The PGA Championship was a fantastic tournament enjoyed by all – most notably Justin Thomas, who bagged the first major title of his career and a healthy paycheque into the bargain. You suspect it won’t be his last.
There is a tinge of sadness though in knowing the PGA Tour season is almost at its conclusion. The now traditional curtain call, the FedEx Cup play-offs, will start next Thursday for four weeks and that, to all intents and purposes, will be that for 2017.
But don’t feel too sad as there are still numerous opportunities to make some tasty betting profit, and this week’s event, the Wyndham Championship at the Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina, looks ripe for the picking.
Sedgefield is a short Par 70 course where the premium is on not only finding the fairway but also creating the perfect angle into these smaller than average greens. This is the archetypal ‘second shot’ course, where firing short irons into close proximity of the pin is the difference between success and failure. Is it any wonder that Si-Woo Kim, Luke Donald and Hideki Matsuyama, the first three players home 12 months ago, also ranked 1, 2, 3 in the Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green metric?
The matter of FedEx Cup qualification could be a factor. Each event has ranking points attached to it, and while the top-125 make it into the tournament proper there is still a chance for anyone ranked between 126 and 150 to force their way into the reckoning this week.
With all of the above in mind, where is our hard earned money going?
Wyndham Championship Winner: Ryan Moore (28/1)
The six-time PGA Tour winner is just starting to find some form after a season disrupted by injury and a lack of confidence.
His 28th place finish at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational was a sighter of his renewed vigour, and that was backed by a 13th place return from the PGA Championship last week. Anybody who finished in the top 30 at a tricky Quail Hollow course has to be hitting the ball sweetly.
Most notably, the 34-year-old ranked seventh at the PGA for Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green – as effective a marker of current form as you are likely to find – so all of the components of his game are working well.
We say ‘all’, but the putter has often been a thorn in the side of Moore. However, at Sedgefield there’s a premium on getting your ball as close to the pin as possible from the fairway – this is not a putting contest by any means, and having won this event in 2009 and finished tenth in 2014 we’re confident that Moore is the man for the job this week.
Wyndham Championship Top 10 Finish: Bud Cauley (4/1)
This talented young ball striker has returned five top-10s and a whole bunch of top-25s this season, and on a course that suits there’s no reason why Cauley can’t go close once again.
He’s in form right now having just missed out on a top-10 finish at the John Deere Classic, and for the most part he was excellent at the PGA Championship as well.
Outstanding from tee-to-green, all that’s missing from Cauley’s CV is a PGA Tour title, and you’d have to think his best shot will come in a weak field tournament like this one.
Wyndham Championship Top 20 Finish: D.A. Points (6/1)
At one stage during the PG Championship Points was battling it out for the lead – not bad for a 750/1 shot!
He did eventually fade away but that’s not a surprise given he’s a short hitter and Quail Hollow was playing monstrously long when wet.
That course didn’t really suit but Sedgefield does, as a pair of top-20s in his last three visits attests, and the 6/1 on him to repeat the feat here – he’s 220/1 outright by the way – is fair game considering he has a PGA Tour title to his name already this season at the Puerto Rico Open.
Wyndham Championship Top Asian: Byeong-Hun An (5/2)
Another who was excellent from tee-to-green at Quail Hollow was Byeong-Hun An, and the Korean – who has been quietly fancied to emulate compatriot Si-Woo Kim and win this tournament this week – is a must play in the Top Asian market.
He was tied for eighteenth here last year, and has finished in the top ten at other courses designed by Sedgefield architect Donald Ross this season.
He’s brilliant with short irons in hand, and with Sung Kang withdrawing through injury the door is absolutely ajar for An to do the business for punters in this market.