PGA Tour matchups: Fade Scott, then fade him again, at Wyndham

August 2, 2022 10:20 PM
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The second half of the “Donald Ross Double Dip” takes place this week at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina. The Wyndham Championship is the final regular-season event of the PGA Tour’s 2021-22 season, and for the second straight week players find themselves on a Ross design. At the conclusion of this tournament, the Top 125 players in the FedExCup standings will advance to the three-week playoff that finishes with the Tour Championship.

We noted last week to pay attention to the results of the Rocket Mortgage Classic and to those players who fare well on Ross courses. I was on Russell Henley, Si Woo Kim and Chris Kirk, who all had good results on Ross courses in the past, and they each finished inside the top-20 last week. Henley and Kim are back in the field this week and I will be riding them again.

Different from Detroit Golf Club, a Par 72, Sedgefield is a shorter course and a Par 70. The fairways are narrower and there is much more of a premium on driving accuracy. The ability to scramble around the greens is more important, too, as Ross’ typical shaved runoff areas are more pronounced. I have also put more emphasis on Par 4 scoring because there are 12 of them at Sedgefield (most measuring between 400-450 yards). Finally, I am again going to look at players who make a lot of birdies. Tony Finau won last week with a score of 26-under-par and, while the winning score likely won't be that low, the average winning score over the last 14 years at the Wyndham is a shade short of 19-under.

While Detroit Golf Club is the only other Ross design that hosts a full-field event in the PGA Tour rotation, there are some strong correlations with other courses we see every year: 

— Five of the last 11 winners at Sedgefield have won The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass (Kevin Kisner, the 2021 Wyndham champion, finished fourth at The Players in March and was runner-up there in 2015).

— Three of the past 12 winners of the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town have won at Sedgefield. 

— Three of the last 10 winners of the Tour Championship at East Lake, also a Ross design, have won at Sedgefield.

Here are the full tournament head-to-head matchups I considered and those that I played this week:

Considered (31-31-3 YTD)

— Shane Lowry (-115) over Will Zalatoris

— Sungjae Im (-140) over Will Zalatoris

— Brian Harman (-130) over Denny McCarthy

— Joel Dahmen (-110) over J.J. Spaun

Played (32-25-2 YTD)

Si Woo Kim (-125) over Joohyung Kim

Joohyung beat Si Woo by a few strokes last week at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and is truly an up-and-coming player at only 20 years old. However, the Wyndham is Si Woo's wheelhouse. In four of his last five trips to Sedgefield, he's finished 2-3-5-1. Joohyung will be making his Wyndham debut. He certainly comes in on a roll but Si Woo has been excellent in his last two starts, finishing 15th at the British Open and 14th last week. My numbers heavily favor Si Woo Kim and the price is only this short because of the recent, impressive emergence of Joohyung. I will take both current and course form over only current form.

Tyrrell Hatton (-110) over Adam Scott

We went against Scott successfully last week and I am going to try it again. Scott was very good for most of last week but shot 78 on Saturday. He finished second here last year but prior to that went 63-MC. Both players have good history at TPC Sawgrass, where Hatton finished 13th earlier this season and Scott won in 2007. Hatton took third at the RBC Heritage in 2020. Both players arrive in good form, with Hatton finishing 11th at the British Open. In a pick-’em matchup, I will take the better overall player at this point in their careers. I feel we have a slight edge with my price being closer to -125 on Hatton.

Kevin Kisner (+ 100) over Adam Scott

I love Scotty but I am going to double-down against him this week. I mentioned last week that he just doesn't feel like a contender in a birdie-fest. He seems to be more of a big-game hunter at this stage in his career, as he showed with impressive finishes in the last two major championships. Kisner missed the cut last week in Detroit and my hunch is that sets us up for some value on the defending champion. We mentioned Kisner's close calls at The Players Championship. He has also finished second, seventh and 11th at Harbour Town and third and ninth at East Lake. One final note: Kisner is currently 33rd in the FedExCup standings and knows getting into the Top 30 over the next three events will get him back to East Lake for the Tour Championship, where the FedExCup champion will collect $18 million. Maybe that extra motivation will help his cause.

Be sure to tune into “LongShots” this week for all of the plays from myself, Matt Youmans, Wes Reynolds and our special guest, Andy Molitor of BetSperts. Available at VSiN.com/podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.

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