Preview: 81st Wyndham Championship

Top 125 after this week advance to the FedExCup Playoffs but the pressure isn’t the same this season.

Sedgefield Country Club has hosted since 2008 and birdies have always been on the menu of the final event of the “regular” hahaha season.

81st Wyndham Championship

Sedgefield Country Club

Greensboro, NC

Yards: (per official scorecard): 7,131
Par: 70; (35-35)
Greens: Champion Bermuda; 6,500 square feet on average.
Stimpmeter: 12 feet.
Rough: Bermuda at 2.5″.
Bunkers/Water Hazards 52/5 (6 holes in play).
Architect(s): Donald Ross (1926); Kris Spence (2007).
Purse: $6.4; $1.152 million and 500 FedExCup points (winner).
Defending Champion: JT Poston (-22).
Fact of the Week: Hosting the final event of the regular season as Sedgefield since 2008.
Fact of the Week II: Nobody is playing for status this week, just FedExCup Playoff positioning.

 

2019-2020 Season Winners

*- First-time winner

**- First-time winner AND rookie winner

Event Winner
   
A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier *- Joaquin Niemann
Sanderson Farms Championship *- Sebastian Munoz
Safeway Open Cameron Champ
Shriners Hospitals for Children Open Kevin Na
Houston Open *-Lanto Griffin
CJ CUP AT NINE BRIDGES Justin Thomas
ZOZO Championship Tiger Woods
WGC-HSBC Champions Rory McIlroy
Bermuda Championship Brendon Todd
Mayakoba Golf Classic Brendon Todd (2)
The RSM Classic *-Tyler Duncan
Hero World Challenge Henrik Stenson
Sentry Tournament of Champions Justin Thomas (2)
Sony Open Cameron Smith
The American Express Andrew Landry
Farmers Insurance Open Marc Leishman
Waste Management Phoenix Open Webb Simpson
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Nick Taylor
The Genesis Invitational Adam Scott
WGC-Mexico Championship Patrick Reed
The Honda Classic *-Sungjae Im
Arnold Palmer Invitational Tyrrell Hatton
THE PLAYERS Championship Abandoned due to COVID-19, no winner
Charles Schwab Challenge Daniel Berger
RBC Heritage Webb Simpson (2)
Travelers Championship Dustin Johnson
Rocket Mortgage Classic Bryson DeChambeau
Workday Charity Open Collin Morikawa
Memorial Jon Rahm
3M Open Michael Thompson
WGC-FESJ Invitational Justin Thomas (3)
102nd PGA Championship Collin Morikawa (2)

 

Horses for Courses publishes at PGATOUR.COM Tuesdays. It’s a look who has played well here recently so I suggest reading it as I won’t replicate all of the information here.

 

Recent Winners

Year Player Notes
2019 JT Poston, -22 First TOUR win; Tournament record tied; No bogeys for tournament winner since Lee Trevino 1974.
     
2018 Brandt Snedeker, -21 Opened with 59, course record and went wire-to-wire.
     
2017 Henrik Stenson, -22 Set tournament record; highest OWGR winner (No. 8) since Hal Sutton in 2000.
     
2016 Si Woo Kim, -21 Won by five; set the course record 60 picking up his first TOUR win.
     
2015 Davis Love III, -17 Highest winning score in the last five for the oldest winner.

 

Facts and Figures:

Sedgefield added Champion Bermuda after the 2013 edition and the scores have plummeted.

Tournament Record: 258; Poston and Stenson.
Course Record: 59; Snedeker.
Defending Champions (last): Nope
Defending Champions (event): Nope.
Multiple Winners Entered (event): Snedeker, Love III.
First-time – TOUR Poston, Si Woo Kim.
First-time Entered Nope.
Odd Fact: Nobody has won twice at Sedgefield.
Odd Fact II: Snedeker won his first title at Forest Oaks in 2007.
Odd Fact III: No more than four players have entered the FedExCup top 125 at the conclusion of this event.

 

End of the road

From the first major of the year to the last event of the regular season, as the kids say, life comes at you fast.

The stress this week that usually comes with maintaining status inside the FedExCup 125 is all but gone. Due to the pandemic, status this season is guaranteed through this time NEXT season. The only perceived stress will be making the FedExCup Playoffs next week at TPC Boston and continuing in the Playoffs.

Sedgefield is an interesting way to finish the season off as it is literally a free-for-all. The winning score the last four years has been 22 or 21-under so there’s no mystery.

EMPTY THE CHAMBER.

The easiest Par-70 course on TOUR almost annually has perfect Champion Bermuda Greens, light rough and sits right in front of you. Not much mystery in the plan of attack. Find as many GIR and hole as many birdies and eagles as possible.

Scores over 70 do not need apply. Last season the top 47 players were 10-under so you can do the math on what that is per round. As the great John Sterling says:

https://twitter.com/JSterlingCalls/status/1293340681654632449

Oh, and there were only four rounds above 70 in the top 40.

Not reaching 7,200 yards and having 6,000 square foot greens, this opens the door for all shapes and sizes. Only one winner in the last six have landed in the top 10 for distance but five of the last six are in the top 10 for accuracy. All six T12 or better in proximity including T7 or better.

Half of the last six winners have been TOUR vets while the other three have been up-and-comers. The worst winning score is 17-under. Take me to birdie town!

Better double-knot your shoes and hang on with both hands.

