With last week’s PGA Championship being “Glory’s Last Shot,” The Wyndham Championship too is a last chance effort as golfers have only this week left to qualify for The FedEx Cup Playoffs and earn a shot at the $10-Million Dollar first prize.
We remain in the state of North Carolina this week on The PGA Tour as we come out of the year’s final Major Championship and onto the doorstep of The FedEx Cup Playoffs to close out the 2017 golf season. Wedged in between is The Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro. The Wyndham is an exciting tournament because of its position on the schedule. It serves as the final opportunity for players to jump into the Top 125 in The FedEx Rankings, and launch themselves into next week’s playoff series.
The FedEx Cup Playoffs begin next week with the Top 125 players in the rankings in the field, rankings based on points earned throughout this past season and through this week. Round two of the playoffs will see the field reduced to the Top 100 in points, and then to the Top 70, and finally in the season ending event, only the remaining Top 30 players in the rankings will compete at The Tour Championship for the $10-million dollar prize and the title of FedEx Cup Champion. But first, The Wyndham and again, the chance to get into that possibly very lucrative Top 125.
Sedgefield Country Club began hosting this Tour event nearly 80-years ago. The tournament switched over to Forest Oaks for many years in the late 70’s but has been back at Sedgefield since 2008. It is a Donald Ross design with many typical Ross characteristics; smaller, undulated greens with shaved roll off areas, narrower fairways, and now the owner of Bermuda Grass greens, the same strain we witnessed last week at Quail Hollow Club. The course measures a little over 7100-yards and is a Par 70. Driving Accuracy, Scrambling, and scoring on The Par 4’s will be the areas of focus this week in trying to determine a Wyndham Champion.
Henrik Stenson (+1399 Bookmaker) While early in the season, we saw Stenson battle injury and making cuts, he’s now reeled off three straight Top 20 finishes, two in Majors and one at The WGC Bridgestone. He has not played here in five years and went WD-CUT-CUT when he did between 2010 and 2012.
Kevin Kisner (+1625 Bookmaker) How will Kisner respond after leading The PGA for three out of the four days only to see it slip away on Sunday? The good news is, it is a short trip from Charlotte to Greensboro and Kisner has excellent success here with four cuts made in four tries and two Top 10 finishes.
Webb Simpson (+2450 Bookmaker) Simpson has a win here in 2011 and has made the cut in seven straight trips. Does he love this place? Well, he named his daughter Wyndham if that tells you anything. On Tour, Simpson hasn’t missed a cut in three months.
Jason Dufner (+2500 5Dimes) Much like Jason Dufner, his track record here is nothing flashy but solid. A couple of missed cuts, a few Top 35 finishes, and a Top 10 since the event came back to Sedgefield in 2008. Driving Accuracy and Par 4 Scoring are a couple of areas in which Dufner excels.
Ryan Moore (+2500 5Dimes) Ryan Moore is now showing signs that he is back and completely healthy with a 28th at The WGC Bridgestone and a 13th last week at The PGA. He won here in 2009 and has another Top 10 finish since in 2015.
Byeong Hun An (+4000 5Dimes) The young Cal Bear finished 18th in his only ever appearance here in 2015. He is coming off of a 28th at The PGA Championship and has racked up three Top 10 finishes on the season. He may need another this week as he ranks 94th in The FedEx Cup Standings.
The Long Shots
Chez Reavie (+4500 5Dimes) Reavie has two Top 10 finishes here in 2009 and 2011 but has missed the cut in each of his last three visits to Sedgefield. He has all of the tools to play well at this track and has been in excellent form, not missing a cut on Tour in over two months.
Chad Campbell (+6000 Bookmaker) Having played here six times since the switch back to Sedgefield CC in 2008, Campbell has one Top 10 and two missed cuts. His numbers this season however are a great fit as he is accurate off of the tee, hits greens, and is 2nd on Tour in Scrambling. Campbell has three Top 20 finishes in his last four starts on Tour.
Chris Stroud (+7000 Bookmaker) What a great story it has been to watch Chris Stroud the past few weeks, getting his first ever Tour win and then backing it up with Top 10 finish last week at The PGA. He has to be beaming with confidence coming into a place he has struggled mightily, missing six cuts in nine tries.
Keegan Bradley (+4000 Bookmaker) In his first and only time ever playing The Wyndham, Bradley finished 46th here last year. His game is made for this type of course; accurate off of the tee, hits greens in regulation, ranks 5th on Tour in Par 4 Scoring.. and his putting and scrambling have improved. Bradley hasn’t missed a cut on Tour in two months and is coming off of a 33rd place finish last week at The PGA. If you look at what Bradley has done at other Donald Ross designs, he was 4th at Pinehurst in 2014, 19th at Oak Hill in 2013, and has two Top 15’s at East Lake in The Tour Championship, another Ross creation. His results speak to his liking for this style of design and I like his game for this particular course. He seems to be progressing nicely as of late and I think he’s ready to get back into the winner’s circle.
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