Players that want to qualify for the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs are down to their final chance.
This week’s Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina, is the final stop in the Tour’s regular season.
From here, the top 125 players in the FedEx Cup standings will play a four-week finals series, culminating in the 30-man Tour Championship.
Those same 125 players will also have Tour cards for next season; making that cut-off is vital.
There’s a bunch of players on the outside looking in who will tee it up this week. This tournament has one of the weakest fields of the season, headlined by world No 17 Henrik Stenson ($8,800).
The big Swede is also the defending champion after he shot a record-setting -22, beating Ollie Schniederjans ($6,900) by one stroke last year.
Webb Simpson ($9,300), a course horse, is the only player from inside the FedEx Cup’s top 15, sitting 12th.
Last week: What an event the PGA Championship was. Tiger was on the prowl but my man Brooks Koepka came through when it mattered.
The column looked at nine players; we had the winner and two others finished T6, including Scrub-A-Dub Gary Woodland at only $5,600.
There were three MCs though so let’s try and get a full slate through this week.
My rosters were terrible as the bottom half of my line-ups all had the weekend off. Getting 5/9 through the cut won’t get you paid, even with the winner on deck.
The Wyndham has been played at Sedgefield Country Club since 2008. It also hosted the event intermittently from 1938-1976.
The course is short and easy. It’s a par 70 covering 7,127 yards with only two par fives.
Eight of the 12 par fours fall into the 400-450 yard range and the greens are Bermuda grass.
Former champion Si Woo Kim ($7,000) has the course record with a 60, shot in 2016, which gives an indication of the birdies on offer.
Most approaches will come from around 150 yards so you want players who are good with wedges.
$8 and $9K Range
Rafa Cabrera-Bello ($8,100) – I will happily take on most of the top guys and not roster them.
But Spain’s RCB stands out to me as he enters following a hot-fire 64 to close out his T10 finish at last week’s PGA Championship.
As I noted earlier, Simpson is a course horse but at $9,300 he needs a great finish to justify that price and I think you can save salary and play elsewhere.
RCB is 12th on Tour for strokes gained: approach this season. His iron game is elite.
Joaquin Niemann ($7,800) – He might be only 19 but the Chilean is making an impact on the PGA Tour.
The rookie has finally completed enough rounds to be officially tracked in the strokes gained metrics for the Tour and the results are eye-popping.
He is fifth for approach and 12th off the tee. He cannot chip (197th for strokes gained: around the green) but if you’re chipping at this course, you’re toast anyway.
He’s second on Tour for birdie average, perfect for this week.
Julian Suri ($7,000) – If Niemann was a chalky selection then Suri is more left-field.
The American is taking the Koepka approach to professional golf and has largely cut his teeth in Europe.
He has enjoyed a strong year and steadily climbed the world rankings. Suri was third in the field for strokes gained: approach at the PGA Championship last week.
Steve Stricker ($6,600) – The veteran may not have the upside to win the tournament but at the average price, he shapes as a steady cut-maker.
Getting 9/9 always puts you in a great position in Moneyball PGA DFS and Stricker can help you out.
He doesn’t play with great regularity but events where you can hit a wedge is right in his wheelhouse.
CT Pan ($6,200) – The 26-year-old thrives at short courses that rely on good iron play.
He has made four straight cuts and is 11th on Tour for greens in regulation percentage. Pan is another steady type.
Sam Ryder ($5,800) – Ryder is a player just inside the top 125 mark and is playing for his Tour card.
He’s made three straight cuts, including a T2 finish at the John Deere Classic recently, a similar course that relies on good short iron play.
He’s fourth on Tour for greens in regulation percentage, he just can’t putt. But bad putters can have hot weeks.
Ryder is top-45 on Tour in scoring average, putting him right in the mix among this field.
Richy Werenski ($5,800) – Werenski won’t wow you with stats but he has made three of his past four cuts.
He also finished T10 at this event last year and I like his iron play for a guy at this price.
Mackenzie Hughes ($5,400) – The Canadian, a one-time Tour winner, is finding his form again.
He’s super cheap and thrives on shorter tracks where his irons can come out and play.
Hughes has endured a horror season and sits well outside the top 125 in the FedEx Cup but has made five of his past six cuts. His only weekend off was at the gimmick stableford event – The Barracuda Championship – a fortnight ago.
Will Zalatoris ($4,900) – We are gifted the rare $4K range this week and Zalatoris looks the most enticing of the bunch.
You probably won’t need to dip down this low given the pricing is fairly soft but the 21-year-old is worth a look.
He played his college golf at the nearby Wake Forrest so would have played this course plenty of times.
He’s barely fired a shot on Tour but might be an interesting play if you need to save some salary.
Piece of Chalk: I can’t leave Joaquin Niemann ($7,800) out at this price.
Scrub-A-Dub: It’s ride or die with Sam Ryder ($5,800) this week.