third here. Still just 26, Cauley fell off the radar for three years from 2013 onward. That slump was very much down to injuries – Cauley is looking like golf's version of Jack Wilshere.
However, a couple of Cauley’s performances have really caught my eye recently especially last week’s eight at the John Deere. Don't write this kid off just yet – one of those at 143rd in the FedEx standings for whom a big finish could prove crucial.
Scott Piercy (50/1 each-way Ladbrokes) is one of those players who can go on an incredible run of scoring. He has featured prominently in some of the biggest tournaments in the world this season and was in with a massive chance of being US Open champion.
An eighth and a 12th from Piercy’s three appearances at The Wyndham gives you the idea this course fits his eye. One of the best ball strikers and putters on tour, I really do not understand his price.
I really looked closely at a few like Harris English, Kevin Kisner and Jim Furyk. Hideki Matsuyama could well run riot but I just don't like the price.
I cannot ignore Scott Piercy though, in either Outright or First Round Leader (50/1 each-way BetVictor) markets.
The Wyndham Championship – Brandt Snedeker (25/1 each-way Ladbrokes)
The Wyndham Championship – Bill Haas (28/1 each-way Bet365)
The Wyndham Championship – Bud Cauley (90/1 each-way BetVictor)
The Wyndham Championship – Scott Piercy (50/1 each-way Ladbrokes)
The Wyndham Championship – Scott Piercy first round leader (50/1 each-way BetVictor)
Seven Each-Way Places At Paddy Power
The Irish firm are offering seven paid each-way places at the Wyndham Championship this week.
That's two places more than rival firms!