New Gamers: If your angle this week is taking a guy because he has to make the top 125, I’d reevaluate. These guys have known for weeks that their TOUR status would NOT be affected this year. Making the FedExCup Playoffs are great, no doubt, but in NORMAL years only a couple guys annually play themselves in. I’ve found if a guy can’t handle this task over 40-some events, he’s not going to turn it around in one week because of the pressure! Some always do but when everyone from 100 to 150 is entered, or close, good luck picking the right ones.

FedExCup Playoffs Bubble

Pos. Player Points Points Behind No. 125 In field?
122 Fabian Gomez 274 Yes
123 Bo Hoag 270 Yes
124 Russell Knox 267 Yes
125 Charl Schwartzel 266 Yes
126 Bronson Burgoon 255 11 Yes
127 Chase Seiffert 254 12 Yes
128 Nick Watney 253 13 Yes
129 Zach Johnson 250 16 Yes
130 Kyle Stanley 246 20 Yes
131 Shane Lowry 245 21 Yes
132 Matt Wallace 244 22 Yes
133 Rafa Cabrera Bello 241 25 Yes
134 Sergio Garcia 238 28 Yes
135 Jhonattan Vegas 235 31 Yes

 

Chalk

Webb Simpson: Guess who loves this event, North Carolina, Wake Forest and putting on Bermuda?

Paul Casey: Didn’t see anything last week that suggested this was a one-off; hit and giggle should be a nice come down; hits too many greens not to take it seriously.

Harris English: Rattling off top 25s for fun, seven of his last eight if you’re scoring at home; never missed in six attempts and scoring average is 67.58.

Si Woo Kim: Red-hot with seven straight paydays in eight starts after the break; 60 and a win here plus solo fifth in four starts.

Patrick Reed: 2013 champ has never finished worse than T24 because there’s room off the tee and his short game is boss.

Justin Rose: Because I’m a sucker. Obviously he found something last week with the putter (3rd: SGP) so I’m looking for that to carryover.

Billy Horschel: T11 or better three times in his last five here; three straight in the top 25 before T43 last week.

Brendon Todd: Five straight including four T22 or better; makes too many putts and too many rounds in the 60s.

Kevin Kisner: 3rd at Detroit on the last Ross design and back-to-back top 25s entering the week at Memphis and TPC Harding Park; perfect length and perfect putting surface.

Ryan Moore: Only player on this list not to play last week; T12 at each of his last two starts (Barracuda, 3M) and a former champ here; T6 last year and T10 2015.

Stretching

JT Poston: Shouldn’t have as much on his shoulders as the DC since there are no crowds/expectations/extra attention. Wish he was a bit more dialed in but nobody repeats here anyhow.

Maverick McNealy: T7 Barracuda LTO and T8 in Detroit should have him poised.

Dylan Frittelli: T33 or better in his last three; T8 on Bermuda at Harbour Town.

Joaquin Niemann: Closed 63 for T13 last year after T33 on debut in ’18 (-26 total).

Henrik Norlander: Five straight; T16 on debut in ’13.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout: Worst round since the restart is 72; top 10 SGP and top 25 SGApproach are the clues.

Tom Lewis: Roasted TPC Southwind Bermuda greens. That’s enough in this field.

Brian Harman: Turned the corner the last three rounds at 3M and made the cut at PGA last week. All or nothing here is just perfect haha.

Brice Garnett: Smashed down here so everyone misses him. Lovely record here.

Harold Varner III: Home game, do werk.

Patrick Rodgers: Always plays well at Quail Hollow in Charlotte; opened with 63 before fading last year; T19-T31-T18 L3.

Doc Redman: T29 or better in four of his last five. Might hit every green.

Seamus Power: T9-MC-MC-T12 (Detroit) in his last four. Roll them bones!

Corey Conners: Firing at flags is all he knows and the results have been steady recently.

Shane Lowry: Fourth year in five playing the event tells me all I need to know; T7 in ’17 and all 10 rounds are par or better. Move him up.

Branden Grace: T2 at Barracuda before the COVID got him for the weekend.

Bud Cauley: Making cuts on TOUR and 33-under in his last three trips here.

Outrageous

Patton Kizzire: Trending at Wyndham.

Kyle Stanley: T13 and T14 in last three here.

Bill Haas: 8 straight at the event but his last three are the worst three.

Brian Gay: T6 in ’18 included 36 holes of 62-63.

Ryan Armour: T22-T8-T4 in his last three visits (45-under) includes a 61.

Mark Hubbard: Six of seven on TOUR; T11 at Honda.

Denny McCarthy: Putting savant on perfect greens.

KH Lee: 4 straight on TOUR.

Team Austria: Straka and Schwab. Hanz and Franz.

 

Careful

Brooks Koepka: Class is permanent but I have no idea why he’s in the field if he doesn’t GAS. Can win anytime he tees it up but there’s always that question if he’ll see it out.

Brandt Snedeker: Monster course horse hasn’t been circling tons of birdies or posting many in the 60s.

Tommy Fleetwood: Maybe after all the difficult tracks he’s played, this is the tonic to get him going. Oh, wait, he played 3M and couldn’t make the cut. Now I’m confused. I’m not overpaying.

Sungjae Im: Not happening for him at the moment. I tried kick-starting him at Memphis but no luck. Your turn.

Jordan Spieth: Pick the round where he doesn’t fire. Maybe that will be the new game until he gets it figured out. Last year it was 64-67-77 so if you had Round 3, congrats!

Sergio Garcia: Last winner on Bent; nothing inside top 20 in last two trips.

 

 

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out through Twitter or email me mikeglasscott@gmail.com.

 

 

 

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