2023 Wyndham Championship Preview: Everything To Know About Sedgefield Country Club
The Wyndham Championship is the final stop on the 2023 PGA TOUR regular season schedule. We’ll head to Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina as many of the world’s best will jockey for position in FedEx Cup playoffs. Find golf odds at the best sports betting sites to increase your potential payouts. Sungjae Im, Sam Burns and Justin Thomas are the favorites for this year’s Wyndham Championship odds.
For most golf fans, the most anticipated event of the year is likely a major. For me, the Wyndham Championship is the event I mark my calendar for and clear out my weekend plans. It’s taken the entire 2023 PGA TOUR season, but the main event has finally arrived as the PGA TOUR heads to Greensboro, N.C. at Sedgefield Country Club. It’s the final PGA TOUR event before the FedEx Cup Playoffs begin. Let’s start our weekly preview with a look at Wyndham Championship odds.
For anyone unfamiliar, the 2021 Wyndham Championship was the site of the clairvoyant Kevin Kisner guaranteed-win prediction. It was a controversial take at the time, considering he’d finished at the bottom of the leaderboard at the WGC FedEx St. Jude in the week prior. His effort to sandbag with the purpose of boosting his betting odds in the following week has since become known as “Kisnering.” Since then, I’ve committed to a tradition of hyper-focused research and full-fledged conviction on one outright winner at the Wyndham Championship each year to follow.
Out of content obligation and no pleasure of my own, I’ve made the trip up to Rochester this weekend to more intimately familiarize myself with the intricacies of Donald Ross’ work on the greens of Oak Hill. I have no doubt that the sacrifices I’ve made to get here will manifest in yet another successful Wyndham Championship outright betting week.
The Wyndham Championship really does lend itself to confident betting. Its high concentration of eight par 4s in the 400-450 yard range, funneled approach shots from the 100-175 yard range, and nuanced, undulated Donald-Ross designed Bermuda greens have produced repeatable results for accurate putting specialists. It’s a great week to lean heavily on course and comp course history. As we’ve seen at recent summer birdie fests, it should reward elite putters and wedge players with emphasis especially on Driving Accuracy and Bermuda Putting. We’ll run through the key facts and info about Sedgefield CC for the 2023 Wyndham Championship.
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WYNDHAM CHAMPIONSHIP ODDS: THE FAVORITES
Find favorites with odds 20-1 or shorter below when sportsbooks release odds Monday afternoon. Scroll to the bottom to compare complete outright odds.
THE FIELD AT A GLANCE
With the beginning of the FedEx Cup Playoffs looming next week, most elite players have opted to skip this week and instead rest up before the three-week playoff push which starts in Memphis. However, with the new FedEx Cup Playoff qualifications reducing from the top 125 to the top 70, we’ll see a far more competitive middle tier of talent than ever before at this event.
The Wyndham Championship lacks a headliner without any OWGR top-15 players present, but Sam Burns, Justin Thomas, Sungjae Im, Hideki Matsuyama, and Shane Lowry represent a solid contingent of top-30 OWGR players. Burns is the only OWGR top-20 player in the field, and is assuredly here primarily to build his case as the last man on the USA Ryder Cup team.
Other notables in the field include Russell Henley, Denny McCarthy, Si Woo Kim, Adam Scott, Billy Horschel, and Ludvig Aberg.
2022 champion, Tom Kim will not return for his title defense, instead opting to rest up after sustaining a freak ankle injury in Hoylake. Much to my disappointment, Kevin Kisner will not be back to defend his 2021 title either.
Past winners of the Wyndham Championship who are back to tee it up this week include Jim Herman, JT Poston, Si Woo Kim, Davis Love III, Webb Simpson, and Ryan Moore.
INTRODUCTION TO Sedgefield CC
Standing at 7,131 yards, Sedgefield CC represents your prototypical short, positional course on the PGA TOUR. It rewards precision off the tee over distance and calls for a repeated dosage of wedges and mid-iron approaches. The top-10 players in SG: TOT at Sedgefield CC are Webb Simpson, Sungjae Im, Russell Henley, Billy Horschel, Si Woo Kim, Brandt Snedeker, Jim Herman, Rory Sabbatini, Zach Johnson, and Ryan Moore. That paints an explicitly clear picture that driving distance means very little at this course. Elite putting skills, short irons, and positioning off the tee are what separate players from the field.
