Memorial Golf

The Cheat Sheet provides fantasy golf players with course information, player history and the most noteworthy trends of the week to help them with their roster selections.

The Field

This is the final full-field event before the PGA Tour playoffs start. There is scheduled to be 150+ starters here and many of them will be anxious to improve their standing in the current FedEx Cup ranks. For reference, the top 125 in the FedEx Cup race will gain admittance to next week’s tournament (The Northern Trust) and also automatically get full Tour status for next season. After that, players will receive only conditional status and/or be relegated to the Korn Ferry Tour (formerly the Web.com Tour) playoffs for the rest of the season.

It’s a huge week for players on the bubble and a story to monitor this week. Even though this is a “less than marquee event” there’s still some interesting names at the top. Jordan Spieth (searching for his first win since 2017) was a late entry into this event, and he’ll be joined by the likes of Hideki Matsuyama, 2011 Wyndham winner Webb Simpson and Paul Casey. Aussie Cameron Smith, Swede Alex Noren and Dane Lucas Bjerregaard also are in attendance and give the field some serious international flavor. As per the usual, the cut this week will be after Friday’s round and will consist of the top 70 players and ties getting to play the weekend.


The Course

Sedgefield Country Club, Greensboro, North Carolina

Par 70, 7,100-7,200 yards

Sedgefield Country Club is a Donald Ross-designed course that’s hidden inside the suburbs of Greensboro, North Carolina. It’s been the host of this event since 2007. Sedgefield isn’t long at 7,100 or so yards and in past years it’s yielded some low scores, including last year, when the winner (Brandt Snedeker) shot 59 in Round 1 and won at 21-under par. The greens here are Bermuda (since 2012), and they can be slightly tricky and in general play quite fast; although it should be noted as they have matured, scores here have gotten lower. This is important to note as players with affinities for Bermuda grass and quick greens will have an advantage here as the green complexes tend to be one of Sedgefield’s best defenses against low scores.

The course itself is a nice mix of challenging holes and some extremely moderate-to-easy ones. As a traditional par 70 there are two reachable and birdie-able par 5s on this track, and any player hoping to be in the mix will have to play these two in well under par for the week. Additionally, there are numerous par 4s where the players generally will be given short wedge opportunities into the green as eight of the 12 par 4s on the course measure in at under 450 yards in length. While this means lots of scoring opportunities, there are holes that will challenge the player’s ability to make par, including the finishing two holes, which play as par 4s and can each measure in at more than 500 yards, depending on setup.

Sedgefield will be less about pure length or power and more about getting the ball in the correct position in the fairways as past winners almost always have found themselves in the top 20 in fairways hit for the week and in approaches. Players will have to have a good week with their iron and putters here as the winning score has failed to exceed 17-under only once over the past eight seasons.

2019 Weather Report: There’s almost nothing in the way of wind here to worry about, as the current forecast isn’t showing any gusts above 10 mph all week. That being said, there is the possibility of some poor weather. Thunderstorms and rain are forecast for most of the day Friday and could spill into Saturday as well. The good news is much these are “scattered” storms, so it’s possible they either miss the course or just cause small stoppages. We should expect a wet course, though, and if that does play out, it’s possible we see the scoring record here approached as fast greens are this venue’s only defense. Don’t be shocked if someone challenges for another round of 59 here again.


Past five winners

2018—Brandt Snedeker -21 (over Webb Simpson -18)
2017—Henrik Stenson -22 (over Ollie Schienderjans -21)
2016—Si Woo Kim -21 (over Luke Donald -16)
2015—Davis Love III -17 (over Jason Gore -16)
2014—Camillo Villegas -17 (over Bill Haas and Freddie Jacobson -16)


Winning Trends

— Five of the past eight winners of this event had recorded a top-10 at Sedgefield CC before their respective victory here.

— Of the past eight winners of this event, only two have finished outside the top 15 in Driving Accuracy for the week (Reed 2013 and Snedeker 2018).


Statistics

Driving Accuracy
Strokes Gained: Approach
Par 4 Scoring, Par 4 Efficiency between 400-450 yards

As mentioned above, Driving Accuracy tends to be a stat that shows up here year after year. This course does contain some easy-to-hit fairways, but at the same time requires good placement off the tee to take advantage of what is generally an easier setup. Of the past eight winners, only two have ranked outside of the top 15 in Driving Accuracy for the week.

Par 4 Scoring is also a stat to look at here. Strong par 4 scorers like Webb Simpson and Sergio Garcia are included in the past winners and, since 2012, none of the winners here have been worse than fifth for the week for Par 4 Scoring. For Par 4 Efficiency scoring, eight of the 12 par 4s in play this week will fall between 400-450 yards, making that a distance to emphasize.

Strokes Gained: Approach on a course like Sedgefield is also a must. Like TPC Deere Run and other shorter, technical tracks on the schedule, hitting fairways and great short iron play is the key to giving yourself a ton of birdie chances around this week’s venue. The past three winners all had dominant weeks with their irons, with 2018 champ Snedeker ranking third in approaches in the field last season.


Finding Values

Odds to win are one factor to think about when picking players (but not the only thing, so be careful of putting too much weight on them). This section is going to detail a few of the players who have the best fantasy value comparative to their odds of winning this week.

