GOLF analyst Lewis Blain (@LewisBlainSport) shares his betting thoughts ahead of the Wyndham Championship from North Carolina.
Wyndham Championship | 1st-4th August 2019 | Sky Sports
Brooks Koepka was Brooks Koepka last weekend as he romped home a WGC title. Our pick Webb Simpson rallied hard on Sunday to finish in solo second so it was a decent tournament nonetheless.
This week we head to a regular jaunt on tour in the Wyndham Championship, held at Sedgefield Country Club. It’s last chance saloon for many of the players teeing it up this week so there is added importance despite it being just a regular PGA Tour event.
- Sedgefield CC, North Carolina.
- Par 70 – 7,127 yards.
- A typical Donald Ross design.
- Champion Bermuda grass greens, smallish and undulating.
- A pretty easy scoring course.
- Driving accuracy and par-4 scoring (400-450 yards) the absolute optimum stats for this week.
- It’s a pure birdie-fest with the score being over 20-under-par each of the last three editions.
- Approach game with an edge for good wedge players as it normally is a wedge in for most of these players.
- Par-5s here present easy, easy eagle and birdie opportunities.
- Form on Donald Ross designs – East Lake, Aronimink, Pinhurst no.2. Oak Hill, Detroit GC.
- Form on other correlated courses – TPC Sawgrass, Waialae, Sea Island, Harbour Town, Colonial, Valspar, TPC Boston.
- Course history a help.
- Players around the #125 number in the FedEx cup as anyone past the threshold is at serious risk of losing their tour card.
Victor Hovland (28/1 Betfair)
He’s so much shorter than I’d like but these young impressive kids are winning on Tour this season so it’s quite likely Victor Hovland will follow suit, he definitely deserves to. Since his pro debut, he’s gone on to record three straight top-16 finishes and also was T12 at the US Open this year as an amateur.
The thing I like most about about Hovland is that he’s going to relish an absolute birdie-fest as the courses these college kids grow up on are simply easy tracks they can thrash apart. The same as on the Korn Ferry tour. A couple of weeks ago he finished T12 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic which is hosted at the Donald Ross designed Detroit GC.
In this field, he ranks 4th for SG:Approach, 3rd for birdies, 2nd for SG: T2G and 6th for fairways gained all in the last 24 rounds (strong indication of recent form as it’s the last six tournaments.) He’s red hot right now.
Joaquin Niemann (45/1 SkyBet)
The Chilean finished even better at Detroit a couple weeks ago with a T5 and is another sort who should love this week’s test. He’s under a real heater at the minute having gone T5 at the Travelers, T5 at the Rocket Mortgage, T23 and the 3M and T10 at the John Deere before ending that run with a missed cut at Royal Portrush for just his second major of the year.
In this field, for the last 24 rounds, Niemann is 7th for SG: T2G and 7th for Par-5 scoring. On top of that he ranks inside the top 20 for SG: Approach and Par-4 scoring (400-450 yards.)
He had a go around this course last year and finished 33rd. He’s another that if he won then you wouldn’t bat an eyelid. He’s a quality young talent.
Rory Sabbatini (45/1 Boylesports)
The South African-turned-Slovak is enjoying one of his best ever years on tour, just without that elusive win. Sabbs finished the best in the Rocket Mortgage of any of our staking plan with a T3 and has since recorded his best major finish since 2007 after a T16 at Royal Portrush.
Earlier this season, he showed form at Colonial with a T6. I think the factor behind his form may be the motivational aspect of qualifiying for the 2020 Olympics which is why he switched allegiances from the hotly contested South Africa to Slovakia.
Par 70 courses are his forte and he’s also popped on a number of Champion Bermudagrass courses in the past. Sabbatini ranks 4th for birdies, 9th for par-4 scoring (400-450 yards) and in the top-16 for both proximity with his wedges (from 125-150 yards) and driving accuracy over the last 50 rounds.
Sabbatini also has a 4th and an 8th around this track so he knows the course more than well.
Martin Kaymer (50/1 Betfair)
The correlation from here to TPC Sawgrass is uncanny – Henrik Stenson, Webb Simpson, Sergio Garcia, Si Woo-Kim and Davis Love III have won at both. One glaring name on the Sawgrass list is Martin Kaymer. He could go well this week.
Kaymer was once number one in the world, a Ryder Cup hero but 2018 was catastrophic as he missed 12 of 27 cuts and slipped to 172nd in the world. Though, the German seems to be on a resurgence having recorded a trio of top-10s since May including an impressive 3rd at the Memorial.
There is a hugely motivating factor this week with Kaymer ranking 146th in the FedEx Cup standings, needing a huge week to break into the top 125 – he may well need to win this tournament and he certainly has the ability and the game to do so.
He also has had two decent pops at the Wyndham with a pair of top-20s in his only two appearances.
Sepp Straka (100/1 SkyBet)
This was the most surprising price for me this week. Sepp Straka at three figures. His form reads T11-MC-T26-3-12 with the start of that being at Detroit GC. The latter two are pretty poor field birdie-fests which are a good sign going into this week. Straka ranks 15th on tour for the season for birdie or better scoring.
Meanwhile his wedge game is going really solid at the minute, ranking 7th for proximity from 150-175 yards whilst being 15th for SG: Approach, 24th for SG: T2G and 27th for Par-4 scoring (400-450 yards) over the last 50 rounds… for a bloke that is 100/1 that’s quite brilliant.
Wyndham Championship – Victor Hovland (28/1 each-way Betfair)
Wyndham Championship – Joaquin Niemann (45/1 each-way SkyBet)
Wyndham Championship – Rory Sabbatini (45/1 each-way Boylesports)
Wyndham Championship – Martin Kaymer (50/1 each-way Betfair)
Wyndham Championship – Sepp Straka (100/1 each-way SkyBet)