Wyndham Championship Round 2 Buys & Fades: Buy Si Woo Kim, Kevin Streelman, More at Sedgefield
Getty Images. Pictured: Si Woo Kim (left) and Kevin Streelman.
The first round of the final regular-season tournament for the PGA TOUR came to an abrupt halt on Thursday afternoon. as inclement weather stopped the Wyndham Championship before most of the afternoon wave could finish their opening round.
Several of the big names who teed it up this week, including Webb Simpson and Hideki Matsuyama, had to wait out a delay but were eventually able to finish up. Simpson bounced back from a double on his opening hole, to post a starting 65.
Russell Henley was the story of the day on the course, though, as he shot an opening 62 to take the first-round lead by two shots over the rest of the morning wave, who all had a half shot advantage over the afternoon groups.
Three players got in at 6-under through the morning wave, and three others joined them in the afternoon, including Chris Kirk, who holed out for eagle on the last. Adam Hadwin is the only player still on the course at that number, and he will have to birdie the last two holes to match Henley.
While we don’t have a complete first round, we still have some solid strokes-gained data to work with going into Friday. Let’s take a look at who stands out to make a move heading into the weekend at Sedgefield Country Club.
Strokes Gained Explanation
Strokes Gained can give golf bettors, DFS players and fans way more detail on how a golfer is truly playing by measuring each shot in relation to the rest of the field.
Using the millions of data points it collects, the TOUR calculates how many shots on average it takes a player to get the ball in the hole from every distance and situation. If a player beats those averages, he’s gaining strokes on the field.
Every situation in golf is different — Strokes Gained measures how players perform relative to the situation.
In this piece, we’ll touch on a variety of Strokes Gained metrics…
- Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee
- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green
- Strokes Gained: Putting
- Strokes Gained: Ball-Striking (which is Off-the-Tee + Approach)
- Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green (which is Ball-Striking + Around-the-Green)
In general, ball-striking and tee-to-green are the most stable long term, while putting is more prone to volatility.
You can often find live-betting advantages by identifying golfers who are hitting the ball well, but just not getting putts to drop. Likewise, players with high SG: Putting numbers may regress moving forward.
3 Golfers to Buy in Round 2
The big threat heading into the second round is how Simpson bounced back from three dropped shots in his opening six holes to still post an opening 65. He’s certainly in the mix and will be a threat to watch but despite that, I think we still need to look down the leaderboard for value.
One player who has had similar success to Simpson in recent years at the Wyndham Championship is Si Woo Kim. He posted an opening-round 66 that featured five birdies and an eagle. He will need to find some better form with his game off the tee to truly contend for the victory this week since he missed five fairways on Thursday, three of which led to dropped shots.
If Kim can dial things in a bit with his tee shots, the rest of the game appears to be in good form this week. He gained more than a stroke on the field on approach, on and around the greens in the opening round to position himself just four shots back of Henley’s lead.
Kim has three top-five finishes in his last four trips to Sedgefield, including his 2016 win, and +4000 is simply too big of a number heading into Round 2 on the South Korean.
My top play going into Friday will be with a player still on the course in Kevin Streelman. He is 4-under on his opening round through 16 holes and will have a good birdie opportunity on Thursday’s third-easiest hole, No. 8. Streelman could find a way to get himself within a few shots of the leader and have a chance to roll into his second round with some momentum.
Streels has been solid throughout the bag to start his week, only losing strokes in his play around the greens. He has gained more than a shot on the field both on approach and with his putter, which are the two key categories for this course.
I really like the value on Streelman at +3000 on DraftKings heading into Friday, especially as he has a couple of extra opportunities to post a low number.
In looking for a longer shot to make a move on Friday, my favorite is actually from one of the best players in the field.
Unfortunately, Matsuyama has made it a bit of a habit in getting off to slow starts. He ranks 68th in Round 1 scoring average but bounces back well, ranking 21st in scoring for Round 2. He is seven shots back and therefore a bit of a longshot at +6000 on DraftKings, but we know he has the ability to work his way back into the mix going into the weekend.
The Masters champion really went off course a bit during the opening nine when he hit multiple chip shots on his fourth hole before finally getting it up and down for double bogey. He climbed back a bit from there to get in the clubhouse under par, and on the strokes-gained side he was one of the best ball strikers in the field. Matsuyama gained 2.54 strokes on approach, along with 1.11 gained off the tee.
He gave more than four shots back on and around the greens but if he can clean that up he makes for a great play in matchups, showdown and placement bets heading into Round 2.
3 Golfers to Fade in Round 2
The player in the top 10 who sticks out the most for a fade going into Friday is Canadian Nick Taylor. He ranked 108th in the field in hitting greens in regulation during his opening round, and lost 1.37 shots to the field on approach.
Taylor was able to make up for his shortfalls with his irons, by having an elite game around the greens. His signature shot of the day was a hole out from the greenside bunker at 15 for eagle.
My issue is that Taylor can’t continue to rely on the short game to carry him through the week since players’ approach games will rule the day on this course. If Taylor can’t find his irons quickly, he’ll have trouble staying in position to contend into the weekend.
Luke List is the next player up on the chopping block for me on Friday. He has had a nice run of form over the last few tournaments, but his game was upside down in the opening round at Sedgefield on Thursday.
List gained 2.55 shots on the field with his putter in the first round, ranking him seventh in the field in that metric. He did that while losing strokes the field tee to green, but the flat stick held him together for an opening 66.
It certainly could be that we see him find his normally sharp ball striking on Friday, but I feel confident that the 193rd ranked putter on TOUR this season will not stay this hot on the greens throughout the week and that is the crux of my fade for Round 2.
Another player in a similar spot to List is Kiradech Aphibarnrat. He too put together a 4-under round on Thursday and was even more reliant on the putter.
Aphibarnrat lost 1.24 shots to the field on approach in his opening round, but made up for it with three strokes gained on the greens. He was rolling in nearly every putt he looked at, which simply isn’t sustainable the rest of the way. I’m putting in an early fade and will look to attack Kiradech in matchups in Round 2.
Strokes Gained Data for All Players in Round 1
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