Wyndham Championship 2021 Picks: Will Zalatoris is our play
Course: Sedgefield Country Club
Location: Greensboro, NC
Date: August 12-15, 2021
Par: 70 / Yardage 7,127
Purse: $6.4 Million / Winner $1.2 Million
Greens: Champion Bermudagrass
The Wyndham Championship arrives, and unlike last year, that fact signals a significantly stronger field. The reason … scheduling. With the PGA Championship now moved to earlier in the summer, that takes the Wyndham and sandwiches it between the St. Jude Classic, and the start of FedEx Playoffs. What that essentially translates to is that the field is significantly better because many are looking to cement their position among the Top 125 on the FedEx list. If they can do that, it will put them in contention for that celebrated title, and the check that accompanies it.
With one last stab left before we head to the Northern Trust in Jersey City, NJ, next week, the Piedmont of North Carolina will serve once again as the backdrop for golf’s signature TOUR. Greensboro is situated in a lush part of the state, and the town has hosted many a tournament over the years. The Sedgefield CC is not an overly difficult course, since it was designed by Donald Ross in a much different era. While the course might appear easy, do not be fooled. The greens are slick and overshooting them is a typical miss among the players. If you can back a scrambler-type, then that might be best. With 14 of the Top 50 strikers in the world coming to the Tar Heel land, the tourney should produce its fair number of long shots in all of the different betting categories. Quite a feast …
Speaking of wagering, as for last week in the St. Jude, we did not have a strong outing. Missing in several categories, the only promising news was the victory in a playoff by Abe Ancer. He was one we backed on many an occasion starting at the beginning of March, and it was gratifying to see the young man achieve a well-earned score against a well-matched field. The dual citizen from Mexico and the U.S. has the ability for much more, and he is one I consider to be a future star in this sport. That future may be now, especially considering the FedEx Cup Playoffs are almost here.
A few promising prop bets …
Long shot to the Weekend … (Molinari +10000)
It was not all that long ago that Francesco Molinari, one of the greatest Italian golfers of all-time, won The Open Championship. It was a watershed moment for the fellow who was always one of the most underrated members of Team Europe in the Ryder Cup. He faced down Tiger Woods once in what was nothing short of an impressive performance. Molinari is one of those who is clearly on the “Bubble,” when it comes to getting into the FedEx Playoffs. He should be there … a win in Greensboro cements that. I have always liked his shot-making ability, and he continues to be underestimated, even though he is a Major Champion. The odds should look good for him to make the Weekend, and do not underestimate his ability to scramble.
Versus to the finish … (Simpson +1200) v. (Hideki +1400)
Most think Webb Simpson has the inside track to score the lowest in Greensboro. I am not completely against that idea, but I do not necessarily think he should be the odds-on favorite. In fact, it is probably Hideki Matsuyama that deserves that distinction. The Masters Champion went back to his home country of Japan for the Olympics, and almost caught the Medal Stand with a Bronze. Though he lost in a 7-man playoff, he came right back last week in the St. Jude, and nearly pulled off the score in another extra hole affair. Though Abe Ancer wrangled the title away from Hideki, the greatest Japanese golfer of all-time showed he is hot right now. Based on this alone, I would take him over Simpson any day, and twice on Sunday. This is a head-to-head I know I can win.
And the low round goes to … (Harman +2500)
I believe in Brian Harman … The University of Georgia product continues to be a mark of consistency in 2021, having only missed a couple of cuts. He was very good in the WGC Match Play, and he made the Top Ten in both the Charles Schwab (low round 66) and Travelers (low round 2x 67). That makes 10 Top 20 finishes for the year. When it comes to hitting tough shots, Harman is your man. He needs to improve his iron play, and if this “lefty” can continue to putt well (ranked 20th), then I like his chances to be in the mix on a daily basis in North Carolina. Raised in Savannah, he is used to the heat, and that could make the difference whether he goes off in the morning or midday.
Who Wins Wyndham? … (Zalatoris +2500)
Will Zalatoris is an extremely capable young man with a bright future. He has played so well this year that his FedEx Rank brings him into the Top 30. The problem is that he is missing his TOUR card, and that means he cannot participate in the Playoffs. Thus, he is facing one last opportunity … and it is here at the Wyndham. If he can put together 4 good rounds, then he has a legitimate chance to win the day. He will be a pretty square price on Thursday, and we are going to see how well he can handle pressure. With one fell swoop, he can put himself into another category of golfers. The course should be to his liking because he combines power with a nice touch around the greens. Going back to that 2nd in The Masters, he has not been a mark of consistency. In the PGA Championship he settled in 8th, but he missed the cut at the U.S. Open. Go figure … Approach shots are his bread-n-butter, so if he can be “on” when it comes to iron play, the rest of this field better watch out.
Enjoy the final drive to the FedEx Cup! It’s time once again for the Wyndham from Greensboro …