Bet the PGA: Mike Kern, who's been rolling, picks the Wyndham with Sungjae Im, Si Woo Kim, Kevin Kisner, more
Last week Brooks Koepka did us no favors, as I pretty much cautioned, since I had him in my yearlong pool in which I’m trying to hold onto sixth place. But we also had Daniel Berger and Paul Casey, and they both got us top fives at 4-1. We also gave out Ian Poulter for a top 10, and he did exactly that for a 6-1 payout. So not too bad, even if our main guy went belly up.
On to the Wyndham Championship, from North Carolina, the last event before the three-pronged FedEx Cup playoffs begin.
Webb Simpson is the fave, at 10-1, having won this in 2011 and having finished either second or third in each of the last four. Hideki Matsuyama is 12-1. He nearly won at the Olympics, and almost won again last week. Louis Oosthuizen is 14-1. Jason Kokrak is 20-1, followed by Brian Harman at 25-1 and Will Zalatoris at 28-1. Zalatoris was eighth last week, coming off an injury suffered at last month’s British Open. He did finish second at the Masters and sixth at the U.S. Open.
Sungjae Im is 30-1. He nearly won this thing in each of his two appearances, in 2019 and ’20. Russell Henley and Si Woo Kim are 33-1. Kim was fifth here in ’19 and tied for third last season. He did make a 13 on a par 3 last week, then responded with four straight birdies. And golf has a funny way of making those karma kind of stories work out.
Tommy Fleetwood, Kevin Na and Kevin Streelman check in at 40-1. Kevin Kisner and Brendan Todd are 45-1. Rickie Fowler, who needs to move up five places to even qualify for the 125-man playoffs, is one of eight at 50-1. He has only one top 10 finish this season.
Adam Scott, Matthew Wolff and Gary Woodland are three of the others at 50-1.
Charl Schwartzel and Brandt Snedeker are in the group at 55-1. Erik van Rooyen, who won the other event last week, the Barracuda Championship, is 60-1.
Justin Rose and Bubba Watson are 66-1. I could go on. Ryan Moore, who recently had a second, is 90-1. Patton Kizzire, who’s had two top fives in his last 10 starts, is 80-1. Just duly noting.
You know me. I’m throwing out the faves, although I will say that Webb Simpson at +250 for a top five could be the way to go. It’s just not the way I’m going. As I often do, I’ll throw out a few names in that so-called middle tier for your consideration. And those would be Sungjae Im at 30-1 and Si Woo Kim at 33-1. And both are around 8-1 for a top five, 4-1 for a top 10. Always worth putting a little something on that too, just in case they only get you a close call. Hate when that happens.
Along those lines, I would also look at Kevin Kisner at 45-1. Maybe not to win, but he’s 9-1 for a top five. And I would do the same with Patton Kizzire, at 80-1. But the number I’m more interested in is the 14-1 for a top five and 7-1 for a top 10. You can always throw a few bucks on the win as well, but what I’m hoping for more is just a strong showing. Hey, it’s hard to pick an outright winner, even if you’re going with a Simpson.
As always, hope you have something to root for come Sunday. See you next week at the Northern Trust. Just three weeks until the Tour Championship. And where did my summer go? The older I get the faster it moves. Funny how that goes.