Rock Me Mama like a Wagon Wheel - Targets for the Wyndham Championship

“Heading down south to the land of the pines
I’m thumbing my way into North Caroline
Staring up the road and pray to God I see headlights
I made it down the coast in seventeen hours
Picking me a bouquet of dogwood flowers
And I’m a-hopin’ for Raleigh, I can see my baby tonight”

You know the rest. You’re at the local watering hole and it’s closing time. Someone decides to put one last song on the TouchTunes. Sadly, as the chords begin to play, you’ve already heard the song 4 times tonight. No, it’s not “Despacito”, although that is one of my favorite jams of all time. Bob Dylan wrote it, Old Crow Medicine Show made it popular again and South-Carolina native Darius Rucker (of the once defunct but now incredibly touring by an act of God Hootie & the Blowfish) made it a No. 1 Country Hit on the Billboard Music Charts. I’m gonna “thumb my way” into our targets for the 2019 Wyndham Championship. Before I get into our Course Information and important metrics, I would like to say that we had a profitable week. Not life-altering, but good to know that the numbers are what they are for a reason. Congrats to Brooks Koepka for showing up (eventually) and winning. Nothing better than watching two class acts in Brooks and Rory going neck-and-neck to the end. Short 10.5 hour drive directly due East to Greensboro, North Carolina.

Helpful Course Information-

When: August 1st-August 4th, 2019

Where: Greensboro, NC

Course: Sedgefield Country Club | A Par 70 playing at 7197 yards

Last Year’s Winner: Brandt Snedeker at -21 under par (59-67-68-65)

Last Year’s Cut: -3

Course Arcitecht – Donald Ross in 1925 (The only Ross-designed course played annually on the Tour)

Greens – Bermudagrass

Key Skills: Strong Iron Play – SG: Approach

Key Metric: Par-4 Scoring, Performance on Bermuda Greens, Easy-to-Hit Greens, Weak Field Events, and Easy Courses.

Additional Metrics – Performance in the Carolinas, Local Knowledge – North Carolina Golfers – Greensboro/Raleigh Residents

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To begin the analysis for this week, in should be noted that the Wyndham Championship is the final tournament on the 2019 PGA Tour prior to the FedEx Cup Playoffs. There are a number of guys who are on the cusp of making the Playoffs, so though the field will be much weaker than in Memphis, don’t think that boys won’t be firing some low numbers in hopes of having their season continue. According to PGATOUR.COM, there are 13 players within 50 points of qualifying for the FECP, with notable names being Daniel Berger and Patton Kizzire. Further on back, but not completely out of it are Zach Johnson, Martin Kaymer, Jimmy Walker, and Bubba Watson. Strong play this week would help solidify an opportunity to play competitive golf well into August.

The profitable angles that I have defined for this week are, in no particular oder, as follows.

- Par 70 Scoring – Par-4 Scoring – SG: Approach – Performance on BermudaGrass Greens – Easy Greens – Weak Field Specialists – Local Knowledge

Par 70 Scoring
______________

Top 25 Performers on Par 70 Courses (since 2014)

Dustin Johnson (3.236 strokes gained:total)
Tommy Fleetwood (2.897 strokes gained:total)
Brooks Koepka (2.859 strokes gained:total)
Justin Rose (2.846 strokes gained:total)
Jason Day (2.817 strokes gained:total)
Tiger Woods (2.669 strokes gained:total)
Matt Kuchar (2.653 strokes gained:total)
Jordan Spieth (2.645 strokes gained:total)
Henrik Stenson (2.637 strokes gained:total)
Rory McIlroy (2.621 strokes gained:total)
Rickie Fowler (2.439 strokes gained:total)
Justin Thomas (2.434 strokes gained:total)
Jon Rahm (2.431 strokes gained:total)
Webb Simpson (2.397 strokes gained:total)
Paul Casey (2.302 strokes gained:total)
Hideki Matsuyama (2.194 strokes gained:total)
Tyrrell Hatton (2.17 strokes gained:total)
Sergio Garcia (2.144 strokes gained:total)
Xander Schauffele (2.128 strokes gained:total)
Francesco Molinari (2.097 strokes gained:total)
Chez Reavie (2.059 strokes gained:total)
Tony Finau (2.036 strokes gained:total)
Patrick Cantlay (2.006 strokes gained:total)
Shane Lowry (1.967 strokes gained:total)
Adam Scott (1.954 strokes gained:total)

Top 15 Par 70 Specialists
(Par 70 Performance vs. Expected Strokes Gained)

