PGA Tour Odds and Predictions: Wyndham Championship
by Alan Matthews - 8/18/2011
With all due respect to the Wyndham Championship, which begins Thursday at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., this tournament is never going to get a top-flight field when it remains sandwiched by the final major of the year, the PGA Championship, and the start of the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs, which start next week.
Thus you won’t find really any of the top European players or the likes of top Americans such as Steve Stricker, Phil Mickelson, Keegan Bradley (last week’s winner) or Tiger Woods playing this week. Tiger, off his implosion at the PGA Championship, will not make the FedEx Cup playoffs because he is out of the Top 125 in points and obviously can’t accumulate any this week. Makes you wonder if he really cares all that much about golf.
Speaking of FedEx Cup points, that’s the story of this week – getting in that Top 125. And there are some big names other than Tiger who would miss out right now. For example, former major champions Angel Cabrera, Ernie Els and Padraig Harrington are all outside the Top 125. Els is in the best shape at No. 126. Harrington is at 130 and was supposed to take a vacation this week but gave that up. Cabrera, at No. 150, likely has to finish in the Top 8 this week to get inside the magic number. Els is 50/1 on Bodog to win this week, Harrington at 40/1 and Cabrera at 80/1.
According to PGATour.com, every player in the field not yet inside the Top 125 could still make the playoffs with a win this week and all but three players -- Carl Paulson (No. 243), Skip Kendall (No. 257) and Jerod Turner (no ranking) -- could earn enough points with a second-place finish to move inside the Top 125. The only two players between 90 and 125 in the FedEx Cup standings not playing this week are Graeme McDowell (92nd) and Paul Goydos (93rd). Both are expected to stay inside the magic number no matter what happens here. Camilo Villegas is currently the bubble boy at No. 125.
PGA Tour Odds: Wyndham Championship Betting Favorites
David Toms is the Bodog favorite this week at 12/1. His career resurgence really started at this tournament last year, when he fired a final-round 64 to nearly catch eventual winner Arjun Atwal. Toms arrives with back-to-back Top 10s against two of the strongest fields of the season.
Bill Haas is the second-favorite at 20/1. Haas has yet to win this year but has come close with two playoff losses. He has made eight consecutive cuts and has finished at 13 under and inside the Top 30 here each of the last two years. Webb Simpson is 20/1 with Haas. Simpson, a North Carolina native, is overdue for his first victory. He missed the cut last week but was playing extremely well before that. Simpson was eighth in Greensboro in 2010.
PGA Tour Odds: Wyndham Championship Interesting Long Shots and Pick
Last year Atwal opened with a 9-under 61 and followed with three more rounds in the 60s to win by a single stroke over Toms. Atwal, who matched the course record with his 61, won for the first time on the PGA Tour. He was the first Monday qualifier to win a PGA Tour title since Fred Wadsworth won the 1986 Southern Open and first player born in India to win on Tour. Atwal is 125/1 to repeat.
Wouldn’t it be nice to see Jason Dufner (40/1) win this week off his epic collapse at the PGA Championship? The guy did play great for 68 holes and there is a precedent for this sort of thing. The week after Toms choked away the Players Championship, losing in a playoff to K.J. Choi, he won the next week at Colonial.
An off-the radar long shot worth considering is Garrett Willis at 66/1. He needs a good result to get into the Top 125 in points and was runner-up when Sedgefield hosted a Nationwide Tour event back in 1999. Willis has gone Top 15 in this tournament the past two times he has played it and enters off back-to-back Top 25s on Tour this year.
I actually like Els at 50/1 as the best value this week for my Wyndham Championship predictions, followed by Willis.
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