DFS Yahoo Golf Talk: Wyndham Championship

It’s the final week of the PGA TOUR season which means crunch time for anyone sitting on or near the top-125 FedExCup bubble.

While some may reach in their bag and find a little extra this week, we shouldn’t rely on motivational narratives.

Instead, lets look at the course, Sedgefield Country Club, and dive into some stats that have been relevant here in previous editions,

Find the Fairway

Sedgefield Country Club is a classical course with a reputation for catering to shorter hitters. It’s not that longer hitters can’t compete here, they just lose some of their edge relative to an average TOUR course.

Here is what some of the pros say about keeping it in the fairway at Sedgefield CC:

“I think that’s something that’s going to be shown this week is not only putting the ball in the fairway, because out here you have to be playing from the fairway to be able to control wedges, but also see who’s able to attack flags and really control their golf ball with the short irons.” -Patrick Reed

“You have to get it in the fairway first, but if you do, you’re going to have a lot of short clubs and a lot of wedges.” -J.T. Poston

“This golf course is always about hitting fairways. I think if you hit fairways, you can get to some of the hole locations. But out of the rough, especially ball’s starting to knuckle a little bit, it’s getting a little drier up top, so you’re catching some flyers.” -Ryan Armour

Here are the leaders in recent fairways hit, over the last 12 rounds:

Chez Reavie
Andrew Putnam
Joohyung Kim
Zach Johnson
Satoshi Kodaira
Aaron Rai
Brian Harman
Tyler Duncan
Ryan Moore
Russell Henley
Billy Horschel
C.T. Pan
Kevin Streelman
Brice Garnett
Martin Laird

Joohyung Kim ($38): He’s wrapped up his TOUR card for next year so it’s playing with house money now in this final event of the regular season. He would need to win the event in order to be eligible for the Playoffs. That may be asking too much of the youngster but his elite accuracy should work well around this week’s classical Donald Ross design.

Sharp Short Game

When I took a five-year sample of podium finishers at the Wyndham Championship, one area stood out at first glance.

That category was short game (strokes gained around-the-green plus strokes gained putting).

My sample had 23 golfers that finished top 3 at Sedgefield and only four of them were losing strokes in the short game category in their 12 lead-in rounds. That ratio was best on the board, even higher than ball-striking which usually takes the cake.

What the numbers suggested was that you didn’t have to be gaining in both short-game categories but you better not be bleeding strokes in both.

Here are the top performers in strokes gained: short game over the last 12 rounds:

J.T. Poston
Vince Whaley
Denny McCarthy
Si Woo Kim
Austin Cook
Brendon Todd
Justin Lower
Adam Long
Scott Piercy
Billy Horschel
Keith Mitchell
Danny Willett
Taylor Pendrith
Harris English
Andrew Putnam

Si Woo Kim ($37): He’s missed the cut twice in six tries at Sedgefield but his good weeks more than make up the difference. Kim has four top 5s including a breakout 2016 win at the Wyndham. He has 12 measured events in his career where he’s gained at least four strokes around-the-green. It’s not easy to pick up that many strokes around the green but Kim finds a way.

Hopefully, these stats will give you some names to dive into when it comes to researching your final selections this week over at Yahoo!