Davis Love III (0.915 sg:par70 vs. 0.012 sg:total)
Tim Herron (0.395 sg:par70 vs. -0.411 sg:total)
Ryan Armour (1.605 sg:par70 vs. 0.956 sg:total)
Ted Potter, Jr. (1.041 sg:par70 vs. 0.417 sg:total)
Shane Lowry (1.967 sg:par70 vs. 1.356 sg:total)
David Lingmerth (1.565 sg:par70 vs. 0.96 sg:total)
Chez Reavie (2.059 sg:par70 vs. 1.518 sg:total)
Tyler Duncan (0.929 sg:par70 vs. 0.396 sg:total)
Corey Conners (1.384 sg:par70 vs. 0.86 sg:total)
Brooks Koepka (2.859 sg:par70 vs. 2.336 sg:total)
Sangmoon Bae (0.686 sg:par70 vs. 0.178 sg:total)
Wesley Bryan (0.803 sg:par70 vs. 0.336 sg:total)
D.A. Points (0.207 sg:par70 vs. -0.254 sg:total)
Wes Roach (0.524 sg:par70 vs. 0.088 sg:total)
Stewart Cink (1.708 sg:par70 vs. 1.279 sg:total)

Shots Gained on Approach
________________________

Performance on Bermudagrass Greens
____________________________________

Top 25 Performers on Bermudagrass Greens (since 2014)

Rory McIlroy (3.164 strokes gained:total)
Dustin Johnson (3.106 strokes gained:total)
Tiger Woods (2.786 strokes gained:total)
Jason Day (2.742 strokes gained:total)
Tommy Fleetwood (2.692 strokes gained:total)
Justin Rose (2.601 strokes gained:total)
Justin Thomas (2.591 strokes gained:total)
Jon Rahm (2.518 strokes gained:total)
Henrik Stenson (2.501 strokes gained:total)
Webb Simpson (2.484 strokes gained:total)
Matt Kuchar (2.394 strokes gained:total)
Rickie Fowler (2.348 strokes gained:total)
Patrick Cantlay (2.336 strokes gained:total)
Bryson DeChambeau (2.257 strokes gained:total)
Marc Leishman (2.225 strokes gained:total)
Adam Scott (2.219 strokes gained:total)
Paul Casey (2.197 strokes gained:total)
Jordan Spieth (2.17 strokes gained:total)
Hideki Matsuyama (2.158 strokes gained:total)
Louis Oosthuizen (2.076 strokes gained:total)
Francesco Molinari (2.068 strokes gained:total)
Rafa Cabrera Bello (2.067 strokes gained:total)
Sergio Garcia (2.04 strokes gained:total)
Ian Poulter (1.996 strokes gained:total)
Luke List (1.995 strokes gained:total)

Top 25 Bermuda Specialists
(Bermuda Performance vs. Expected Strokes Gained)

Sam Burns (1.779 sg:bermuda vs. 1.017 sg:total)
Keith Mitchell (1.78 sg:bermuda vs. 1.198 sg:total)
Rory Sabbatini (1.49 sg:bermuda vs. 0.914 sg:total)
Nicholas Lindheim (0.577 sg:bermuda vs. 0.077 sg:total)
Chesson Hadley (1.37 sg:bermuda vs. 0.92 sg:total)
Kevin Chappell (1.935 sg:bermuda vs. 1.49 sg:total)
Luke List (1.995 sg:bermuda vs. 1.552 sg:total)
Austin Cook (1.74 sg:bermuda vs. 1.316 sg:total)
Webb Simpson (2.484 sg:bermuda vs. 2.067 sg:total)
Denny McCarthy (1.516 sg:bermuda vs. 1.099 sg:total)
Bryson DeChambeau (2.257 sg:bermuda vs. 1.848 sg:total)
Davis Love III (0.419 sg:bermuda vs. 0.017 sg:total)
Tiger Woods (2.786 sg:bermuda vs. 2.387 sg:total)
Lucas Glover (1.9 sg:bermuda vs. 1.515 sg:total)
Brian Gay (1.391 sg:bermuda vs. 1.026 sg:total)

Top 25 Performers on Easy GIR Courses (since 2014)
________________________________________________

