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The First Look: Wyndham Championship

6 Min Read

The First Look

The First Look: Wyndham Championship

    It’s the final week of the PGA TOUR Regular Season, and all the drama of the season finale comes down to the Wyndham Championship – and even more so in 2023, with only 70 spots available for the first event of the FedExCup Playoffs.

    Last year, Tom Kim announced his arrival to the TOUR with a convincing five-shot victory. He immediately accepted TOUR membership and headed into the FedExCup Playoffs ranked No. 34.

    Kim will unfortunately not be defending his title this week in North Carolina after withdrawing due to a Grade 1 tear in his right ankle that he suffered at The Open Championship – where he grinded out a tie for second.

    Kim currently sits 14th in the FedExCup standings and is comfortably able to take a few weeks off to rest his ankle. Still, that doesn’t mean he isn’t disappointed to miss his title defense Wyndham Championship.

    “I am very gutted to not be able to defend my first PGA TOUR win,” Kim said. “I am still having a hard time with my ankle, so I am getting the treatment I need to heal completely.”

    While Kim won’t be teeing it up this week at the Wyndham Championship, the majority of the field is currently sitting outside the top 70 in the FedExCup standings.

    And that means the pressure at the Wyndham Championship will be at its highest.

    FIELD NOTES: This is prime time for those hovering around the 70th spot in the FedExCup standings. Austin Eckroat is the man currently on the bubble at No. 70, with J.J. Spaun, Ben Griffin and Cam Daivs filling Nos. 67-69. Ben Taylor is at No. 71 and remains on the outside looking in. He trails Eckroat by just 2.418 FedExCup points. Garrick Higgo sits 72nd at 586 FedExCup Points with K.H. Lee at No. 73 and David Lingmerth at No. 74. They’re more than 25 points back. Justin Thomas returns to action after missing the cut at the 3M Open. Thomas, who continues to work through a summertime slump, will head into the Regular Season finale at No. 79 on the FedExCup standings… Newly minted PGA TOUR winner Akshay Bhatia will tee it up for the first time since his big win at the Barracuda Championship as he looks to earn a spot in the FedExCup Playoffs. Si Woo Kim, at No. 18, will be the highest-ranked player in the FedExCup standings to tee it up at the Wyndham Championship. Sam Burns, a winner already this season at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, will play for the first time since The Open Championship. Burns has five top-10 finishes this season. Both Ryder Cup captains – Luke Donald and Zach Johnson – are in the field as we inch closer to the matches in Italy. Donald is in on a sponsor invite. Major champions Hideki Matsuyama, Shane Lowry and Gary Woodland are teeing it up as well. Lowry is another notable on the outside-looking-in when it comes to the FedExCup Playoffs – he’s 76th in the standings.

    Highest-ranked players in the field

    Si Woo Kim18Sam Burns20
    Sam Burns19Justin Thomas26
    Adam Schenk23Sungjae Im27
    Denny McCarthy25Shane Lowry30
    Chris Kirk26Hideki Matsuyama31
    Taylor Moore27Denny McCarthy32
    Russell Henley34Russell Henley34
    Sungjae Im36Si Woo Kim37
    Adam Svensson37Harris English38
    Patrick Rodgers38Adam Scott39

    SPONSOR EXEMPTIONS: Sam Bennett is back in action on the PGA TOUR. Bennett, the college star from Texas A&M who finished as the Low Amateur at the Masters and turned pro this spring, will tee it up at his eighth PGA TOUR event this season. Bennett’s tie for 20th at the RBC Canadian Open is his best of the season as a pro. Nicolai Hojgaard, who finished T23 at The Open Championship, will tee it up at Sedgefield Country Club. Special Temporary Member Peter Kuest will join the field at the Wyndham Championship hoping to build off some summertime success. Kuest, who finished tied for fourth at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and backed that up with a tie for 17th at the John Deere Classic, has played seven TOUR events this season. Kyle Reifers is back in action on the PGA TOUR after missing the cut at the Barracuda Championship. Reifers has three top-five finishes in his PGA TOUR career.


