The Punter's In-Play Blog: Brice a nice price ahead of Sedgefield shootout

Golfer Webb Simpson
Webb Simpson - still the favourite at Sedgefield
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There's just one round to go at the Wyndham Championship and our man has all the stats. Read Steve's final in-running thoughts for the week here...

"Although eight of the 11 winners here since 2008 were all in front at this stage, the other three victors all trailed by four strokes and Jason Bohn lost a playoff ten years ago having trailed by seven through 54 holes!"

09:55 - August 03, 2019

After three rounds of the Wyndham Championship, Korea's Byeong Hun An still holds sway. The 27 years old has ended each day on top of the pile and he's yet to make a single bogey. Here are the latest standings with prices to back at 09:45.

Byeong Hun An -17 [3.25]
Webb Simpson -16 [3.5]
Brice Garnett -16 [8.8]
Ryan Armour -15 [15.5]
Viktor Hovland -14 [13.5]
Paul Casey -14 [14.0]
J.T Poston -14 [40.0]
Rory Sabbatini -13 [46.0]
Fabian Gomez -13 [140.0]
-12 [150.0] bar

The last three Wyndham Championship winners were all in front at this stage and since the tournament returned to Sedgefield in 2008, eight of the 11 winners were either clear at the top or tied for the lead, suggesting An's price of around 5/2 is more than fair but it's not that simple. It never is.

An has only ever held a clear 54-hole lead once before - at the Phoenix Open in 2017 - and he finished tied for sixth. It's not all doom and gloom though - he's been tied for the lead five times with a round to go and he's won twice. He won the Shinhan Donghae Open in his homeland in 2015, just a few months after he'd won the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in fine style, having been tied at the top through three rounds. He won the European Tour's flagship event by six!

An's biggest danger is his player partner, Webb Simpson, who still heads the market. The Sedgefield specialist shot a second successive 65 yesterday to close the gap at the top to just one and pre-event favourite backers will fancy their chances now. Simpson absolutely loves this venue but he's not for me at just over 2/1.

This is the fifth time he's sat second and just one off the lead on the PGA Tour with a round to go and he also sat second and one back at the Price Cutter Charity Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2008. His finishing positions for those five previous events, starting with the PCCC 11 years ago and finishing with this year's Honda Classic, were second, second, third, third and fifth.

I really should have thrown a few pounds at Brice Garnett at 16/1 yesterday but I'm happy to back him this morning at [9.0]. Alongside Simpson on -15, but out of the limelight of the final two-ball, Garnett could just keep on rolling the putts in today and he looks like the value now. As highlighted yesterday, he was impressive enough when he converted his halfway lead at the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship last year and I'm happy to take a tiny chance on him but it's not entirely inconceivable that someone wins from off the pace - despite the very good record of the frontrunners...

Although eight of the 11 winners here since 2008 were all in front at this stage, the other three victors all trailed by four strokes and Jason Bohn lost a playoff ten years ago having trailed by seven through 54 holes! He shot 62 to go from tied 17th to tied first but lost in extra time to Ryan Moore - who had trailed by four.

14:50 - August 03, 2019

Korea's Byeong Hun An followed up his bogey-free 62 on day one with a neat and tidy 65 yesterday afternoon and he shows the way at the halfway stage of the Wyndham Championship. Here are the latest standings with prices to back at 14:40.

Byeong Hun An -13 [5.5]
Brice Garnett -12 [17.5]
Webb Simpson -11 [5.2]
Sungjae Im -11 [14.0]
Mackenzie Hughes -11 [32.0]
Patton Kizzire -11 [36.0]
Josh Teater -11 [36.0]
Adam Svensson -11 [46.0]
Paul Casey -10 [13.0]
Ryan Armour -10 [44.0]
J.T Poston -10 [50.0]
Jordan Spieth -9 [17.0]
-9 [38.0] bar

As highlighted yesterday, of the 11 course winners since 2008, Camilo Villegas is the only winner here that wasn't inside the top-three places at halfway. He sat tied for seventh but just two off the lead and the only winner in the last 11 years to trail by any more than two strokes at this stage was Webb Simpson in 2011. He sat tied for second through 36 holes - three adrift of the eventual third, Tommy Gainey, so the stats suggest we probably shouldn't look beyond the top eight players.

