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Wyndham Championship betting tips and selections

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Welcome to a new installment of betting picks from Andy Lack, staff writer and host of the Pick the Pup Golf Show, a weekly golf betting podcast.

The PGA Tour travels to Greensboro, North Carolina, this week for the Wyndham Championship, the final event of the regular season. After the completion of the Wyndham, only the top 125 players in the FedEx Cup standings will qualify for next week’s Northern Trust, the first leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs. This should add an extra element of drama this week, as the likes of Justin Rose, Adam Scott, Tommy Fleetwood, Francesco Molinari, and Rickie Fowler all sit right on the bubble.

The host course is Sedgefield Country Club, a par 70 measuring just 7, 127 yards on the scorecard with Bermuda-grass greens and Bermuda-grass rough. The Donald Ross design has consistently yielded low scoring, as last year, 30 players finished at 10-under par or better. Players that thrive in easy scoring conditions and excel with their wedges will certainly have a leg up. Let’s dig into my outright selections.

Sungjae Im (31-1, FanDuel)

Sungjae Im has been one of the most volatile players on the PGA Tour this season, certainly to the point where I have had a difficult time gauging where his game is at. With that being said, I actually like the fact that he’s got the Olympics in his rear-view mirror now. The former Honda Classic winner can simply go back to doing what he does best: obliterating short Bermuda courses.

In two appearances at Sedgefield Country Club, Im has finished sixth and ninth. I know last week’s 46th at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude wasn’t entirely impressive on the surface, but he did lose a combined 6.2 strokes around the green and putting. On the other hand, the ball-striking actually came back. Im ranks 13th in this field in average strokes gained per round in easy scoring conditions, and 10th in this field in average strokes gained per round on Donald Ross courses. Sedgefield is a perfect spot for Sungjae Im to pick up career win number two.

Russell Henley (35-1, BetMGM)

Russell Henley is a player I will continue to back so long as his iron play remains this elite. Over his last 36 rounds, the University of Georgia product ranks second in strokes gained approach, 17th in opportunities gained, second in proximity from 125-150 yards, and seventh in that key proximity distance of 150-175. Nearly 50 percent of Sedgefield’s approach shots come from between 125-175 yards, and Henley ranks number one in this field in weighted proximity from that yardage range.

While I wish the number was a little bit larger, Henley now returns to a course that sets up perfectly for him, as evidenced by a ninth-place finish last year. Bermuda has been his best surface by a mile, and the three-time PGA Tour winner also ranks number one in this field in average strokes gained per round in easy scoring conditions. Henley was my first bet of the week, and I firmly expect him to be in the mix come Sunday afternoon.

Kevin Streelman (60-1, UNIBET)

I feel like we might be stealing here with Kevin Streelman. The Duke University product was 30-1 at the Travelers Championship and 25-1 at the John Deere Classic. Now he’s 60-1, in a comparable field, on a course that suits his game to a tee. While Streelman did miss the cut at both of those events as one of the betting favorites, he came back the very next week to finish 19th at The Open Championship! I think we can capitalize here on recency bias and catch a bigger number than Streelman deserves.

Over his last 36 rounds, the tw0-time PGA Tour winner ranks 11th in strokes gained approach, sixth in opportunities gained, 15th in fairways gained, and eighth in that key proximity distance of 150-175 yards. 60-1 is an excellent number for a player who rates out second overall in my model.

Talor Gooch (65-1, FanDuel)

Talor Gooch has been on my radar for quite some time now as a potential break-out candidate. The Oklahoma State product just continues to make cuts and consistently competes against the world’s best. Gooch has made 13 of 16 cuts this season, including seven in a row. I like looking at major championships to identify if lesser-known players might be better than their perception, and Gooch quietly finished 33rd in the Open Championship and 44th at the PGA Championship this summer, despite little to no experience in either of those majors. Less we forget that earlier this year, Gooch also finished fifth at the Players! Point being, Gooch is a real player.

While there is nothing about Sedgefield that screams Talor Gooch to me, he did finish 25th here last year, while gaining 6.7 strokes ball-striking. He also gained 2.7 strokes putting the last time he was on Champion Bermuda-grass, at Quail Hollow. I have high hopes for Gooch long term, and I feel strongly this is the week he puts it all together.

Zach Johnson (80-1, UNIBET)

For all the Kevin Kisner talk this week, Zach Johnson is objectively hitting the ball better, owns similarly strong course history, and is available at a much bigger number. I am aware that Zach Johnson is never a sexy choice, but over his last 24 rounds, he ranks fifth in average strokes gained per round on Donald Ross courses, seventh in average strokes gained per round at Sedgefield, and first in Bermuda-grass putting.

Even more than the course fit, the 12-time PGA Tour winner has my attention because of his recent iron play. Johnson has now gained over 4.5 strokes on approach in back to back starts. Unfortunately, that only resulted in a 25th and a 34th because he lost strokes putting in both of those tournaments. The two-time major champion now returns to his beloved Bermuda-grass greens, or more specifically, Champion Bermuda greens. Johnson gained 5.8 strokes putting earlier this year at Quail Hollow on Champion Bermuda. If he continues this level of iron play, and experiences some positive regression with the flatstick, Johnson is live to win this tournament.

Mark Hubbard (170-1, DraftKings)

This is admittedly more of a dart throw, but Mark Hubbard really stood out to me as a player who could make some noise this week. In his last two starts at Sedgefield, the San Jose State product has finished 24th and 15th. He is coming off a ho-hum 43rd-place finish at the Barracuda Championship, but prior to that, he gained seven strokes ball-striking at the 3M Open.

Similar to Zach Johnson, the strongest aspect of Hubbard’s game is his putting. I am always willing to take a stab at excellent putters who may have found something from tee to green. Hubbard has gained strokes on approach in four consecutive starts, and off the tee in four of his last five starts as well. On the other hand, his putting has been no better than field average. I expect Hubbard to return to his baseline with the flat-stick, and if the ball-striking persists, “Homeless Hubs” will be firmly in the mix come Sunday afternoon in Greensboro.

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