How It Breaks Down
As a par 70, Sedgefield CC features a standard mix of two par 5s, four par 3s, and 12 par 4s. The 7,131 yardage falls just below TOUR average from a per-hole standpoint. What makes Sedgefield CC so unique, and so repeatable for top course horses, is its concentration of short par 4s. Eight par-4s measure between 400-450 yards. That in turn has produced an average of nearly 30% of approach shots from 150-175 yards, well above the TOUR average.
The top 10 in Par-4: 400-450 are Russell Henley, JT Poston, Byeong Hun An, Taylor Montgomery, Chris Kirk, Lee Hodges, Chez Reavie, Adam Scott, Luke List, and Hideki Matsuyama. From the funneled range of 100-175 yards, the top 10 in Proximity to the hole are Lucas Glover, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Thomas, Chris Kirk, Chez Reavie, Justin Lower, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Sam Ryder, Kevin Roy, and Greyson Sigg.
Beyond the par 4s, the course features two very reachable par 5s and two short par 3s under 175 yards. Contenders have historically capitalized and scored in what has typically been known as a birdie-fest most years.
Just six holes at Sedgefield CC have a scoring average above par. That includes the two 500+ yard par 4s and two 225+ yard par 3s. The 507 yard par-4 18th is the most difficult hole on the course. It has produced some very exciting finishes on Sundays, recently including the six-man playoff in 2021.
For Sedgefield CC course specs, hole-by-hole breakdown with yardages, and past Wyndham Championship winners with their pre-tournament odds, visit our Wyndham Championship odds page.Editor’s Note
COURSE HISTORY AND COURSE COMPS
Similar to Donald Ross’ Detroit Golf Club, I’m viewing long-term putting — especially on Bermuda greens — as a prerequisite skillset for success at this event. On the complete other side of the putting spectrum compared to last week’s 3M Open, this is not a week where any given player can catch a streaky putter and win. Combine that putting emphasis with a concentration of wedge shots and premium on driving accuracy, and we start to see a very repeatable list of names in contention year over year.
Course history has proven highly predictive of future success at this event. Course stalwarts like Webb Simpson, Si Woo Kim, Patrick Reed, Billy Horschel and Kevin Kisner have each done well regardless of preceding form. That group alone has accounted for 22 top-10 finishes and four wins over the last eight years.
Of that group, Simpson still stands out as the king of Sedgefield CC. He’s finished inside the top 10 in 10 out of 13 career appearances, including a current stretch of five consecutive finishes of T7 or better prior to his withdrawal from the 2022 Wyndham Championship. It is one of, if not the, most dominant displays of course history by any individual on the PGA TOUR. With that said, after the break up of his longstanding partnership with Paul Tesori, it’s clear Simpson’s career is on the decline, and he will be available at the longest odds we’ve ever seen over the decades the Wake Forest alum has been coming to Greensboro.
Nine players have avoided missing the cut here over the last five years with a minimum of three appearances: Sungjae Im, Billy Horschel, Chesson Hadley, Scott Piercy, Chris Kirk, Richy Werenski, Mark Hubbard, Russell Knox, and Michael Gligic.
Only six players have recorded multiple top-10 finishes over the last five years: Webb Simpson, Sungjae Im, Billy Horschel, Russell Henley, Si Woo Kim, and Rory Sabbatini. Notables to record a top-15 in one prior appearance include Ben Griffin, Sam Burns, Max McGreevy, Taylor Moore, Brandon Wu, Taylor Pendrith, and Davis Riley.
I always weight comp course history highly in my weekly models, but the correlation on comp short, easy, Bermuda tracks is as strong here as any other course on the PGA TOUR. So, I’ll put a significant premium on comp course history this week in an effort to overlook results on driver-heavy or difficult scoring venues.
We have many options for comps to Sedgefield CC but Harbour Town, Waialae CC, and Sea Island Resort stand out as the three best. All fit the sub-7,200 yardage, Bermuda greens, easy scoring conditions, emphasis on driving accuracy and overlapping success from players like Webb Simpson, Russell Henley and Kevin Kisner.
In addition to these, I also like TPC River Highlands, TPC Deere Run, and Colonial CC as angular, positional courses which emphasize accuracy and precision with short-to-mid irons.