    1) Ins and outs

    There are plenty of notables heading to Sedgefield Country Club, but the laser-like focus of the week will be around the No. 70 spot in the FedExCup standings – with seasons on the line.

    Last season, two players were knocked out of the top 125 at the Regular Season finale, with Matt Wallace (124) and Austin Smotherman (125) getting bumped. Smotherman needed just a par on his final hole of the second round to make the cut, but he carded double bogey.

    Max McGreevy and Kim were the two players that moved inside the top 125.

    Justin Lower had perhaps the most heartbreaking moment of the week, as he missed a 6-footer on the final hole. A make would have moved him inside the magic number.

    From guys on the bubble to guys making magical runs, it’s all set to unfold this week at Sedgefield.

    2) Justin Thomas, just in time?

    After missing the cut at last week’s 3M Open, Thomas, a former FedExCup champion, will need to find what has been eluding him this week at the Wyndham Championship. Thomas will have to quickly re-learn Sedgefield Country Club, as he has not teed it up at the Wyndham Championship since 2016. However, there are some good memories for him at this event – Thomas made his PGA TOUR debut as a 16-year-old at the 2009 Wyndham Championship and opened with a 65.

    FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 FedExCup points.

    COURSE: Sedgefield Country Club (Ross), par 70, 7,131 yards. Opened in the 1920s, Sedgefield has Ross’ typical small and undulating greens, although the winning score has been 20-under or lower for six of the last seven seasons. Sedgefield was restored to the original Ross design in 2007 but lengthened to accommodate the PGA TOUR. It has hosted each Wyndham Championship since 2008.

    72-HOLE RECORD: 258, Henrik Stenson (2017), J.T. Poston (2019)

    18-HOLE RECORD: 59, Brandt Snedeker (Round 1, 2018).

    LAST TIME: Tom Kim became the first player born after 2000 to win on the PGA TOUR after a final-round 61 put a bow on a unique week. Kim started the tournament with a quadruple-bogey 8 on his first hole Thursday and then became the second-youngest winner on TOUR since World War II with his five-shot triumph. Because of weather delays, Kim finished his third round Sunday morning and was two shots back but shot 27 on the front nine in the fourth round to seal the deal. Kim bogeyed the par-4 10th but added back-to-back birdies on Nos. 15 and 16 to put the last bit of distance between him and the chasers. The victory gave Kim immediate PGA TOUR membership, which he accepted. Sungaje Im, the 54-hole leader, shot a 2-under 68 to finish tied for second at 15 under along with John Huh.


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


    Stream 1Main Feed: 6:45 a.m.-2 p.m.Main Feed: 6:45 a.m.-2 p.m.Main Feed: 7:45 a.m.-1 p.m.Main Feed: 7:45 a.m.-1 p.m.
    Featured Group: 2 p.m.-6 p.m.Featured Group: 2 p.m.-6 p.m.Featured Group: 1 p.m.-6 p.m.Featured Group: 1 p.m.-6 p.m.
    Stream 2Marquee: 7:45 a.m.-2 p.m.Marquee: 7:45 a.m.-2 p.m.Marquee: 8 a.m.-1 p.m.Marquee: 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
    Featured Group: 2 p.m.-6 p.m.Featured Group: 2 p.m.-6 p.m.Featured Group: 1 p.m.-6 p.m.Featured Group: 1 p.m.-6 p.m.
    Stream 3Featured Groups: 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m.Featured Groups: 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m.Featured Groups: 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.Featured Groups: 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
    Featured Hole: 2 p.m.-6 p.m.Featured Hole: 2 p.m.-6 p.m.Featured Hole: 1 p.m.-6 p.m.Featured Hole: 1 p.m.-6 p.m.
    Stream 4Featured Holes: 7:15 a.m.-2 p.m.Featured Holes: 7:15 a.m.-2 p.m.Featured Holes: 8:15 a.m.-1 p.m.Featured Holes: 8:15 a.m.-1 p.m.
    Featured Hole: 2 p.m.-6 p.m.Featured Hole: 2 p.m.-6 p.m.Featured Hole: 1 p.m.-6 p.m.Featured Hole: 1 p.m.-6 p.m.

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