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August 9 2013

7:00 PM

First Look: Wyndham Championship

The Wyndham Championship is contested on a Donald Ross original. (Martin/Getty Images)

MORE: Wyndham Championship full field

By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.com contributor

COURSE: Sedgefield Country Club, 7,130 yards, par 70. With its small, undulating greens, Sedgefield opened in 1925 and is the only regular PGA TOUR stop played on a Donald Ross design. Sedgefield was one of two courses used for the inaugural Greater Greensboro Open in 1938, later alternating as host before a 16-year run from 1961-76. The 1965 edition was the last of Sam Snead’s record 82 TOUR victories, and Sedgefield also was the site of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s founding in 1953. In 2008, the TOUR’s annual Greensboro stop returned to its roots after a 31-year break.

FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 points.

CHARITY: The Association of Hole in the Wall Camps, Christel House International and the Starlight Children’s Foundation, each dedicated to enriching the lives of disadvantaged children in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina.

FIELD WATCH: Recent FedExCup champions Brandt Snedeker and Bill Haas join defending champion Sergio Garcia at the regular season’s final stop. Though the field includes just five of the top 20 in the current FedExCup standings, all but two from Nos. 86-149 are entered. … Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, up to No. 33 in the world rankings after top-10 finishes at both the U.S. Open and British Open, is in the field on a sponsor exemption. … Nearby Wake Forest will have strong representation from Haas and 2012 U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson. … Paul Casey, who won last month’s Irish Open after a long bout with injuries, plays his third consecutive week on U.S. soil.

72-HOLE RECORD: 259, Carl Pettersson (2008).

18-HOLE RECORD: 61, Carl Pettersson (second round, 2008), Arjun Atwal (first round, 2010), Kevin Na (third round, 2010), Tim Herron (second round, 2012).

LAST YEAR: Sergio Garcia ended a four-year winless drought on U.S. soil, waiting an extra day to win a Monday finish by two strokes over Tim Clark. Garcia went 66-66 over his final 36 holes, including Sunday storms that halted play with 38 players on the course and seven within three shots of the Spaniard. After finding himself briefly tied for the lead, Garcia pulled away with three consecutive birdies starting at No.15. It was Garcia’s eight PGA TOUR victory, but first since capturing THE PLAYERS in 2008. It also was redemption of sorts for the 2009 Wyndham, when Garcia squandered a three-shot lead over the final nine.

STORYLINES: It’s the final opportunity for players to punch a FedExCup playoff ticket by moving into the top 125 on the points list. A year ago, only Heath Slocum was able to grab a last-gasp spot with a move from 128th to No. 124. … Notable players who hover around the bubble include European Ryder Cup standouts Martin Kaymer (119th) and Nicolas Colsaerts (126th), triple major winner Padraig Harrington (128th), Sanderson Farms champion Woody Austin (134th) and Hall of Famer Vijay Singh (141st). … In the past three years, no one has managed to snatch a playoff berth from outside 140th in the standings entering Greensboro.

SHORT CHIPS: Garcia’s triumph last year ended a run of three straight champs who made Wyndham their first PGA TOUR victory – Simpson (2011), Atwal (2010) and Ryan Moore (2009). … Garcia’s comfort in Greensboro goes back to his amateur days. Shortly before turning pro, he tied for third in 1998 at the Web.com Tour’s Greensboro Open – also played at Sedgefield CC. … Since the tournament returned to Sedgefield CC in 2008, every 54-hole leader but one has managed to close out a victory. The exception was 2009, when Moore overtook Garcia from four shots back.

TELEVISION: Thursday, 2-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Friday, 3-5 p.m. (GC). Saturday, 3:30-6:30 p.m. (CBS). Sunday, 1-2:30 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS).

RADIO: Thursday-Friday, noon-6 p.m. ET. Saturday, 1 - 7 p.m. ET. Sunday, noon-6 p.m. ET (PGATOUR.COM and SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio).

 

 

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