Written by: Scott Schaeffer
While Neil and DJ have been jockeying back and forth in the standings like Rahm and JT in the OWGR in recent weeks, Randy has pieced together some solid weeks to sneak up on their heels. Can the big guy catch them this week? Or will his performance resemble one of his many money round failures? Picks and standings for the Wyndham are highlighted below:
"THE READ": By virtue of backing Xander as low Callaway staffer, DJ was able to squeeze by Neil just one week after Neil passed DJ's total via the WGC-Memphis results. That beautiful bloke Tommy Fleetwood cost DJ last week in his search of a mega parlay, but DJ has a short memory. He's chosen tummyfleets again this week, expecting he's had sufficient time to knock all the COVID rust off by now.
DJ made mention that he would be enlisting a certain PXG troop this week in Billy Horschel. Sadly, Billy has actually been discharged from his service and is operating free from the bind of any (equipment) service obligations. Nonetheless, DJ believes the noted iron-play specialist will thrive on a second-shot venue in Sedgefield CC. Maybe Neil can pay Billy Ho a visit to get some additional "What's in the Bag?" footage.
Patrick Rodgers has become a bit of a forgotten man on a week-to-week basis despite his expected success following a wonderful career at Stanford. DJ's expectations are that Rodgers has "No Tree Putts" on his way to a solid Top 10 this week. His last pick is that the winning margin will be exactly three strokes on Sunday. Is there any logic at all in picking something like that? Well who could say...actually I could say: No.
"THE READ": A fruitless week made Neil's reign at #1 shorter than a Greg Popovich interview. In his defense, Neil only claims to be good at three things: slingin' merch and doing some "googley" research. S/O Sir Nick.
Neil's back to his roots this week and keeping it simple as can be. Chez battled his way to earn himself a weekend tee time by shooting a back nine 32 on Friday evening. Unfortunately he was unable to make his way up the leaderboard over the weekend on a course that didn't necessarily favor his style of play. Now back on a shorter track that is much more manageable for Reavie, Neil's placing 50 of his nugs on him to contend and finish in the Top 10.
Here are a few horrible puns for Icarito's second and final pick: Sepp "Straka Flocka Flame":
- When rolling it well, Sepp showcases his nerve, making solid strokes with "No Hands"
- When asked where his first Tour win may come, Straka pointed to the Valspar specifically because of his history of going "Hard in da Paint"
- Even if Sepp plays well this week, the lack of fans will keep him from getting the "Round of Applause" he'd deserve.
- After Straka was told he had received a ringing endorsement from Neil, who expects him to crack the Top 10 in Greensboro this week, he replied, "O, Let's do it"
I'll see myself out.
"THE READ": Phil and Morikawa headlined a successful two-leg parlay last week that brings Randy ever closer in the standings. Randy's more conservative approach has allowed him to net positive points in three of his last four weeks. We like that.
Randy is employing DJ's strategy of taking one wild ass guess this week, namely that there will be an ace in round 3. My guess is that Randy's eyes lit up when he saw the jump in the odds from Friday to Saturday and probably forgot that there will be less than half the field playing that day. He's also sticking to his guns with the winner making anything other than par at the 72nd, which I happen to love at Sedgefield's typically difficult finishing hole. He also believes Brooks may be a little checked out following a letdown last week. Between the cross-country flight, knee and back question marks and mental fatigue, there's some value in picking Brooks to miss the cut.
Randy's biggest bets of the week also follow his heart just as Neil's did. Harris has been absolutely flushing it this year, especially as of late. No one is more aware of that than the big guy. HV3 is returning to familiar territory in NC this week. He seems a good bet @ +335 to Top 20 after showing some good signs in NOCAL last week.
"THE READ": With limited success in the first two attempts, TC has benched the Heinz approach for the Wyndham. Truthfully, it was likely only benched because the matchup board is a little less extensive this week. After winning a 10 point "budget bet" against Soly by virute of Scottie Scheffler outpacing Lanto over the course of last weekend's pay, TC has a 110 point budget to spend. As you'll see below, Soly has either forgotten or chosen to ignore the consequences of his loss. Tron turned those 10 points into a chance to return 160 if Patty BD earns his second career win at Sedgefield.
TC's approach has been to make numerous bets and dip his toes into many different waters. Look where it's gotten him. A change of pace is a welcome change this week, as Tron has chosen to put all of his eggs in one basket. There just happens to be numerous holes in that particular basket. Tron is backing Jordan Spieth to Top 10 this week with a full 100 point endorsement. Spieth may have the largest amount of space between his floor and ceiling of anyone on Tour. Consequently, I won't hazard a guess as to how the struggling phenom will perform this week.
"THE READ": On a second shot golf course, Soly has turned to three terrific iron players to help him potentially escape his spot at the bottom of the standings. Despite losing 10 points from his budget (discussed above), Soly has fully sent a 100 point lineup. I'll let the guys police themselves on that matter.
Webb Simpson is a staple at Sedgefield and has cashed Top 25's in 7 of 11 starts on the Donald Ross design. Now playing arguably the best golf of his life, it seems impossible he would fall short of a Top 20 this week as the Vegas favorite. Brendon Todd has proven his game travels throughout this year. I wouldn't be surprised if he fills it up again this week where distance will not be as imperative as last week.
Kyle Stanley has struggled mightily on the greens throughout the year, placing him outside the Top 125 required to qualify for next week's postseason opener. He's been in this position before and stood tall to the pressure of what is normally a more do or die moment. As he still ranks near the top of a majority of the important ball-striking categories, Soly is taking a chance that the putter may get just warm enough to pay off some of the chances he consistently gives himself.
"THE READ": Sitting at 130 in the FEC standings, Stanley likely needs a finish of 36th or better to earn enough points to move up the 5 spots needed to get into the playoffs. I think he'll rise to the occasion. Paul Casey is good. He's playing well. But I never believe in him enough to feel comfortable picking him to win. He just doesn't have "it." Brice Garnett held the 54 hole lead here last year and can fill it up when on the positive end of his typically streaky play. Love his odds on the unusual "Top 5 American" play in a wide open field. Speaking of streaky players, give me a little "Si Woo shakin' that ass" all the way to a Group "C" triumph this week paired with Webb > Reed. Webb's just better. Fabian Gomez has won twice on Tour, which was news to me as I researched this week. At 123 in the FEC, I'll look for him to have a good week to maintain his position.
The standings below are as of completion of play last week. I know they are not at all the same as the graphics that appeared in the video...but trust my accounting methods have been thorough and above board. If you like my perspective and want more content related to the crew's picks and year-to-date status, I can be found on twitter and instagram @total_misread.