Rookies poised for more glory in soft Wyndham field

The PGA Tour’s overhaul of its schedule to line up majors in four consecutive months and move the Tour Championship in August has had a domino effect for the players and tournaments.

England’s Justin Rose admitted he struggled to properly pace himself into the lead-up to the Masters, while several other top players have taken extended breaks between majors to gear up for the marquee events in the truncated tournament calendar.

Matthew Wolff
Jul 7, 2019; Blaine, MN, USA; Matthew Wolff tees off at the 18th hole during the final round of the 3M Championship golf tournament at TPC Twin Cities. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

That has in turn created more opportunities for the young guns on Tour to make immediate impacts. Granted, the 2019 rookie class has long been touted as one of the most talented in recent memory, but maiden victories by Matthew Wolff and Collin Morikawa did come against fields with fewer top-ranked players — and Morikawa’s win came in an alternate-field event.

From the U.S. Open in June to the Open Championship last week, the list of winners included Morikawa, Wolff, Chez Reavie, Nate Lashley, Dylan Frittelli and Jim Herman — hardly a who’s who in the world golf rankings.

The subplot of this week’s Wyndham Championship is the final push for players to get inside the top 125 before next week’s start to the FedEx Cup Playoffs. But with No. 17 Webb Simpson the top-ranked player in the field, it also creates more opportunity for the young guns to make an impression against a softer field.

Simpson is coming off a tie for second at last week’s WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and is the betting favorite by FanDuel and PointsBet at 9/1, having not finished worse than tied for 30th in his past eight events, starting with the Masters.

Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama is second at 14/1 by both books, but Morikawa (16/1) is given the same odds as former No. 1 Jordan Spieth and lower than former Masters champion Patrick Reed (18/1).

England’s Paul Casey is the only player in the field currently within the top 10 in FedEx Cup points. He has four top-five finishes in his past 10 events along with a victory earlier this year at the Valspar, and is 22/1 by PointsBet (20/1 by FanDuel) along with defending champion Brandt Snedeker and Billy Horschel.

Right behind them is Norway’s Viktor Hovland (25/1), perhaps the most highly-touted of the rookie class. While Wolff and Morikawa have earned their first PGA Tour victories, Hovland is still searching for that maiden victory — and a ticket to next week’s Northern Trust — despite posting top 20s in each of his past three events.

SungJae Im (50/1) dominated the Web.com Tour last year and appears poised for a breakthrough. Before a missed cut at The Open, he had posted five consecutive T21 or better finishes. He also had three top 10s in a four-event stretch in the spring.

Doc Redman (70/1) would also qualify for the Northern Trust based on Cup points, but needs a victory this week.

The field includes only nine of the top 30 players in the Cup standings, but all but 10 from Nos. 85-185 in the final event before the playoffs. There are 14 players within 50 points of the cutoff line at No. 125.

An average of 2.7 players have gained a last-tournament playoff spot in Greensboro since the playoffs began 12 years ago. However, only four players have arrived at Greensboro ranked 140th or lower and earned a playoff spot.

