After Ryan Moore’s very professional win at the John Deere Classic, the PGA Tour rumbles on ever closer towards the FedEx Cup playoffs, which begin next week with the Barclays. The distraction of Olympic golf is firmly behind us and we’re being treated to a procession of world class events in American beginning with this week’s Wyndham Championship. The proximity of the playoffs means there will be some very anxious players in the field who still need to confirm their place inside the top 125 of the FedEx Cup rankings for a spot at the Barclays.
This week’s venue, Sedgefield Country Club, was the original course for this event but it was taken off hosting duties for a number of years as PGA Tour players began to overpower it. It was left to Kris Spence to add length to the par 70 layout which can now stretch to 7,130 yards. Along with other alterations, the event organisers decided that Sedgefield posed a tough enough test for it to return as the host in 2008. It is a challenging course in places but winning scores since 2008 (including years that went to a playoff) have ranged from -14 to -21, showing that there are still numerous birdie chances.
Davis Love III showed last year that Sedgefield provides a tactical test of golf. The small greens are very difficult to hit from the wrong part of the fairways so the winner this week is going to have to drive the ball well before hitting high quality approach shots.
Jim Furyk is going to have to deal with an increased amount of media attention this week. Having shot a 58 a fortnight ago, Furyk is in demand when it comes to interviews but he is professional and experienced enough to turn it on when he takes to the course. The 46-year-old missed a large chunk of this season through injury and is currently just outside of the top 100 on the FedEx Cup rankings. That’s inside the cut off for next week’s Barclays but he’ll be looking to make a deep run in the playoffs and at a course that should suit his game he looks a strong betting option at 22/1 with BetVictor.
At this stage of the season it is always worth having a look at the players who sit just outside the cut mark for the Barclays. Of those desperate for a big tournament, have a bet on Morgan Hoffmann. The 27-year-old American has been very hit and miss this season but pulled it together with a T3 last time out and is tempting at odds of 150/1 with Coral.
Tyrrell Hatton may not be a member of the PGA Tour but the earnings he’s made in America this season have him just outside of the top 125. One more solid performance would be a huge result for the young Englishman who is contending with increasing regularity. Hatton is not afraid to go low and could be there or thereabouts so back him for a top 10 finish at 4/1 with Coral.