Player: Alex Noren
DraftKings Price: $8,800
Odds to Win: 40-1

Comparables:
Chez Reavie $9,300 and 40-1
Rory Sabbatini $9,200 and 40-1
Matthew Wolff $9,400 and 50-1

Player: Adam Hadwin
DraftKings Price: $8,500
Odds to Win: 45-1

Comparables:
Martin Kaymer $8,600 and 50-1
Lucas Glover $8,700 and 50-1
Charles Howell III $8,900 and 50-1


HORSES FOR COURSES

1. Webb Simpson (best finishes: win-2011; T2-2018): On top of being the winner from 2011, Webb hasn’t missed the cut here in his past nine starts and has finishes of T8, T6, T5, third and T2 from last year, to go with his win. He quite literally named his daughter after this event (it’s true, her name is Wyndham Rose) and gets lead horse privileges this week.

2. Brandt Snedeker (best finishes: win-2018): Snedeker has played the Wyndham 10 times since 2008 and posted four top-10 finishes here in that span. He shot a 59 in Round 1 last year on his way to winning. He doesn’t have any kids named Wyndham, but he’ll be looking for a repeat win here this year, nonetheless.

3. Bill Haas (best finishes: T2-2014): Haas has a very solid record at this event as well, having made eight of his past 10 cuts here. On top of having a great record of making the weekend at this event, Haas has finished T22 or better in five of his past seven visits to Sedgefield and also comes in this year with decent form.

4. Rory Sabbatini (best finish: T4-2017): Sabbatini doesn’t have the longest history at this event, but his form is worth noting. He’s gone T4 and T8 here in two of his three appearances since 2013 and has a solid Bermuda grass track record overall. He was T57 here last year but comes in this season with some of his best overall form in years.

5. Patrick Reed (best finishes: win-2013): Reed made this event his maiden win back in 2013, when he defeated Jordan Spieth in a playoff. The 2018 Masters champion has played this event four times and has finished outside the top 25 only once, and that was way back in 2011.


DFS STRATEGY

Cash Games: You really have to pay a premium this week for some of the better course horses at this venue, so seeing Patrick Reed ($9,700) come in at less than $10K seems like decent value and a good anchor play. Hyper-consistent Rory Sabbatini ($9,200) and Joaquin Niemann ($9,100) both set up well as targets in this format, too. If you’re going balanced, you also will be able to target more high-end $7K players, too, so the likes of Kyle Stanley ($7,700), Bill Haas ($7,600), Russell Knox ($7,500) and Vaughn Taylor ($7,400) are in play.

Tournaments: Sentiment has to be quite low right now on Paul Casey ($9,800), who has put together back-to-back uninspiring efforts. The Englishman likes this venue, though — he nearly won here in 2015 — and both his recent Tour wins have come on Bermuda green venues. Under Casey, both Alex Noren ($8,800) and Martin Kaymer ($8,600) deserve some consideration based on both their world ranking and recent form. Noren was inside the top five last week after 54 holes and finished T11 at The Open. After them, some GPP punts to consider include the likes of Russell Henley ($7,800), Josh Teater ($6,900), Tom Hoge ($6,600) and Charlie Danielson ($6,100).


Top Recent Form

1. Webb Simpson: A runner-up finish in Memphis last week confirmed Webb is building some really good form. He has missed just one cut all season and is top-15 in SG: Putting and Approach on the year.

2. Patrick Reed: Reed has finished T12 or better in three of his past four starts. The ball-striking numbers continue to be strong as he was second in SG: Tee to Green last week in a strong field.

3. Lucas Glover: Glover has had a nice run of form over the past month with finishes of T7-T10 and a T20 at the Open Championship. He has sharpened up his putting of late and is all the way up to 49th in SG: Putting on the season.

4. Vaughn Taylor: Taylor has made seven cuts in a row with finishes of T4 and T6 over his past two starts. The veteran is another player whose putting has turned upwards this year and enters the week ranked fifth in SG: Putting.

5. Bronson Burgoon: Burgoon has made five cuts in a row coming in and finished a tidy T6 last week at the Barracuda.


MY PICK: Martin Kaymer ($8,600)

Kaymer checks a lot of boxes for me this week, so it should come as no surprise to people who follow me on Twitter (@thefantasygrind) that I’m featuring him. A near win at the Memorial in June was followed by a string of solid play in Europe, where he finished T16-T9-T20 against strong fields. Kaymer’s solid play of late still left him short of getting into The Open, his first missed major in a long time, but he’s been quite vocal about how motivated he is to ensure he doesn’t miss anymore of the world’s biggest events.

His focus turns to making the PGA playoffs, and since he enters this week ranked 146th in the FedEx Cup rankings, he’ll need a massive week to get in. Kaymer has experience at Sedgefield, though, finishing T20 (’13) and T14 (’15) here in two starts, and notable is the fact two of the eight competitive rounds he played here saw him shoot 64 or better. Coming off a solid week at the Barracuda (an event at altitude he never played before), Kaymer should be much more comfortable on the Bermuda surfaces of Sedgefield, a venue that mimics TPC Sawgrass in several regards — the place of one of Kaymer’s greatest triumphs. He’s my pick to take down the last regular season event of the season.


MY SLEEPER: Josh Teater ($6,900)

Teater’s playing some solid golf of late and comes into this event ranked 165th in the FedEx standings. He’ll need a big week to push into the top 150, which would give him some conditional status on Tour next season and looks like he’s in good enough form to make that happen. T6 and T13 his past two times out in swing events, Teater’s ball-striking has been solid in both those starts, ranking first in Greens in Regulation at the Barbasol and inside the top 20 in Driving Accuracy at both events.

There also has been a noticeable consistency from Teater over the past couple of months as, even when he’s not been as sharp, he’s been making cuts and carries a seven-for-eight made cut run into this week. The 40-year-old has experience at Sedgefield, too, and this week will mark his seventh career start here. In six previous starts he finished T37 or better on four occasions and arguably carries some of the best form of his career into this week’s event. He checks off a lot of boxes for DFS purposes and should be considered solid value at less than $7K.


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