Golf: Kern picks 4 at the PGA Wyndham Championship — no favorites allowed
OK, so last week we didn’t get a winner at the PGA Championship, after having three of the previous five. But at least we did give out Jason Day as one of our mid-tier kind of guys, at 40-1. And we also said to bet him to finish in the top 10 and top five, which he did. His tie for fourth would have earned you 5-1 for the top 10 and 9-1 for the top five. So at the very least you would have got some of your money back, if not much or most of it. Never hurts to back yourself up like that. Because picking the outright winners is hard, even if you’re giving out four or five names.
This week it’s the Wyndham Championship, from Greensboro, N.C. It’s the last even before the Fed Ex Cup playoffs start. So, there’s only six of the top 10 ranked players in the world in the field.
Webb Simpson is the favorite, at 11-1, along with Brooks Koepka, who played well at the PGA until the final day after playing well the week before that. Simpson’s track record at this tournament is unreal. He’s had eight top 12s in the last decade, including three consecutive top threes. So, you could actually make the case that playing him to finish in the top five at plus $300 might be the best play of all. I wouldn’t try to dissuade you. And he’s playing as well as anyone right now. Heck, even getting him at plus $160 for a top 10 doesn’t sound like too bad of an investment.
Paul Casey, coming off a second at the PGA, is 16-1. So is Patrick Reed. Tommy Fleetwood, still looking for his first win on U.S. soil, is 18-1. He’s too good, so it has to happen sometime. Justin Rose, who closed well at the PGA, is 20-1. Harris English, who has four straight top 20s, is 25-1. Billy Horschel is 28-1 — ditto Kevin Kisner. Sergio Garcia, Ryan Moore, Si Woo Kim, Jordan Spieth, Sungjae Im and Brendon Todd are all 33-1.
Shane Lowery is 40-1. Chez Reavie is 50-1, as is Corey Conners, Brandt Snedeker and Russell Henley, who might be a bit of a sleeper. Joaquin Niemann is 55-1. Doc Redman is 66-1, along with Harold Varner, Dylan Frittelli, J.T. Poston and Lucas Glover. Henrik Norlander and Patrick Rodgers are 80-1. So are Matt Wallace and Charles Howell III, as well as major winners Jim Furyk and Zach Johnson.
Luke List is 90-1. That’s as far as I’m willing to go. But you can certainly find more names that might be appealing.
You know me with favorites. I’m just not into them for the past part, because of the lower odds. But Simpson does look like he should be the fave for a reason. As I said, I would really seriously look at him for just a top five or even 10, since it’s hard to not see him at least being in contention on Sunday.But it is golf, so there’s no such thing as sure things.
It should be noted too that Koepka has some ground to make up in the Fed Ex stuff, so he might be a little more motivated than usual.
I think this is the week I will instead throw out a handful of guys more down the list, and take some shots that way. Sometimes it works, other times you wish you had put it all on a Koepka.
I would try Si Woo Kim at 33-1. And plus $750 for a top five. He was fifth here last year, won it in 2016 and is coming off a decent PGA.
For whatever it’s worth, a lot of people seem to like Patrick Reed. But I won’t officially go there.
I would also throw in Brendon Todd, at 35-1. And also put some top five and/or 10 money on him. He’s plus $750 as well for a top five. Just enough to cover yourself for those close calls that often happen.
I’m feeling Harris English a little, but the odds just seem a little too low. Maybe just throw a few bucks on him in case my feeling was right. But nothing too serious. I’ve had bad feelings before.
That being said, I’ll give you one more. How about Russell Henley, at 50-1. Why ask why. He’s also 12-1 for a top five and half that for a top 10. So, by all means take the insurance.
Hope everyone has a good week, no matter who you back.
Si Woo Kim (33-1) — and plus $750 for a top five
Brendon Todd (35-1) — and plus $750 for a top five
Harris English (25-1) — just a few bucks though
Russell Henley (50-1) — also 12-1 for a top five and half that for a top ten - take the insurance
Site: Greensboro, N.C.
Course: Sedgefield CC. Yardage: 7,127. Par: 70.
Purse: $6.4 million. Winner's share: $1.15 million.
Where to watch: Thursday-Friday, 2-6 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday, 1-3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3-6 p.m. (CBS); Sunday, 12:30-2:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2:30-6 p.m. (CBS).
Defending champion: J.T. Poston.