By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The Wyndham Championship is the final event
for players to play their way into the FedExCup Playoffs. A total
of 74 players currently ranked in the top 125 are competing in
Greensboro this week and here are some interesting projections and
tidbits from the first round.
NO. 1 POSSIBILITY: Jason Dufner is the only player who can take the No. 1 spot in the standings away from Tiger Woods. Dufner, a two-time winner this year, managed to get under par on Thursday, shooting a 68, but he actually lost ground in the projected standings. That's because Carl Pettersson, who leads by one after shooting a 62, moved up six spots to supplant him at No. 3.
BUBBLE WATCH: David Mathis, who is tied with Tim Clark for second after shooting a 63 on Thursday, is trying to become the first player to play his way into the Playoffs more than once at the Wyndham Championship. He came in ranked 136th this year and moved 49 spots to No. 87 on Thursday. In 2009 he started the week ranked 126th, tied for 17th and finished 118th. He was inside the number at 122nd last year but fell four spots outside the top 125 when he missed the cut. "It’s really nice to get off to a good start especially the position I’m in with the FedExCup and being on the outside looking in," Mathis said. "It’s nice to get off to a solid start, give myself an opportunity to go forward to have a good finish and get in those Playoffs which, gosh, it’s a pretty big deal." ... Gary Woodland's 66 boosted him eight spots from 130th to 122nd. "I know if I play well I’ll take care of business," he said. ... Bubble boy Rod Pampling shot a 68 and gave himself some breathing room, moving two spots to No. 123. ... Boo Weekley, who fell four spots with his round of even-par 70 replaced Pampling at No. 125. ... The two players who have fallen out due to the rise of Woodland and Mathis are Jason Bohn, who dropped four shots to No. 127 and Jhonattan Vegas, who fell four spots to No. 128. ... Another player who faces an uphill battle is Matt Jones, who started the week ranked No. 182 and needs to finish in a two-way tie for second or better get into the Playoffs. He shot 2 under Thursday and moved up four spots. Jones has been in this position before. A year ago in Greensboro, he started the week ranked No. 122, missed the cut and finished 127th. He finished the Regular Season No. 127 in 2008 and No. 126 in 2009.
NOTABLES WATCH: Webb Simpson, who jumped from 12th to third in the FedExCup with his win last year, moved one spot to 12th on Thursday with his round of 66. ... Brandt Snedeker, a former Wyndham Championship winner hoping to earn one of Davis Love III's Ryder Cup picks, moved four spots to No. 19. ... Matt Every's round of 66, which featured a streak of nine straight one-putts propelled him 11 spots to No. 43. ... Tim Clark, who was 124th at the start of the PGA last week, made the biggest jump of the day -- 51 spots to No. 58 with his round of 63. ... Scott Stallings, playing Sedgefield for the first time on Thursday -- with a new caddy to boot -- shot 64. He's tied for fourth and has moved up 17 spots to No. 71, just shy of a prospective berth in the BMW Championship. ... Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III birdied his last hole for a 67 and has moved nine spots to No. 110.
NOTABLES OUTSIDE 125: John Daly shot 2 over and has fallen three spots in the standings to No. 140. ... Angel Cabrera, who has U.S. Open and Masters titles on his resume, moved 11 spots to No. 175 with his 67.
ANOTHER ITEM OF INTEREST: Former British Open champion Stewart Cink, who started the week ranked No. 135, isn't playing because his son is heading to college this weekend. But his caddy, Frank Williams, will be moving on in the Playoffs. The Greensboro native is toting Scott Stallings' bag for the next few weeks while the pro's regular caddy Josh Graham takes some time off after the birth of his child. Stallings didn't get to Greensboro until 10 p.m. on Wednesday night after hosting an event for the DIY Network at his home the last few days. It didn't seem to bother Stallings, though, as he shot 64. "New golf course, new caddy and not really paid much attention to golf the last couple of days," Stallings said. "To come out and shoot 64 is something I would have taken if you would have given it to me in the parking lot."