This week’s PGA Tour stop at the Wyndham Championship marks the final event of the regular season, meaning the field is surfeited with players on the fringes of the FedExCup Standings hoping to secure entry into the playoffs, where extra-lucrative earning potential awaits. There are fewer stars playing this week, but that just increases the chances that a high-yielding longshot ends up atop the final leaderboard.
Here are our favorite bets, the best values, and the players to avoid:
The lowest odds for the Wyndham Championship this week go to the man with the third-highest world ranking, No. 20 Webb Simpson. What we like best about Simpson’s chances are that he literally has the least pressure on him of anyone in the field.
At No. 12 in the FedExCup Standings, he is guaranteed a deep playoff run, and he clinched a spot on the American Ryder Cup team by being in the top eight of the standings after the PGA Championship.
The extremely consistent North Carolina native has finished in the top 25 in 13 of 21 starts, and has been a horse for Sedgefield, winning the Wyndham in 2011 and notching four addition top-11 finishes since.
Rafa Cabrera Bello (22-1)
The suave Spaniard got his 2018 season off to a fantastic start, but went MIA for most of the summer, struggling badly from the US Open through the Open Championship. However, after his two recent starts, a T17 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, and a T10 at the PGA Championship, Cabrera Bello has announced to the golf world that he is back. RCB finished T3 in his last Wyndham start (2016), and he should be extra motivated, as he is trying to make his case for the European Ryder Cup team, a team that he excelled on two years ago.
Julian Suri (45-1)
An American who has only made eight professional starts on U.S. soil, Suri went the Brooks Koepka route of getting his career going by making a name for himself in Europe. He won twice in Europe last year, and has made a mark on the PGA Tour as of late, making his last eight cuts, and contending through three rounds at last week’s PGA Championship.
He also finished runner-up at the French Open last month. Now No. 60 in the world rankings, Suri looks very close to making his move in America, and we think there is a good chance it happens in the state where he played his college golf (Duke), against a much weaker field than he faced in his successful PGA Championship debut.
BEST LONGSHOT VALUES
The 33-year-old Xavier product has been appearing on more leaderboards in 2018, but has taken a bigger step forward as of late, with three finishes inside the top 20 in his last four starts, including a third place finish at The Greenbrier. A 68-67 start at the PGA Championship got Kokrak into contention going into the weekend, and he added another 67 on Sunday to finish T19. He showed a strong iron game at Bellerive, ranking third in the field in greens in regulation. We like his hot form to continue this week, at a place where he finished T16 a year ago.
Another player who hits fairways and makes cuts, Gay is having a resurgent year and brings that improved game to Sedgefield off five top 20s in his last nine starts. For a small hitter, he has shown an ability to go low, as evidenced by his 35th place ranking on Tour in scoring average.
His recent history at Sedgefield is poor, but healthier in 2018 than he has been in years, we think there is a good chance that changes in this year’s edition.
Three consecutive missed cuts have sent Armour’s odds north, but given that two of those three were in the first two major starts of his career, we think they are forgivable.
Currently 41st in the FedExCup standings, Armour stands a good shot of a deep playoff run, and we like his standing to improve even more on a course where he had rounds of 61 and 64 in a T4 finish a year ago. His game strongly resembles that of Henrik Stenson and Davis Love III, who have two of the past three Wyndham titles.
The steady veteran is in the midst of another solid season, making 16 of 23 cuts and is currently a lock to make the playoffs. However, at 111th in the standings, he is only guaranteed to go one round, and we think he will be exceptionally motivated to get that number in the double digits.
The 42-year-old opened last year’s Wyndham 63-66 before faltering on the weekend, with a 67 and three 68s in his last four Sunday rounds, we think he could stay hot for all four rounds this year, making him an intriguing option at 125-1 odds.
If the defending champion is healthy, 16-1 odds is a steal with his game in this field, but given that he has poor results in his last three outings, we do not know that he is past a recent elbow injury, and feel that he should be getting more of a premium for the risk. There is just not enough reward to go all-in on Stenson.
The former FedExCup Champion went on a mini-tear in April, but has been mostly awful since winning the Zurich Classic teamed up with Scott Piercy.
His only high finish in the past three months came at an opposite field event, and he went on to miss the cut at the RBC Canadian Open the following week. His odds seem to be based on name recognition, and he is too streaky to depend on.
Moore won the 2009 Wyndham in a playoff against Jason Bohn and Kevin Stadler, but has been nothing special in the event since. He is a cut-making machine, but does not birdie enough holes for us to feel confident placing money on him in an event where the winning score was in the -20s the past two years.
With poor finishes in two recent weaker-field events; a missed cut at the Travelers Championship and a T55 at the John Deere Classic, we are hesitant to factor strength of field into Moore’s chances.
FULL FIELD AND ODDS TO WIN
Wyndham Championship | Sedgefield CC |Greensboro, NC | Aug. 16-19, 2018