The PGA Tour returns to North Carolina and Sedgefield Country Club this week for the Wyndham Championship.
It marks the start of a busy period, with the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup series starting next week at the Barclays.
As such, the field at the Wyndham is slightly weaker than normal, as players recuperate from the WGC-Bridgestone and USPGA Championship and look to prepare for the busy month ahead.
That said, the likes of Zach Johnson, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Bill Haas and Sergio Garcia are in the field this week as they look to accrue some additional FedEx Cup points ahead of the play-offs.
It’s also an important week for those outside the top 125 in the FedEx Cup standings. Only those inside that mark will qualify for the Barclays, and those who fail to infiltrate the top 125 on the PGA Tour Money List will have to play for their 2013-2014 card at the Web.com Tour finals – the replacement for Q-School.
As it stands, players like Louis Oosthuizen, Stuart Appleby, Robert Karlsson, David Toms and Ross Fisher are outside that mark.
Last year, Garcia took the title by two shots from Tim Clark, with Simpson reigning supreme two years previously.
The Wyndham Championship is one of the oldest tournaments on the PGA Tour schedule. It was first contested in 1938 as the Greater Greensboro Open and Sam Snead was the winner. Snead won the tournament seven further times, lastly in 1965. Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Seve Ballesteros and Sandy Lyle have all been winners.
The Wyndham has been staged at Sedgefield Country Club over the past few years, and low scores have been a common feature of the tournament. Indeed, the winning totals from the last three years were -18, -18 and -20.
Venue: Sedgefield Country Club, Greensboro, North Carolina
Date: August 15-18
Course stats: par 70, 7,130 yards
Purse: $5,300,000; Winner: $954,000
Thursday 15 – 7pm, Sky Sports 3
Friday 16 – 8pm, Sky Sports 3 red button
Saturday 17 – 8pm, Sky Sports 3 red button,
Sunday 18 – 7pm, Sky Sports 3 red button and Sky Sports Xtra
Zach Johnson – he finished in a tie for 8th at the USPGA Championship – his fourth consecutive top 10 – and his attributes are perfectly suited to Sedgefield.
Tim Clark – the South African showed glimpses of form at the USPGA and he’s enjoyed great success at the Wyndham Championship, finishing sixth in 2008 and runner-up last year. He also leads the tour in Driving Accuracy.
Roberto Castro – finished 12th last week at the USPGA – his third top-15 finish in his last five starts. His solid all-round game should see him compete at Sedgefield.
Key hole: 18th. At 507 yards, this is a demanding closing hole. The second shot is played uphill but generally it will be from a downhill lie. The large green is guarded by four bunkers and par is a good score here.
Skills required: Putting – this event sees low scoring and an abundance of birdies. To enjoy success here players will have to get the flat-stick working well, particularly with the new, faster, greens.