Rory McIlroy (3.308 strokes gained:total)
Dustin Johnson (3.254 strokes gained:total)
Jason Day (3.038 strokes gained:total)
Hideki Matsuyama (2.561 strokes gained:total)
Justin Rose (2.559 strokes gained:total)
Tommy Fleetwood (2.536 strokes gained:total)
Justin Thomas (2.495 strokes gained:total)
Tiger Woods (2.425 strokes gained:total)
Jon Rahm (2.407 strokes gained:total)
Henrik Stenson (2.396 strokes gained:total)
Jordan Spieth (2.267 strokes gained:total)
Patrick Cantlay (2.265 strokes gained:total)
Tyrrell Hatton (2.26 strokes gained:total)
Phil Mickelson (2.238 strokes gained:total)
Webb Simpson (2.237 strokes gained:total)
Rickie Fowler (2.228 strokes gained:total)
Paul Casey (2.224 strokes gained:total)
Gary Woodland (2.206 strokes gained:total)
Xander Schauffele (2.205 strokes gained:total)
Brooks Koepka (2.158 strokes gained:total)
Adam Scott (2.126 strokes gained:total)
Bryson DeChambeau (2.089 strokes gained:total)
Sergio Garcia (2.057 strokes gained:total)
Patrick Reed (2.034 strokes gained:total)
Rafa Cabrera Bello (2.019 strokes gained:total)

Top 15 Easy GIR Specialists
(Easy GIR Performance vs. Expected Strokes Gained)

Anders Albertson (1.203 sg:easy GIR vs. 0.332 sg:total)
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (2.014 sg:easy GIR vs. 1.148 sg:total)
Cameron Champ (1.774 sg:easy GIR vs. 0.946 sg:total)
Patton Kizzire (1.429 sg:easy GIR vs. 0.836 sg:total)
Sam Ryder (1.652 sg:easy GIR vs. 1.089 sg:total)
Roberto Diaz (0.605 sg:easy GIR vs. 0.05 sg:total)
Nate Lashley (1.667 sg:easy GIR vs. 1.136 sg:total)
Harold Varner III (1.548 sg:easy GIR vs. 1.021 sg:total)
Tyrrell Hatton (2.26 sg:easy GIR vs. 1.78 sg:total)
Talor Gooch (1.48 sg:easy GIR vs. 1.036 sg:total)
Cody Gribble (0.317 sg:easy GIR vs. -0.116 sg:total)
D.J. Trahan (0.669 sg:easy GIR vs. 0.243 sg:total)
Davis Love III (0.433 sg:easy GIR vs. 0.017 sg:total)
Cameron Smith (1.694 sg:easy GIR vs. 1.291 sg:total)
Austin Cook (1.716 sg:easy GIR vs. 1.316 sg:total)

The Top 10 Weak Field Specialists
_______________________________

Kramer Hickok (1.337 sg:weak vs. 0.568 sg:total)
Andrew Landry (1.463 sg:weak vs. 0.734 sg:total)
Ryan Moore (2.359 sg:weak vs. 1.69 sg:total)
Anders Albertson (0.901 sg:weak vs. 0.332 sg:total)
Cameron Davis (1.294 sg:weak vs. 0.792 sg:total)
Austin Cook (1.806 sg:weak vs. 1.316 sg:total)
J.J. Spaun (1.452 sg:weak vs. 1.006 sg:total)
Michael Kim (0.7 sg:weak vs. 0.284 sg:total)
Abraham Ancer (1.442 sg:weak vs. 1.078 sg:total)
Anirban Lahiri (1.283 sg:weak vs. 0.936 sg:total)

Most weighted strokes gained against Weak Fields since 2014 are Charles Howell III, Nick Taylor, Ryan Moore, David Hearn, and J.J. Spaun.

Additional Metric – Performance in Hot Weather
__________________________________________

The forecast calls for upper 80s throughout the week, with plenty of humidity to boot. Just like the bermuda angle, golfers that grew up playing in the South will gain an edge in these conditions.

The Top 10 Hot Weather Specialists:

Jason Kokrak (1.975 sg:hot weather vs. 1.076 sg:total)
Whee Kim (1.126 sg:hot weather vs. 0.443 sg:total)
Ken Duke (0.607 sg:hot weather vs. -0.059 sg:total)
Aaron Baddeley (1.378 sg:hot weather vs. 0.723 sg:total)
Derek Fathauer (0.97 sg:hot weather vs. 0.373 sg:total)
Ricky Barnes (1.092 sg:hot weather vs. 0.503 sg:total)
Spencer Levin (1.056 sg:hot weather vs. 0.489 sg:total)
Webb Simpson (2.001 sg:hot weather vs. 1.436 sg:total)
Chad Campbell (1.543 sg:hot weather vs. 1.007 sg:total)
Andres Romero (0.736 sg:hot weather vs. 0.233 sg:total)

If we look at the percentage of rounds where a golfer gains 2 or more strokes over the field (in hot weather, above 85 degrees) then six of the top 15 live in North Carolina. I know it sounds like we’re getting nitty-gritty, but the statistics back it up.