Winner Odds (PointsBet)
Webb Simpson: +900
Hideki Matsuyama: +1400
Jordan Spieth: +1600
Collin Morikawa: +1600
Patrick Reed: +1800
Paul Casey: +2200
Brandt Snedeker: +2200
Billy Horschel: +2200
Viktor Hovland: +2500
Cameron Smith: +3300
Rory Sabbatini: +4000
Alexander Noren: +4000
Chez Reavie: +4000
Joaquin Niemann: +4000
Matthew Wolff: +4000
Charles Howell III: +5000
Lucas Glover: +5000
Martin Kaymer: +5000
Scott Piercy: +5000
Byeong-Hun An: +5000
Russell Henley: +5000
Adam Hadwin: +5000
SungJae Im: +5000
Martin Laird: +6000
Kevin Streelman: +6000
Dylan Frittelli: +6000
Abraham Ancer: +6000
Aaron Wise: +6000
Brian Harman: +7000
Kyle Stanley: +7000
Jason Kokrak: +7000
Doc Redman: +7000
Vaughn Taylor: +8000
Jason Dufner: +8000
Bud Cauley: +8000
Russell Knox: +8000
Daniel Berger: +8000
Bill Haas: +9000
Nick Taylor: +9000
Branden Grace: +9000
Sepp Straka: +9000
Denny McCarthy: +9000
JT Poston: +9000
Zach Johnson: +10000
Nick Watney: +10000
Kevin Tway: +10000
Lucas Bjerregaard: +10000
Corey Conners: +10000
Wyndham Clark: +10000
Charley Hoffman: +12500
Jimmy Walker: +12500
Ryan Armour: +12500
Brendan Steele: +12500
Troy Merritt: +12500
Bronson Burgoon: +12500
Kiradech Aphibarnrat: +12500
Brice Garnett: +12500
Roger Sloan: +12500
Sam Ryder: +12500
Si Woo Kim: +12500
Austin Cook: +12500
Adam Schenk: +12500
Pat Perez: +15000
Danny Lee: +15000
Luke List: +15000
Michael Thompson: +15000
Chris Stroud: +15000
Josh Teater: +15000
Brian Stuard: +15000
Matt Jones: +15000
Shawn Stefani: +15000
Roberto Castro: +15000
Beau Hossler: +15000
Tom Hoge: +15000
Harris English: +15000
Robert Streb: +15000
Peter Malnati: +15000
Mackenzie Hughes: +15000
Harold Varner III: +15000
Joel Dahmen: +15000
Andrew Landry: +15000
J. J. Spaun: +15000
Sebastian Munoz: +15000
Luke Donald: +20000
Brian Gay: +20000
Johnson Wagner: +20000
Jonathan Byrd: +20000
Jonas Blixt: +20000
Scott Stallings: +20000
Peter Uihlein: +20000
Adam Long: +20000
Kelly Kraft: +20000
Patrick Rodgers: +20000
Kyoung-Hoon Lee: +20000
Wes Roach: +20000
Roberto Diaz: +20000
Seamus Power: +20000
Carlos Ortiz: +20000
Talor Gooch: +20000
Richy Werenski: +20000
Cameron Champ: +20000
Charlie Danielson: +20000
Aaron Baddeley: +25000
Stewart Cink: +25000
Sang-Moon Bae: +25000
Ryan Blaum: +25000
Patton Kizzire: +25000
Anirban Lahiri: +25000
Alex Prugh: +25000
Zack Sucher: +25000
Sam Saunders: +25000
Scott Brown: +25000
Ted Potter Jr: +25000
Stephan Jaeger: +25000
Chesson Hadley: +25000
Chase Wright: +25000
Brandon Harkins: +25000
Adam Svensson: +25000
Kramer Hickok: +25000
Hank Lebioda: +25000
Padraig Harrington: +30000
Cameron Davis: +30000
Joey Garber: +30000
Kyle Jones: +30000
Paul Peterson: +30000
Alex Cejka: +35000
Ernie Els: +35000
Fabian Gomez: +35000
John Chin: +35000
Benjamin Silverman: +35000
Boo Weekley: +40000
Hunter Mahan: +40000
Jose de Jesus Rodriguez: +40000
Scott Langley: +40000
Satoshi Kodaira: +40000
Cody Gribble: +40000
Tyler Duncan: +40000
Curtis Luck: +40000
J.J. Henry: +50000
Rod Pampling: +50000
Chad Collins: +50000
Brady Schnell: +50000
Will Claxton: +50000
Whee Kim: +50000
Julian Etulain: +50000
Chris Thompson: +50000
Nicholas Lindheim: +50000
Michael Kim: +50000
Martin Trainer: +50000
Anders Albertson: +50000
Seth Reeves: +50000
Steve Scott: +50000
Mike Weir: +50000
Andy Pope: +50000
John Lyras: +50000
Carter Page: +50000

–Field Level Media

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