2022 Korn Ferry Tour Championship Odds, Expert Picks: Matti Schmid and Seonghyeon Kim Lead Top Plays
Via Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Matti Schmid of Germany plays his shot from the second tee during the first round of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship at OSU GC – Scarlet Course on August 25, 2022 in Columbus, Ohio.
The Korn Ferry Tour reaches its conclusion this week with 25 PGA TOUR cards on the line.
About half of those cards have been locked up and are heading to a mix of PGA TOUR vets who have slid down the rankings like David Lingmerth, who won last week, and younger up-and-comers like Will Gordon, who took the Boise Open playoff event.
For many in this field, this event determines which tour they’ll be playing next year.
For the fourth straight season, Victoria National Golf Club will play host to this event. It measures 7,242 yards for a par 72.
The course has been a regular stop on the Korn Ferry Tour since 2012, and prior to this spot on the calendar as the season finale, it had played fairly difficult. But in the previous three seasons, 18-under was the minimum needed to claim the title. Before that, the lowest score had been 12-under by Seamus Power in 2016.
It’s not overly long, so with challenging rough and water in play on 12 holes, I’d lean more toward precision players this week.
Matti Schmid +4500 BetRivers
I’ll start here with Schmid, who made my card last week and finished inside the top 10. Schmid is really long and good with the irons. While this has been more of a course that rewards accuracy off the tee, if bombers can stay dry, they’ll overpower it. That would be Schmid’s path to success here.
A familiar setting at the Barbasol turned this Louisville alum’s season around, and he’s notched top-10 finishes in three of his last five starts worldwide. Schmid should have his card all but locked up, even with a missed cut. Consequently, I’d expect him to go for broke in contention this week, while others may take a more conservative approach is their PGA TOUR status is on the line.
Seonghyeon Kim +5500 BetRivers
Seonghyeon Kim locked up his PGA TOUR status fairly early into the 2022 season, and that may have affected his play over the past few months. However, we’ve seen an uptick in his results during the playoff events as he’s finished sixth and 11th over the past two weeks.
The stats didn’t really show it this year, but he’s been a solid iron player in the past in Japan and Korea, where he’s won on both tours. Winning on the KFT seemed like the next logical step. He came close on a few occasions but never came out on top. But with the form on the rise again, I’ll try him again at this price.
Austin Cook +6000 BetRivers
Austin Cook slid into the KFT playoffs this year and accomplished enough in the first two events to lock up his PGA TOUR status for next season. He was fourth in Boise and has been inside the top 25 his last two starts here, including 11th last year. When Cook is on his game, he’s fairly precise off the tee and solid with irons, which should help keep him out of trouble here. It’s become more of a putting contest of late with easier conditions, and Cook has been above average on the greens for most of his career as well.
Brian Stuard +9000 bet365
Brian Stuard is another guy who plots his way around the course and can seemingly avoid trouble. He’s pretty much got his card locked back up. Basically a made cut will do it, and even with a miss, he’s probably still safe after two solid results so far. Stuard hasn’t played the course in quite a while but was 11th here in 2012. His skill set seems to fit with what is needed.
Satoshi Kodaira +10000 DraftKings
Satoshi Kodaira is another accurate driver who has played well recently. He’s coming off an 11th in Boise, which fit his eye pretty well. The missed cut last week at the Scarlet Course is one I can look past since a 7,500-yard course isn’t really ever going to work for him. As mentioned, trouble lurks in a lot of places here, and he’s shown his ability to hit fairways under pressure, much like when he notched his win at Harbour Town earlier in his career.
Byeong Hun An +12500 bet365
Byeong Hun An went through a major slump after locking up his PGA TOUR card, but he has seemingly found his game again in the playoff events. He’s finished 18th and 22nd the last two weeks and was 20th here a year ago. So the form and course fit should line up.
We also saw Joseph Bramlett win here last year, and they are fairly similar players. Both are strong drivers and good iron players who struggle near the greens. With the water in play this week, precise ball striking is usually a requirement for success.
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