The major championship season is over, which some 200+ professional golfers not named Brooks Koepka might consider a good thing, but the excitement on the world’s premier tour is far from finished.
This week, the PGA Tour travels to Greensboro, North Carolina for the Wyndham Championship, an event famous for being won eight times by legendary golfer Sam Snead, including the final victory of his record 82-win career in 1965, at the age of 53.
While the field does not compare to what Bellerive Country Club could boast at last week’s PGA Championship, this spot in the schedule is critical, as it is the final week before the FedExCup Playoffs begin. Those who do not already have a ticket for next week’s Northern Trust Open have important work to do this week at Sedgefield Country Club.
Many very talented players are on hand this week, and the following are the 15 we feel stand the best chance of ending the PGA Tour’s regular season in the winner’s circle:
15. Danny Lee
Many DFS and Cash Game aficionados have sworn off Danny Lee completely out of pure frustration. In a 10 game stretch starting with a T7 finish at THE PLAYERS Championship where he played in the final Sunday pairing, Lee has also added finishes of T6, T14, T15, and T21, all nice results for the 28-year-old Kiwi who has a spot in the FedExCup Playoffs locked up (currently 107th).
However, Lee’s other five starts in that span were four missed cuts and a DQ. Those who still have the patience for Lee might be tempted to gamble on him again this week in a relatively weak field, but it is difficult to blame those who do not think he is worth the headache.
One thing that has been consistent about Lee? He has missed his last four cuts at Sedgefield, although, in 2016 he opened with a 65 before a second round 76 sent him home. Do not try to figure him out; it’s painful.
World Rank: 128
FedExCup Rank: 107
Last Six: 6, 21, DQ, MC, MC 15
14. Joaquin Niemann
The 19-year-old Wunderkind has had a tremendous first season as a professional, with four top 10s in 11 starts. Niemann is well beyond his years with an iron in his hands, as he currently ranks 2nd on Tour in greens in regulation and 5th in strokes gained: approach-the-green.
However, his current status on Tour means his FedExCup points do not count… unless he can win a tournament. Needing to come in first place to extend his dream season, Niemann is a great bet to leave everything he has out on the course.
World Rank: 157
FedExCup Rank: NA
Last Six: 71, 37, 23, 5, 17, MC
13. Steve Stricker
The 12-time PGA Tour winner might be 51 years old, but it would be unwise to count him out of the Wyndham Championship, an event that Sam Snead once won at 53 (the last of his record 82 career victories), and that Davis Love III won just three years ago at 51.
Stricker has made nine of 11 PGA Tour cuts this year, with four of those leading to top-25s, and he has been dominant on the PGA Champions Tour, with two wins and two runner-ups among six 2018 starts on the Senior circuit. He has not played this event since finishing T12 in 2006, but with his experience, accuracy, and short game, it seems certain that he will feel plenty comfortable at Sedgefield.
World Rank: 155
FedExCup Rank: 141
Last Six: 50, 43, 20, 18, 32, 23
12. Russell Henley
After a career year in 2017 that ended on a high note, with a T3 in the Tour Championship, the 29-year-old Henley found 2018 to be more difficult. He has just three top 10s in 20 events, but there have been highlights, including a T15 at The Masters and a T25 at the U.S. Open.
He stayed hot after the U.S. Open, with a T6 at the Travelers, and a solo-10th at The Greenbrier. His last two starts, however, which have both been majors, is making difficult to tell where his game is.
At The Open Championship, he got off to an excellent start with a first round 69, but a second round 80 caused him to miss the weekend. At last week’s PGA Championship, he was awful on Thursday (74) and Saturday (71), but shot a 65 in round 2 and a 68 in round 4.
Henley might be the biggest wild card at the Wyndham, an event he has only played once (T46, 2016). He is one of the best player in the field, but can he put four rounds together?
World Rank: 55
FedExCup Rank: 81
Last Six: 50, MC, 10, 6, 25, 29
11. Ryan Armour
While Ohio State Buckeye football fans await the results of an investigation that could make-or-break one of their most talented teams ever, they should take solace in the fact that one of their own, Ryan Armour, is having a fantastic season on the PGA Tour.
With a victory and a runner-up among his best finishes, Armour sits at No. 41 in the FedExCup standings, and feels assured of a deep playoff run. He has missed the cut in his last three starts (although two of those three were the first two major starts of his career), but could very well get back on track at Sedgefield, where he finished T4 last year, shooting a Friday 61 and a Sunday 64.
Armour is a not a bomber, but is very accurate off the tees, which could also be said about Henrik Stenson and Davis Love III, who have won this event in the past three years.
World Rank: 112
FedExCup Rank: 41
Last Six: MC, MC, MC, 21, 2, 56
Navigate to next 5