Local Yokels – Golfers Who Reside in NC or Hail from NC
___________________________________________________

Harold Varner, III
Chesson Hadley
Kyle Reifers
Martin Laird
Johnson Wagner
Brendon de Jonge
Bill Haas
Will Mackenzie
Will McGirt
Grayson Murray
Webb Simpson
Doc Redman
Jason Kokrak

Performance in the Carolinas
__________________________

The Carolinas are right in the heart of Bermuda Country. Many TOUR pros either live in one of the Carolinas, or have a residence there. Because some are so familiar with the climate and grasses in this region, they see an advantage whenever the TOUR heads to one of these states.

These are the top performers in events played in North or South Carolina since the start of the 2013-14 season.

This angle is very useful, but extremely small sample size at this point. Use this as a last ditch tie-breaking sort of angle. The lists below are currently 20 rounds minimum to qualify, but that will increase to 25 as the sample sizes grow.

Top 25 Performers on Carolina Courses (since 2013-14)

Jim Furyk (2.137 sg:total)
Martin Kaymer (2.11 sg:total)
Luke Donald (1.571 sg:total)
William McGirt (1.259 sg:total)
Bill Haas (1.182 sg:total)
Robert Streb (1.145 sg:total)
Jason Kokrak (1.121 sg:total)
Scott Brown (1.092 sg:total)
Webb Simpson (1.082 sg:total)
Ben Martin (1.072 sg:total)
Kevin Kisner (1.011 sg:total)
Paul Casey (1.003 sg:total)
Brandt Snedeker (0.89 sg:total)
Roberto Castro (0.835 sg:total)
Ricky Barnes (0.825 sg:total)
Chris Kirk (0.806 sg:total)
Geoff Ogilvy (0.768 sg:total)
Hideki Matsuyama (0.718 sg:total)
Retief Goosen (0.716 sg:total)
Derek Ernst (0.661 sg:total)
Lucas Glover (0.578 sg:total)
Camilo Villegas (0.57 sg:total)
George McNeill (0.543 sg:total)
Patrick Reed (0.539 sg:total)
Shawn Stefani (0.534 sg:total)

Top 25 Carolina Specialists
(Carolina Performance vs. Expected Strokes Gained)

Derek Ernst (0.661 sg:carolina vs. -0.979 sg:total)
Martin Kaymer (2.11 sg:carolina vs. 0.571 sg:total)
Luke Donald (1.571 sg:carolina vs. 0.418 sg:total)
Geoff Ogilvy (0.768 sg:carolina vs. -0.343 sg:total)
Scott Brown (1.092 sg:carolina vs. 0.197 sg:total)
Roberto Castro (0.835 sg:carolina vs. -0.041 sg:total)
Ben Martin (1.072 sg:carolina vs. 0.209 sg:total)
Ricky Barnes (0.825 sg:carolina vs. 0.036 sg:total)
William McGirt (1.259 sg:carolina vs. 0.506 sg:total)
Lucas Glover (0.578 sg:carolina vs. -0.128 sg:total)
Jim Furyk (2.137 sg:carolina vs. 1.51 sg:total)
Jason Kokrak (1.121 sg:carolina vs. 0.542 sg:total)
Camilo Villegas (0.57 sg:carolina vs. 0.028 sg:total)
Robert Streb (1.145 sg:carolina vs. 0.606 sg:total)
Retief Goosen (0.716 sg:carolina vs. 0.181 sg:total)
Carl Pettersson (0.296 sg:carolina vs. -0.179 sg:total)
Morgan Hoffmann (0.436 sg:carolina vs. -0.038 sg:total)
Bo Van Pelt (0.331 sg:carolina vs. -0.134 sg:total)
Kevin Kisner (1.011 sg:carolina vs. 0.565 sg:total)
Scott Langley (0.419 sg:carolina vs. -0.018 sg:total)
Kevin Streelman (0.509 sg:carolina vs. 0.147 sg:total)
Webb Simpson (1.082 sg:carolina vs. 0.766 sg:total)
Bill Haas (1.182 sg:carolina vs. 0.873 sg:total)
Brian Stuard (0.33 sg:carolina vs. 0.057 sg:total)
Shawn Stefani (0.534 sg:carolina vs. 0.27 sg:total)

If you want to see a great history of how the field has fared in the past in the Wyndham, and how they’re playing currently, check out to @WhoDats2 ‘s Google Doc Some pretty obvious information at first glance.

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