Detroit Golf Club and East Lake each share the same Donald Ross connection and are also worth a closer look, particularly for reference putting on similarly designed greens.
Combine performance across this list and the top-10 players in Comp Course History here are Justin Thomas, Russell Henley, Alex Smalley, Keith Mitchell, Sungjae Im, Hideki Matsuyama, Mark Hubbard, Brendon Todd, Shane Lowry, and JT Poston. No, I am not interested in betting Justin Thomas this week, regardless of how deep his odds plummet to.
KEY STATS TO CONSIDER
- SG: APP
- Fairways Gained
- Prox 100-175
- SG: Putting (L36) / SG: P (Bermuda) / 3-Putt Avoidance
- Birdies or Better Gained
- Par-4 Scoring: 400-450 Yards
- SG: Ball Striking (<7,200 Yard Courses)
- Course & Comp Course History
Although Sedgefield CC has proven the easiest course on the PGA TOUR to gain strokes on approach, it’s still very much a point-and-shoot golf course. The best iron players in the field have typically contended. The top-10 players in SG: APP entering this week are Mark Hubbard, Alex Smalley, Hideki Matsuyama, Lucas Glover, Chez Reavie, Aaron Rai, Russell Henley, Adam Schenk, Nate Lashley, and Shane Lowry.
While SG: OTT has proven relatively inconsequential at this event, strength in positioning on a shorter course goes a long way in maximizing scoring opportunities for contenders. The top-10 in SG: OTT on short, positional courses this week are Justin Thomas, Russell Henley, Shane Lowry, Hideki Matsuyama, Sungjae Im, Luke List, Cameron Champ, JT Poston, Chris Kirk, and Adam Svensson.
The recipe for success at Sedgefield CC simply boils down to hitting a high clip of fairways and greens in regulation, and then making putts. Total SG: Putting, SG: Putting (Bermuda) and 3-Putt Avoidance have all been highly predictive. The top-10 putters weighted across those key categories are Brian Gay, Denny McCarthy, Sam Ryder, Sam Burns, Alex Noren, Justin Suh, Adam Scott, Eric Cole, Brendon Todd, and Andrew Putnam
Looking broadly across these three key categories of Driving Accuracy, SG: APP, and Weighted Putting, just seven players rank top-50 in each: Denny McCarthy, Brendon Todd, Andrew Putnam, Adam Hadwin, Carson Young, Chez Reavie, and Christiaan Bezuidenhout.
Honing in on the key categories of Prox: 100-175, Comp Course History, Fairways Gained, Par-4: 400-450, SG: OTT, (Positional Courses) and Weighted Putting, nine players rate above average: Chris Kirk, Sungjae Im, Chez Reavie, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, JT Poston, Adam Svensson, Chesson Hadley, Cameron Percy, and Satoshi Kodaira.
Looking at the correlation charts this week, there is a clear emphasis on approach play and putting when compared to the TOUR average. SG: APP, Total Proximity, SG: Short Game and SG: P each make significant jumps inside the top 10 of importance at Sedgefield CC. Further, the next stat just outside the top 10 at Sedgefield CC is 3-Putt Avoidance, a testament to the severely undulated and sloping Donald Ross greens. On the other hand, Par-3 Scoring, Par-5 Scoring and Par-4: 450-500 take the largest steps back in terms of importance.
Only 11 players in the field rank above average in each of the above 10 key stat categories: Sungjae Im, Chez Reavie, Mark Hubbard, Denny McCarthy, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Austin Eckroat, Doug Ghim, Adam Schenk, Andrew Novak, Michael Kim, and…Adam Hadwin.
PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: ADAM HADWIN
It’s been a very eventful year for Adam Hadwin, from getting tackled on the 18th green at the Canadian Open to falling just short of Rickie Fowler in a playoff at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. But throughout all the distractions in 2023, Hadwin has pretty quietly forged himself a safe position in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, ranking No. 37. That’s a very comfortable place to be leading into the final event of the season, as he won’t feel the pressure of needing to qualify for the playoffs, but will still be motivated to improve his standing inside the top-30 for an eventual trip to East Lake.
