Pete’s Picks: Wyndham Championship
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Pete’s Picks: Wyndham Championship



The PGA Tour heads to North Carolina and Sedgefield Country Club this week for the Wyndham Championship, the final event of the regular season. This tournament usually has a weak field on paper, but there is plenty of drama as players battle for a spot in the top 125 to qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs.

FanDuel’s golf tiers format has tiers A, B, C, and D in order from favorites to long shots. There are also two extra tiers that allow players to pick anyone else in the field.

Tier A

Players:

Louis Oosthuizen

Webb Simpson

Hideki Matsuyama

Patrick Reed

The pick: Webb Simpson

It’s been a down year for Webb Simpson, who enters the week ranked 54th in the FedEx Cup standings. Simpson has five top-10s and 11 top-25s in 18 events this season. Simpson posted a solid T15 finish last week in Memphis, including a final round 64 that was the second lowest round of the day.

Even in a down year, Simpson is right at home at Sedgefield. Simpson hasn’t missed a cut in his last 11 starts and has finished in the top 11 in nine of those starts. Simpson won the Wyndham in 2011 and has finished inside the top 3 in his last four trips to Greensboro. He is the ultimate horse for the course at Sedgefield.

Tier B

Players:

Brian Harman

Jason Kokrak

Will Zalatoris

Sungjae Im

Tommy Fleetwood

The pick: Will Zalatoris

 Zalatoris has emerged as one of the game’s best players this season, moving inside the top-30 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Despite his stellar season, Zalatoris is not eligible for the FedEx Cup playoffs at this point, but a win this week would change that.

Sedgefield sets up well for Zalatoris, ranking 7th in Strokes Gained: Approach on a golf course that rewards great iron play. Zalatoris was forced to withdraw with an injury at The Open Championship but played well in his return last week in Memphis, shooting in the 60s all four rounds and finishing T8. His game should keep improving as he continues to work his way back from injury.

Tier C

Players:

Seamus Power

Adam Scott

Russell Henley

Kevin Na

Bubba Watson

Si Woo Kim

Matt Wolff

Gary Woodland

The pick: Seamus Power

Power has been on fire as of late. He’s finished in the top-20 in each of his last six starts, including his first Tour win at the Barbasol Championship. Power has quietly been one of the best players on Tour this season. He ranks 27th in Strokes Gained: Approach and has one of the world’s best short games, ranking 3rd in Strokes Gained: Around the Green.

He also ranks 19th in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and 24th in Strokes Gained: Total. There will be plenty of birdies this week, and Power ranks 29th in birdie average with just over four per round. He also ranks 34th in birdie or better percentage. He ranks 2nd in birdies or better over the past 24 rounds. I’m riding the hot hand this week.

Tier D

Players:

Sebastian Munoz

Kevin Streelman

Charl Schwartzel

Kevin Kisner

Justin Rose

Brandt Snedeker

Rickie Fowler

Robert Macintyre

The pick: Rickie Fowler

Fowler comes into the week ranked 130th in the FedEx Cup standings and is looking to avoid missing the FedEx Cup playoffs for the first time in his career. Normally an excellent putter, Fowler is down to 131st in Strokes Gained: Putting on the season. But there is hope for Fowler on the greens, as he ranks second in Strokes Gained: Putting on Bermuda greens over the last 24 rounds.

Fowler received a special exemption to play in the PGA Championship and put together his best performance of the season, finishing T8 at Kiawah. Fowler finished T22 in his only appearance at the Wyndham Championship in 2016, and will need a big week to continue to the postseason.

Field

The pick: Patton Kizzire

Kizzire makes birdies in bunches—he ranks first in birdies or better over the last 24 rounds—he’s also third in Strokes Gained: Putting on Bermuda greens in that same span. Kizzire has finished in the top 25 in four of his last five starts, including back to back T3 finishes at the AT&T Byron Nelson and Charles Schwab Challenge. He’s been trending, and this could be the week he adds a third PGA Tour win to his resume.

The pick: Ryan Armour

Armour has been playing well lately, notching a T5 finish at the Barbasol Championship and a T6 at the 3M Open. He cooled down a bit with a missed cut last week in Reno. He enters the week ranked 121st in the FedEx Cup standings, so he will look for another good week to cement his place in the playoffs.

About the author

Peter Santo

Peter Santo

Peter Santo is a golf writer and a graduate of Emerson College. He previously covered all sports for The Boston Globe, Associated Press, and The Washington Times.

When not writing about or playing golf, he can often be found listening to or creating country music.

He can be reached by email at petersanto1129@gmail.com

Follow him on Twitter @_PeterSanto