The PGA Tour heads to North Carolina this week for the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club. Webb Simpson defends the title in the last regular season event before the FedEx Cup playoffs.
This event is a last chance for players to make it into the lucrative FedEx Cup playoffs and to remain in the picture to secure the $10 million bonus prize. Those currently just outside the all-important top-125 are Heath Slocum in 126th and Trevor Immelman in 127th. Both will tee it up here hoping to sneak up a couple of spots.
This 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.
In last year’s championship Webb Simpson began an awesome late-season run of form with victory in this event. After beating George McNeill by three shots at Sedgefield, he went on to post top-10 finishes in each of the first three FedEx Cup playoff events, including a win in the Deutsche Bank Championship.
In recent years Sedgefield has proved to be one of the easiest courses on the PGA Tour schedule with 16-under-par the highest winning total here since 2008. But, at the start of the year the bentgrass greens at Sedgefield were replaced with Champion Bermuda. It’s a more heat-resistant grass and this should allow the organisers to get the putting surfaces a good deal quicker through the week. So, potentially, scoring could be higher than we’ve seen here in recent years.
Venue: Sedgefield Country Club, Greensboro, North Carolina
Date: August 16-19
Course stats: par 70, 7,130 yards
Purse: $5,200,000 Winner: $936,000
Defending Champion: Webb Simspon (-18)
Thursday 16 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Friday 17 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Saturday 18 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 6pm
Sunday 19 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 6pm
Jason Dufner – Currently third on the FedEx Cup standings, Dufner has been the revelation of 2012. He’s made 17 consecutive cuts on the PGA Tour.
Brandt Snedeker – He looked like he might run away from the field at the Open Championship before fading over the weekend. He has a good record in this event and was the winner in 2007, when the tournament was contested at Forest Oaks.
Carl Pettersson – He’s a former winner of this event, back in 2008. He’s also clearly on good form with a share of third place in the USPGA Championship. He’s joint course record holder at Sedgefield – 61.
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.