Wyndham Championship experts' picks

August, 17, 2011
08/17/11
9:40
AM ET

Each week of the golf season, our experts will share their insights into which players fit the criteria for our four categories below: Birdie Buster, Horse for the Course, Super Sleeper and Winner.

This week's tournament: Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, NC.

Want another opinion? Check out ESPN.com's FOREcaster page.


ESPN.com senior golf writer Farrell Evans

Horse for the Course: Brendon de Jonge

In 2010, Sedgefield Country Club had the lowest aggregate scoring average (68.18) at a par-70 course on the PGA Tour schedule. Since the Donald Ross venue should set up well for everybody in the field, you have to favor a guy who makes a lot of birdies. In 2011, De Jonge has made 327, which ranks second on the PGA Tour behind Brian Davis, who has 339. Coming into the Wyndham, De Jonge has had two top-10s in his last four starts.

Birdie Buster: Bill Haas

The son of nine-time PGA Tour winner Jay Haas is having another consistent year with $2.4 million in earnings. The 29-year-old former Wake Forest star is coming off a 12th place finish last week at the PGA Championship and a tie for second three weeks ago at the Greenbrier Classic.

Super Sleeper: Jason Dufner

It's easy to predict that he will have a letdown this week after what happened to him at the PGA Championship. But I think Dufner might be the most confident player in the Wyndham field. The week after David Toms lost in a playoff to K.J. Choi at the Players Championship, he won at Colonial. Dufner could have the same scenario this week.

Winner: Jim Furyk

Though he stumbled with a final round 75 at the PGA Championship, the 16-time PGA Tour winner showed flashes of brilliance in what has been for him a very disappointing season. Last year's FedEX Cup playoff champion comes into Wyndham ranked 70th in the standings. But this week will be his chance to right the ship before he starts his title defense next week at the Barclays.


ESPN.com senior golf writer Bob Harig

Horse for the Course: Brandt Snedeker

One of his two PGA Tour victories came at Wyndham Championship, where he also has two other top 10s, including a tie for eighth last year.

Birdie Buster: Jason Dufner

Coming off a crushing defeat at the PGA Championship, Dufner can at least look at the bright side. He was in control for 68 holes and played some excellent golf. If he takes the good, he could gain some momentum heading into the FedEx Cup playoffs.

Super Sleeper: Camilo Villegas

It's hard to believe that the three-time PGA Tour winner who captured two playoff events in 2008 finds himself on the bubble at 125th in the FedEx Cup standings. It's been a year filled with DQs, WDs and MCs.

Winner: David Toms

It's been a strong year for Toms, who won at Colonial after a playoff loss at the Players Championship and contended last week at the PGA -- where he had won 10 years earlier. A win would give him two in the same season for the first time since 2003.


ESPN.com senior golf editor Kevin Maguire

Horse for the Course: Carl Pettersson

Despite an MC in Greensboro last year, Pettersson won at Sedgefield CC in 2008 and feels comfortable there after attending N.C. State. The area is like a second hometown for the Swede.

Birdie Buster: Davis Love III

The U.S. Ryder Cup captain struggled over the weekend at the PGA Championship, but how many 47-year-olds even get that far? In recent weeks Love showed he can play all kinds of conditions with all kinds of scoring. His T-11 at the U.S. Open came with a score of 3 under. At the John Deere, he was 13 under to finish T-12 while at the British Open his 2 over performance was good enough for T-9. Clearly Love still has the game to hang with the flat bellies.

Super Sleeper: Bud Cauley

Playing on a sponsor's exemption this week, Cauley stands in 172nd place on the PGA Tour money list if he were a full-time member. Not bad, considering he's only made five starts in 2011 since turning pro prior to the U.S. Open after a stellar amateur career at Alabama. Plus, he's not afraid to go low, as shown by his 20-under total earlier this year at the Viking Classic that saw him miss a playoff by two shots.

Winner: Webb Simpson

Simpson knocked on the door several times this year, but hasn't been able to bust through with that first victory. He's already made close to $3 million in his third full season on tour, but a win in his home state would put a perfect bow on the year heading into the FedEx Cup playoffs.


ESPN.com senior golf writer Michael Collins

Horse for the Course: Joe Durant

Since Sedgefield CC is not necessarily a bombers course, it sets up for a guy like Durant who last year had four rounds in the 60's and closed with a 64 to finish tied for 12th. He's first in driving accuracy this year and eight in greens in regulation, so if his putter gets hot... Joe's gonna be fresh, which is important for a 47-year-old with a caddie that lives in a retirement community (The Villages), since he didn't play in the PGA Championship.

Birdie Buster: Chris Riley

He made his charge into the playoffs here last year, not only with four rounds in the 60's but with back to back 64's on the weekend. He's going have to do it again this year, coming into the week outside the top 125 in FedEx Cup points (137th). Some guys just seem to rise to the occasion when the heat is on. Well, he's standing in the fire now.

Super Sleeper: Camilo Villegas

Not the year the Colombian star was hoping for since going all TaylorMade this year. One top-10 in 2011 and he's the bubble boy this week to get in the playoffs sitting at No. 125. He didn't play in 2010, which will force him to be conservative the first couple rounds. Ironically enough that's a good thing for Camilo; play smart and safe for two days then try and make a charge on the weekend.

Winner: Tommy Gainey

Even after missing the cut at the PGA Championship (by a lot), the trend of first time winners on the PGA Tour will continue this week. No pressure as he's cruising into the playoffs (40th in the FedEx Cup standings) and the last time he played in the Wyndham in 2008, he missed the cut. Experience, attitude/confidence, and most of all game. Gets my new favorite good 'ol boy his first win on the big boy tour.

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