Stats followers will be quite happy to get involved with the leader at over 4/1 given six of the last 11 winners were in front at this stage but this is the fourth time An's led a tournament at this stage and his first three attempts to convert didn't end well. He finished fifth at the Oman Golf Classic on the Challenge Tour in 2014 after weekend rounds of 73 and 76, sixth in the Phoenix Open two years ago having shot 65-73 and he was only tenth Down Under in November when he shot 76-69 in the Australian Open.

Brice Garnett looks reasonably priced given how impressively he converted his halfway lead at the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship last year. He went form one ahead to two before winning by four and odds of 16/1 look fair enough but the man to beat is the pre-tournament favourite and Sedgefield specialist, Webb Simpson.

I thought he was skinny enough before the off at 10/1 but odds of more than 4/1, given the strength of the leaderboard and the fact that he only trails by two, look fair enough. It's hard to know what we'll get today though - Webb was in front at this stage two years ago but he could only finish third and he's not the most reliable in the mix. Simpson has led or been within two strokes of the lead 30 times in the last 11 years and he's only gone on to win twice. That's enough to put me off.

It's a hard leaderboard to assess and other than having a small bet on Adam Svensson at [48.0], I'm leaving it alone for now. I've backed the Canadian a couple of times in the last few weeks so it's frustrating not to be on from the start here at a big price.

11:35 - August 02, 2019

We didn't get to witness a sub-60 at Sedgefield yesterday, as we did 12 months ago when Brandt Snedeker opened up a four-stroke lead after an 11-under-par 59, but scoring was again low. Korean pair, Byeong Hun An and Sungjae Im, both shot eight-under-par 62s (An in the morning and Im in the afternoon) and four players shot 63, including one of my huge outsiders - Johnson Wagner. It's extremely tight after that though with nine players tied for seventh and 11 players tied for 16th.

As highlighted in the In-Play Tactics section of the preview, a fast start is beneficial here but we have seen a couple of winners start a little bit slower than the majority. Since the Wyndham Championship returned to Sedgefield in 2008, seven of the 11 winners sat inside the front three places after round one. Davis Love sat tied for seventh, but he was only two strokes off the lead, so only three winners were outside the top-seven and ties after the opening day's play.

Webb Simpson sat three off the lead in a tie for 14th in 2011 and both Sergio Garcia (20th in 2012) and Si Woo Kim (41st in 2016) trailed by five after the first round but all three got their skates on in round two and they were all inside the top-three at halfway.

Of the 11 course winners since 2008, Camilo Villegas, who had led after round one, is the only winner not in the top-three places at halfway. He sat tied for seventh and just two off the lead so today is going to be key and I've looked hardest at the early starters.

There wasn't much in the split yesterday, with the morning wave averaging 67.83 and the afternoon starters 68.14 but with the prospect of storms this afternoon, getting done and dusted early today could be a big plus. If we do get delays, the afternoon starters may well have to finish their second rounds on Saturday morning and that's never ideal.

Co-leader, Sungjae Im, is one of the early starters today, and given three of the last 11 winners have been in front after round one, he has to be considered a serious contender, and Jordan Spieth is only two back after a remarkable bogey at the 18th following an awful drive.

I've considered both of those carefully but I'm going to reluctantly pass them up for now and my only in-play pick so far is Kyle Stanley, who's amongst the group of players tied for 16th and three back. With the likes of Webb Simpson and Brandt Snedeker alongside Spieth and only two off the lead and with a host of quality names inside the top-26, it's still really competitive and I'm happy to remain cautious but I did think Stanley was over-priced at [75.0]. I very nearly included him in my portfolio before the off so I'm happy to get him onside now.

Pre-Event Selections:
Nick Taylor @ 150/1 (Sportsbook)
Jason Dufner @ [200.0]
Austin Cook @ [220.0]
Robert Streb @ [250.0]
Sebastián Muñoz @ [270.0]
Andrew Landry @ [330.0]
Joel Dahmen @ [360.0]
Wes Roach @ [400.0]
Johnson Wagner @ [500.0]
Ricky Werenski @ [560.0]
Patton Kizzire @ [700.0]
Jon Chin @ [720.0]

Nick Taylor each-way FRL @ 90/1

In-Play Picks:
Kyle Stanley @ [75.0]
Adam Svensson @ [48.0]
Brice Garnett @ [9.0]

*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter

Steven Rawlings,

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