Final Bets Wyndham Championship

My Final Thoughts: 2021 Wyndham Championship Final Betting Card, OAD, And DFS Plays

It’s the end of another weird week of research and prep for the 2021 Wyndham Championship. Weird mainly in the sense that I’ve been in the Bahamas Saturday through today and managed to still convince myself I should be researching this event. But my mind always wanders to golf, especially when lounging on a beach all day, so in the end I feel like I’m as prepared for this week as ever. Clear mind, full pockets, can’t lose.

The abridged version of the card this week reads that Kevin Kisner is going to win and if you choose to fade him, you’ve made a short-sided, un-informed decision to not win money. The longer narrative of the week as you’ll see below, is that hitting fairways, striping irons, and holing putts on Bermuda grass is the formula to decide a winner this week. As I dove into this more, I’m taking a stance that you need to be a good putter to putt well this week, as opposed to say the 3M Open where Cameron Champ entered as the worst putter in the field, got hot, and finished the event #1 SG: P. I don’t think that can happen here. The course’s best defense is the undulations in the greens, and you’re going to need to be a skilled putter to make the number of birdies needed to win. Okay, let’s take a look back at the final card.

Outrights (3u)

  • Russell Henley +3500
  • Charl Schwartzel +5000
  • Kevin Kisner +5500
  • Talor Gooch +6600
  • Branden Grace +8000
  • Joel Dahmen +10000
  • Matt Kuchar +18000

The original plan for this week after doing my initial research was to play Reed, Burns, Perez, and Kisner. That would’ve been my card just the four of them. Since then, all of them except eventual winner Kevin Kisner withdrew, so it was back to the drawing board. As I thought about my card for the final event of the 2021 PGA Tour Regular Season, I felt it was appropriate to ride with two guys I’ve probably ~touted~ the most this year without a win to show for it, Russell Henley and Talor Gooch. It may be the last chance I have to use my #HenleyGivenSunday and #GoochSweat hashtags this year, so I’m going for it. We’re collar-free once again, and riding with two of the best Approach players in this field. Charl Schwartzel would also have to be an honorable mention on my list of Greatest Hits that Haven’t Hit. I’ve bet him a lot, I don’t think the ball striking form is in question, and Fast Bermuda greens are where I expect him to putt best.

Rounding out the card, I think this an absurd number for Branden Grace who’s already won a weak field birdie fest earlier this year at the Puerto Rico Open, has two T10s in his last three starts coming at The US Open and the Memorial, and has gained 2+ strokes on approach in 4 of his last 5 measured rounds. Dahmen and Kuchar are value bets who, like Kisner, fit a course that asks for accuracy over distance off the tee to go along with their solid approach and putting form.

Placing Bets (2u)

  • Kevin Kisner (T10) +500
  • Brice Garnett (T20) +600
  • Matt Kuchar (T20) +700

I’ll save the continued Kisner praise for later, but this feels like another great spot to go right back to The Big Ticket after cashing in his last start at the 3M Open. Garnett is a fairway finder who can putt the lights out, and that’s a perfect recipe for a T20 at Sedgefield CC. With Kuchar, we have a value bet on one of of the most decorated players in this field whose 2021 season has been marred by MCs at all difficult events. But if we look past that and treat this event for what it is, an easy birdie fest, Kuchar has delivered a T20 in each of his last three starts in these conditions at the Byron Nelson, RBC Heritage, and Valero Texas Open (4 if you count his 3rd place finish at the WGC Dell Match Play).

First Round Leader (0.5u)

  • Sebastian Munoz +5500
  • Doc Redman +8000
  • Chesson Hadley +10000
  • Akshay Bhatia +20000

I thought about adding Chesson Hadley to my card, then remembered that I don’t completely hate myself, and practiced restraint by limiting my Hadley exposure to Thursday only. Hadley can be described as gutless and has spiraled out of control over the weekend after each of his recent made cuts, so loading up on him on a Thursday before the pressure kicks in feels like the prudent play on the #1 Bermuda putter in this field. Munoz and Akshay are heart bets with promise, and Doc is a value bet for a bona fide birdie maker at 80/1.

One and Done

  • Kevin Kisner

I was saving Webb Simpson all season to play in OAD for this moment, and as we all would have anticipated, this is the only tournament of the year he’s been the prohibitive favorite at 10/1. But I’m not going there because (1) everyone else is going to be doing that, (2) he’s playing some of the shakiest golf of his career and comes into the Wyndham Championship in worse form than he ever has before, and (3) Kevin Kisner is going to win. So I made the easy pivot call and played Kevin Kisner.

“BuT KiSNer’S ReCeNt FoRm iS So bAd” has been a common retort this week from people who have unfortunately opted to abstain from winning money. The Wyndham Championship is not a Major and it’s not a WGC. In fact, it’s the opposite. It’s a putrid field, wedge fest, birdie fest, putting contest with no real trouble in play to speak of from Tee to Green. Sedgefield’s best defense is the fast, undulated greens, a staple for Donald Ross designs. Kisner’s biggest strength is his putting (18th SG: P L36), especially on Bermuda greens (10th SG: P L36), and ESPECIALLY on Donald Ross greens where he ranks #1 in the field SG: P L36. So no, I don’t care about how Kisner looked at the WGC FedEx St Jude and The Open in his last two starts. If I did though, I would point out that he gained 1+ stroke on the field in 3 out of 4 rounds at The Open which was masked by a blow up on Saturday and similarly at the WGC, he lost most of his strokes on Sunday alone.

Kisner is three starts removed from a T8 at the Rocket Mortgage (a top comp course as an easy Donald Ross birdie fest) and four starts removed from a T5 at The Travelers. The recent form is fine, and it’s been especially fine in short, easy, scoreable conditions like what we’ll see once again this week. You can read up on all the other stats he excels in my Tournament Preview article.

DFS Core

  • Kevin Kisner ($8,400)
  • Joel Dahmen ($7,200)
  • Matt Kuchar ($6,800)

In addition to this week’s free square of Kevin Kisner, I’ll also be over-weight on Joel Dahmen and Matt Kuchar who happen to be on my outright card as well. Kuchar has been a good DFS leverage player over the last few years because people generally don’t like him and don’t get excited about playing him. This week, he’s in an especially good leverage spot, because he has no course history and the recent form has been…bad, so nobody is jumping to play him. Ownership projections from FanShare Sports (use Promo Code pgatout if you aren’t already subscribed) have him just under 5% now. If Kuchar did have course history here, I’d have to imagine it’d look pretty good, because the Olympic Bronze medalist has made a career out of hitting fairways, hitting greens in regulation, and holing putts, especially on Bermuda greens. Dahmen is the exact same profile of player as Kisner, has a win on Tour this season, is ball-striking comparatively better recently, and is $1.2K cheaper and lower owned, so I will of course be all over Joel as well in DFS.