This week we are at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina for the Wyndham Championship. Webb Simpson is the defending champion. The winner will take home $936,000 and 500 FedEx Cup Points.
Sedgefield CC is a par 70 golf course that will be playing at 7,130 yards this weekend. The tees, rough and fairways are Bermudagrass. The greens are Champions Bermudagrass. In 2011, Sedgefield ranked as the 39th (out of 51) most difficult course on the PGA Tour. There are 48 sand bunkers on the golf course, in addition to 12 creeks and one pond. The greens are running at 12 feet on the Stimpmeter.
Expect scores to be low this weekend. Sedgefield is one of the easier tracks on Tour, and it's relative short length will provide scoring opportunities for even the shortest of hitters. We are looking for players who are putting well, hit a ton of greens and get a ton of birdie opportunities. Hitting fairways and scrambling well are secondary strengths that will also be an asset here.
Prior success at this venue is nice, but not necessary. I would rather go with a golfer who has been playing well recently rather than a golfer who is playing poorly but has had success here before.
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Webb Simpson (Starting)
I'm willing to overlook Simpson missing the cut last week at the PGA Championship. A lot of good golfers missed that cut. In his three prior events, Simpson finished T7, T29 and 1. Not to mention that he is the defending champion here. With a weak Group A this week, this is pretty much a no-brainer.
On the PGA Tour, Simpson ranks 26th in GIR (greens in regulation percentage), and 35th in putting (strokes gained putting). He also leads the PGA Tour in birdie average, and is 23rd in scoring average while coming in at 16th in the all-around ranking.
Nick Watney (Bench)
To be honest, I'm not expecting to need a bench option in Group A this week. But, I still have nine starts left for Watney, and he's the second-best player in the group this week. So why not throw him on the bench? Before missing the cut last weekend, Watney had finished in the top-23 at five consecutive events.
Also worth using: Sergio Garcia
David Toms (Starting)
Toms is probably the only Group B option that really jumped out at me this week. He finished T42 last week at the PGA Championship. Prior to that, he finished T4 and T8 in his last two events. He's been great here, finishing T17, 2nd and T24 the past three years.
On the PGA Tour, Toms ranks 7th in driving accuracy, which will help him here. He also ranks 18th in scrambling, which could also prove to be an asset. His lack of distance off of the tee won't hold him back here like it would at some other courses.
Tim Clark (Starting)
I'm gambling by starting Clark. But, Group B is weak, and you've gotta take some shots. Clark struggled early in the year after returning from injury. He's turned it on lately, finishing T15 and T11 in his last two events. The T11 came last weekend at the the PGA Championship.
Clark doesn't have the type of stats that jump off the page at you, but he does rank 5th on the PGA Tour in driving accuracy. He also ranks 25th in sand save percentage, which can't hurt on a course with a decent amount of bunkers.
Brandt Snedeker (Bench)
Snedeker has had a roller coaster season in 2012. He started off great and then tailed off. He appeared to be back in form with a T3 finish at The Open Championship, but he's gotten progressively worse in each event since.
With a weak field, and a course that can be scored upon somewhat easily, the conditions could align for Snedeker to have one of his better tournaments. He ranks 5th in putting on the PGA Tour, which will be huge here. He also ranks 7th in birdie average, and 27th in scoring average. Only his recent weak play keeps me from starting him here.
Nicolas Colsaerts (Bench)
I don't think I'm ever going to get to use Colsaerts in a tournament where Group B is at, or near, full strength. So why not throw him on the bench here? In five stroke-play events, he's finished no worse than T45. That includes impressive finishes at the U.S. Open (T27) and The Open Championship (T7).
Also worth using: Bill Haas, Blake Adams and Brendon de Jonge
Jason Dufner (Starting)
I've only got five starts left for Dufner, but he's the overall favorite this weekend, and I'm loathe to stick the favorite on my bench or not use him at all if I can avoid it. Dufner has been one of the best golfers on Tour this year, and he hasn't finished worst than T31 since February.
Dufner is one of the most accurate golfers on the PGA Tour, ranking 19th in driving accuracy and 7th in GIR. He also ranks 5th in birdie average, 5th in scoring average, 6th in total driving and 3rd in the all-around ranking.
Carl Pettersson (Bench)
If Pettersson was in Group B he would be starting for me this week. He has played very well recently, finishing in the top-36 or better in each of his last five starts. The most impressive was a T3 finish last week at the PGA Championship. Pettersson is the kind of boom-or-bust golfer who can produce very low scores sometimes.
On the PGA Tour, Pettersson ranks 11th in putting, 27th in birdie average and 16th in scoring average. Since I have the full 10 starts remaining for him, I can throw him in on the weekend if it looks like he could significantly outperform Dufner.
Also worth using: Henrick Stenson, Charl Schwartzel and John Daly
Picks for The Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge
Group One: Jason Dufner
Group Two: Jamie Donaldson
Group Three: Tim Clark
Group Four: Brian Gay
Weekly Survivor/Eliminator/Earnings Leagues (Full Season)
I do have some decent options here. Webb Simpson, David Toms, Brandt Snedeker and Carl Pettersson are all available to me.
Its funny, I generally either know exactly who I want to use, or I have to literally talk myself into making a pick. This week is one of the easy weeks. Carl Pettersson has been playing very well and he's probably to most likely to post some obscenely low score this week. Could he miss the cut? Sure. But I'm going with Carl Pettersson anyway.
Already used: Bryce Molder, Steve Marino, Bill Haas, D.A. Points, Martin Laird, Hunter Mahan, K.J. Choi, Rory McIlroy, Jarrod Lyle, Lee Westwood, Henrik Stenson, Charl Schwartzel, John Senden, Bubba Watson, Graeme McDowell, Luke Donald, Bo Van Pelt, Fredrik Jacobson, Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Justin Rose, Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson, Ben Curtis, Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Ryan Moore, Ryan Palmer, Brendon de Jonge, Sean O'Hair, Padraig Harrington, Blake Adams, Brandt Snedeker, Tiger Woods, J.B. Holmes and Robert Garrigus.
Weekly Survivor/Eliminator/Earnings Leagues (Season 2)
The more options I have available, the worse I seem to do. But never fear this week. Despite having Jason Dufner available, I would rather save him for an event with a bigger purse. So I'm also going to go with Carl Pettersson.
Already used: Jim Furyk, Webb Simpson, Steve Stricker, Lee Westwood, Brendon de Jonge, Bo Van Pelt, Tiger Woods, J.B. Holmes and Luke Donald
Good luck to all this week. If you have any comments or questions, please use the comments feature, or reach out to me on Twitter.
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