Hadwin may still be chasing his first win since 2017, but can draw plenty of inspiration from Brian Harman who just overcame the exact same drought two weeks ago. He came his closest just two starts back at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, ultimately losing in the aforementioned three-man playoff to Rickie Fowler. A comparable easy-scoring Donald Ross design, Detroit Golf Club has served as a strong indicator of better results to come at the Wyndham Championship, as demonstrated by players like Kevin Kisner, JT Poston, and Adam Hadwin himself. Hadwin has a pair of top-4 finishes to his name at the Rocket Mortgage Classic to go along with a career best T11 finish in his latest appearance at the Wyndham Championship
Following the Kisner Playbook
Kevin Kisner’s 2021 win was foreshadowed by strong course fit of elite iron play and spike putting, comp positional course history, comfortability putting on Bermuda greens, and solid leading form masked by an outlier poor performance in the week prior to inflate the value of his outright odds. In 2023, no player checks those same four boxes better than Adam Hadwin, who has the aforementioned course history to back it up.
From a course fit standpoint, Hadwin is one of just seven players to rank top-50 in Driving Accuracy, SG: APP, and Weighted Putting. That simple formula has been highly predictive of success at this event, even from 2022 debutant Tom Kim who checked the same three boxes leading into this event last year.
In terms of comp course history, five of Hadwin’s seven top-20s this season have come on short and positional courses, ranking No. 14 in the field in SG: TOT on Comp Courses. Bermuda greens have been a comfortable surface for Hadwin as well, as he’s average over 2 strokes gained putting over his last three events on Bermuda.
With a T2 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and T12 at the RBC Canadian Open over his last five starts, it’s clear Hadwin has rounded into form to close out the 2023 season. At last week’s 3M Open, Hadwin failed to see the weekend after posting -2 through two his first two rounds. Two water balls at TPC Twin Cities, including a shank on 18 he’d like to forget, amounted to over 3 strokes lost on approach. If we remove these two shots, Hadwin otherwise gained over a full stroke on approach for the week, so his approach form is not as lost as the final stats may suggest. And with five consecutive events gaining on approach leading into the 3M, I expect that form to continue with a couple extra days of prep before the Wyndham Championship.
A reliable fairway finder with a longstanding history of going low in birdie fests by spiking with his irons and putter, Hadwin passes the eye test while also rating out well statistically for Sedgefield Country Club. With inflated odds coming off of his missed cut at the 3M Open, Adam Hadwin will be your 2023 Wyndham Championship winner.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR AT THE 2023 WYNDHAM CHAMPIONSHIP
The Wyndham Championship always brings some sneaky drama for a field of its caliber. The stakes will be palpable this week as players will take their final cracks at either qualifying for the FedEx Cup Playoffs, or improving their positions for a deeper run towards East Lake. With just 70 players advancing to the first round in Memphis this year, it will be fun to watch the drama unfold, and see which players prove capable of outplaying their Wyndham Championship odds in a do-or-die situation.
With all the course-fit profiles in mind, I’m leaning early towards the below player pool. Naturally, I’m looking their way in the 2023 Wyndham Championship odds as well. I’ve broken the list down by projected pricing/odds tier for DraftKings.
2023 Wyndham Championship Model Breakdown
In my model, I’m emphasizing SG: APP, Comp Course History, Par-4 400-450, Prox: 100-175, and Weighted Putting (L36, Bermuda, and 3-Putt Avoidance), followed by a more balanced mix of SG: Ball Striking (<7,200 Yard Courses), Fairways Gained and Birdie or Better Gained.
“To Henley, or not to Henley?” is naturally the first question every Wyndham Championship bettor must ask themselves. Russell Henley tops the model yet again at this event, and enters with top-10 finishes in each of his last three trips to Greensboro. With its premium on driving accuracy, approach proximity with wedges, and putting on Bermuda greens, Sedgefield CC continues to be a picture perfect set up for Henley’s game. Whether he can exorcise his demons and convert a win at this, that’s another story.
After Henley, the rest of my model’s top 10 features Hideki Matsuyama, Chris Kirk, Sungjae Im, Chez Reavie, Eric Cole, Sam Burns, Mark Hubbard, Denny McCarthy, and Shane Lowry.
When odds open on Monday, I’ll center my card around presumptive 2023 Wyndham Championship winner Adam Hadwin but will also leave room on the card for players like Denny McCarthy, Eric Cole, and Chez Reavie if odds are appealing.
Check back in later this week for more updates, and best of luck navigating the 2023 Wyndham Championship odds!
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