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Scott Shapiro's Wyndham Championship preview

Profile Picture: Scott Shapiro

August 11th, 2020

Behind a chip-in birdie on the 14th hole and an eagle on 16, 23-year-old Collin Morikawa separated himself from a bunched leaderboard on the back nine to capture the 2020 PGA Championship by two strokes.

The former Cal star has won twice since the restart and has cemented himself as one of the top choices for PGA Tour Player of the Year.

The Fed Ex Cup Playoffs start next week, so Morikawa and a large percentage of the world’s best will take this week off, after the emotional wear and tear of a major. But the field is a bit stronger than usual for this week’s Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club in North Carolina.

Golfers teeing it up in Greensboro will encounter a par-70, 7,100-yard configuration, with Bermuda greens. Expect the winning score to better than 20-under this week. Driving accuracy, strong iron play, and knocking down birdies will be imperative.

I will focus on players who regularly hit the ball in the fairway off the tee, rank high in strokes gained approach, and score well on par 4s between 400 and 450 yards, since there are eight of those at Sedgefield.

Webb Simpson and Brooks Koepka sit atop the outright market on BetAmerica.

Wyndham Championship 2020 - Winner

Thu, August 13 2020, 11:00 AM

Webb Simpson

+900

Brooks Koepka

+1000

Patrick Reed

+1600

Tommy Fleetwood

+1600

Paul Casey

+1800

Justin Rose

+2000

Harris English

+2500

Shane Lowry

+3300

Billy Horschel

+3300

Sung-Jae Im

+3500

Simpson was unfortunately a bit overmatched by the length needed last week at TPC Harding Park, but he has had tremendous success in this tournament. The 2012 U.S. Open champion finished second in the Wyndham in 2019 and has finished in the top six in five of the last six years.

I prefer him to Koepka, who appeared poised to make a run at a third consecutive Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday, but shot a disappointing 4-over in the final round to finish 10 strokes behind Morikawa.

Neither Simpson or Koepka would be a surprise this week in Greensboro, but I am going to look to a couple players who provide a bit more value.

Russell Henley (+5000)

The Georgia native got off to a slow start in the PGA Championship, but birdied three of the final four holes Thursday. He followed that up with solid play throughout the final three rounds, including a final-round 68. Add a few more made putts, and he would have been in contention over the weekend.

The three-time winner on the PGA Tour finished 31st in the Wyndham last season and has a lot of the attributes I am looking for at Sedgefield. Henley ranks first in the field over the last 24 rounds in strokes gained approach, ranks in the top 25 in driving accuracy, and does his best putting on Bermuda greens.

I like his chances to perform well in North Carolina and love his price. He is my top pick.

Harris English (+2500)

Like Henley, English did not contend in San Francisco, but he played well and finished 19th. The 31-year-old missed the cut in the first event after the hiatus, at the Charles Schwab Challenge, but since then has rattled off four consecutive top 20 finishes.

Combine that with a solid course history, which includes an 11th-place finish in 2018, and you have a player poised to win his first event since 2013.

English ranks in the top 30 in the field over the last 24 rounds in birdies or better gained and strokes gained approach. He is also one of the best putters in the field.

I am not in love with his price to win the tournament, because he has not had a nose for the winner’s circle, but it is big enough to include on this week’s card.

Good luck this week. See you next Tuesday for the start of the playoffs!

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