The PGA Tour heads to North Carolina this week for the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club. Arjun Atwal 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. There are some notable names around the bubble with only the top-125 going into next week’s first playoff event – The Barclays. Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington and Angel Cabrera are all outside the top 125, as are Justin Leonard and Paul Casey. They will be looking for solid performances this week to move up the ranking.

One man who won’t be able to do that is Tiger Woods. He’s currently 129th in the standings and won’t be playing at the Wyndham owing to a family commitment. That means the man who won two of the first three FedEx Cups won’t be in the running this time around.

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.

Sedgefield is a course that tends to witness low scoring. Arjun Atwal of India took last year’s title with a four-round total of 20-under-par that included a first round of 61. In 2010, the scoring average for the tournament was 68.183 – the lowest of any tournament through the season. It’s an event that generally comes down to a putting contest.

Venue: Sedgefield Country Club, Greensboro, North Carolina
Date: Aug 18-21
Course stats: par 70, 7,117 yards
Purse: $5,200,000 Winner: $918,000
Defending Champion: Arjun Atwal (-20)

TV Coverage:
Thursday 18 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Friday 19 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Saturday 20 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 7pm
Sunday 21 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 6pm

Player Watch:

David Toms – He was runner-up in this event last year and has been enjoying a great season on the PGA Tour. He was tied fourth at the USPGA Championship and the course at Sedgfield is ideally suited to his game. He’s one of the circuit’s best putters so expect him to shoot low here.

Brandt Snedeker – A previous winner of this tournament, Snedeker is another great putter who should excel around this layout.

Ernie Els – The South African has to put in a good performance here to make the FedEx Cup playoffs. The added incentive could inspire the three-time Major champion.

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.

Where next?
Golf Monthly –
September issue now on sale
European Tour – Czech Open preview