The 2022 Wyndham Championship is on tap this week, and we’re betting heavily against Tony Finau winning his third event in a row.
But only because he isn’t playing.
As Finau enjoys some well-earned R&R, we’ll look for other ways to beat the books as play gets underway on Thursday at Sedgefield Country Club, in Greensboro, NC
This is the final tournament of the regular season, and slots are on the line for the Fed Ex Cup Playoffs, providing extra motivation for the likes of Rickie Fowler (No. 123), who sits just inside the top-125 bubble.
Fowler is a fan favourite, but not the odds-on favourite. Three players currently share that honour: Will Zalatoris, Shane Lowry and Sungjae Im are tied atop the betting board at 16-1, followed by Webb Simpson (18-1), who won his first PGA Tour event here in 2011.
Simpson loves the Wyndham so much he named one of his children after the tournament.
We can’t say the same about Andy Lack. But there are some bets Lack loves this week. GOLF.com’s expert prognosticator has been on a Finau-like hot streak, having cashed on two of his four picks at last week’s Rocket Mortgage.
Where is he putting his money this time around? Lacks four top picks, along with the reasoning behind them, are laid out below.
Lack is a pro. But if you also want to know where public opinion is leaning, keep reading. Below Lack’s picks, we’re sharing data from Chirp, a free-to-play mobile platform (and Golf.com) affiliate that allows you to engage with the action through a range of games.
To Win: Adam Long (+6000) (Odds available on DraftKings): Long is my top pick this week, and I was happy to scoop him at such an appetizing price. The former American Express winner is coming off a 16th place finish at the 3M Open, where he gained 0.3 strokes off the tee and 6.6 strokes on approach, good for the second-best iron week of his entire career. Long has now gained strokes off the tee in five straight starts, and over 2.5 strokes on approach in back-to-back starts, which helps explain his four consecutive top-25 finishes. He’s shown an ability to spike with the putter, gaining 9.1 strokes just a few weeks ago at the Travelers. He has also proven himself capable of keeping up in easier scoring conditions by winning the American Express at 26-under par. The 34-year-old is one of the most accurate drivers of the ball in this field, and he’s shown an ability to succeed on short, positional courses with multiple top-three finishes at the Mayakoba, to go along with some strong showings at Harbor Town and Colonial as best. The former Duke standout should be more than comfortable on a Carolina golf course this week, as Sedgefield bears a striking resemblance to the Washington Duke Inn golf course Long played in college.
Top 10: Aaron Wise (+360) (Odds available on FanDuel): Normally a popular name in the betting and daily fantasy community, Wise has drawn a surprising lack of chatter this week. The 26-year-old is coming off a 34th-place at the Open Championship where he gained 2.6 strokes off the tee and 1.7 strokes on approach. Ball striking has never been in question with Wise, but the improvements he’s made with the flat stick really have my attention. The 26-year-old gained over 4.5 strokes putting both at the Memorial and PGA Championship this year, and he’s shown his mettle this year with strong finishes in big events such as the Arnold Palmer Invitational, PGA Championship, Memorial, and US Open. I expect him to be firmly in the mix come Sunday afternoon.
Top 40: John Huh (+200) (Odds available on DraftKings): Coming off a Taylor Pendrith call in this category last week, I’m looking to channel the same energy this week down South. My numbers suggest that Huh is one of the more under-valued players in the field, and I will be happy to back him at +200 to finish in the Top-40 this week. The former Mayakoba champion is one of the more accurate drivers in the field, and he is a stellar wedge player as well. For this reason, it should not come as a surprise that he tends to do his best work short, positional courses such as Harbor Town, El Camaleon, Colonial, and Sea Island. While he might not possess the upside to win, I feel more than comfortable that he can find his way onto the first page of the leaderboard.
Matchups: Justin Rose (+126) over Brian Harman (Odds available on FanDuel): I tend to gravitate towards underdogs in matchups, as golf is one of the highest variance sports to bet on, and it was hard for me to pass up Rose at this number. The 10-time PGA Tour winner remains one of the best short iron players in this field over a large sample size, which has led him to countless high-end finishes at not just Sedgefield, but at other shorter, comparable Bermuda courses as well, including Waialae, TPC Sawgrass, Harbor Town, East Lake, Sea Island, and Innisbrook. Rose has shown flashes this year with Top-15 finishes at the Farmers Insurance Open, RBC Canadian Open, and PGA Championship, and I fully believe that he is still capable of winning at this level. Brian Harman, on the other hand, is undeniably a solid course fit at Sedgefield as well, but I have far less trust in his short iron play, and he is over-valued in the markets right now based on a sixth-place finish at the Open Championship that was largely due to him gaining 8.7 strokes putting. I expect Harman’s putter to regress, and I’ll gladly take my chances on who I believe to be the far superior player at plus money.
WHO THE BETTING PUBLIC LIKES TO WIN
More than 600 users have already made their picks for Chirp’s free-to-play Trifecta game, a healthy sample that gives us a sense where public sentiment stands. The Trifecta game calls for players to make three picks: a favourite, a contender, and a long shot, all categories based on the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s a look at the three top vote getters in each category, along with the percentage of votes they received.
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Favorites (players ranked 1-20)
Will Zalatoris (43.4 percent)
Billy Horschel (15.74 percent)
Sungjae Im (9.38 percent)
Contenders (players ranked 21-60)
Denny McCarthy (24.80 percent)
Stewart Cink (11.92 percent)
Cameron Champ, (9.54 percent)
Long Shots (players ranked 61 or higher)
Hayden Buckley (15.42 percent)
Taylor Pendrith (14.47 percent)
James Hahn (11.45 percent)