WATCH: GOLFER COMPARISON – JASON DUFNER AND BILL HAAS
The PGA Tour is staying in North Carolina for another week, as Sedgefield Country Club plays host to the Wyndham Championship. Here are a few names to consider from every price range.
Kevin Kisner ($11,300) – He is going to be looking to improve on his T7 finish at the PGA Championship last weekend, where his 72-74 over the weekend made it impossible for him to capitalize on his hot start Thursday and Friday. It’s tough when a top-10 in a major is disappointing, but he will look to bounce back on a course where he has had plenty of success, with top-10 showings in each of his last two trips.
Bill Haas ($10,200) – His recent performances this year have been somewhat uninspiring, so this pick is really just about course history: in the last five years, he has never been outside of the top-25 here, and has been inside the top-10 on multiple occasions. He might not have been able to crack the top of the more elite leaderboards, but his spots inside the top-40 or so in almost all the Strokes Gained categories (with the exception of Off-the-Tee) might indicate an advantage on a weekend like this one.
Webb Simpson ($10,000) – A former winner here, he has been all over the top-15 nearly every year this decade. But in his case, it’s not just his course history, but his recent performances that should give you some confidence as well. He has made eight straight cuts, a stretch that includes four top-20 showings. Last weekend at the PGA Championship he recovered nicely from an opening round 76 to shoot 70-72-69 over the final three rounds, an improvement he will look to carry forward to this weekend.
Bud Cauley ($9,200) – He has been inside the top-10 twice here before, and has quietly moved well into the top-50 in Scoring Average on tour for the year, something he can even hope to improve on again this weekend at Sedgefield CC as he looks to add his sixth top-5 performance this season.
James Hahn ($9,000) – He is coming off consecutive top-15 finishes, including a T13 last weekend at Quail Hollow. While he might not be the very best on the greens or off the tee, when he is on his game, he does everything on the course reasonably well. He has positive Strokes Gained stats in every category, and that kind of consistency hole-to-hole makes him an option for me in any format contest this weekend.
Chris Stroud ($8,600) – Hard to ignore this weekend after following up his win at the Barracuda Championship with a T9 at the PGA – if he plays the same game again, he will end up near the top of the leaderboard. But consistency has never been his strong suit, so his game could just drop off a cliff this weekend, making him more of a tournament play only for me. But the 64 he closed with at Montreux gives a glimpse of the kind of potential he adds to your lineup in that format.
Scott Brown ($8,200) – He finished T3 here in his last appearance in 2015, and he is returning in the midst of an up-and-down stretch where he has been mixing missed cuts with very useful fantasy performances. He has missed three cuts in his last seven appearances, but also has three top-25s. He’s going to look to build on the T13 from the PGA last week at a course he has succeeded on before.
Sam Saunders ($8,100) – He was inside the top-15 here in his first appearance two years ago, and right now is someone for whom it is easy to trust that course history. He was T8 last weekend in Nevada, his third top-25 in the last month. He’s played 13 of his last 16 rounds in the sixties, averaging more than 18 birdies a weekend over these last four weeks. He hasn’t scored fewer than 74.0 fantasy points in any of those tournaments, even while finishing only T55 at the Barbasol Championship.
Kevin Tway ($7,800) – His very best results of the season were a while ago at this point, but he has turned that early success into a very respectable season of golf so far. He has made 17-of-22 cuts on the year and was inside the top-15 as recently as the John Deere Classic a few weeks back. At 57th in Total Strokes Gained on tour for the season, he has the ability to make as many shots as just about anyone in the field this weekend, making him a nice upside play for the price.
Rory Sabbatini ($7,200) – He is at a point in his career where he might not be able to sustain success over an entire season, but he is currently on a run of five straight made cuts, with four of those performances landing him inside the top-25. I will certainly take that value at this price. He has been striking the ball well off the tee and with his irons, and on this course, that should leave him with more than enough scoring opportunities for him to prove to be an excellent fantasy contributor.
Tyrone Van Aswegen ($7,100) – He is entering the weekend on the heels of six straight made cuts, and back-to-back top-20 performances. He has averaged 16 birdies a weekend over that six-week stretch and hasn’t had a single round over par since the Greenbrier Classic over a month ago. That’s a run of consistency that makes him an intriguing option in any format contest.
Peter Malnati ($6,900) – He hasn’t missed a cut since May, playing in all of these weaker field events. Last weekend at the Barracuda Championship, he fired a 66 on Sunday to move up the leaderboard to T27, and finished with 22 total birdies. That kind of scoring will be necessary this weekend, and Malnati can keep it up with his prowess in the short game (31st in Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green and 24th in Strokes Gained: Putting).
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