Snedeker, Simpson start hot at Wyndham Championship
August 01, 2019
By Cameron Morfit, PGATOUR.COM
Brandt Snedeker interview after Round 1 of Wyndham
GREENSBORO, N.C. – A Wyndham Championship brain-teaser: What do Tim Petrovic, Billy Mayfair, Jeff Overton, George McNeill and C.T. Pan have in common?
Answer: All have finished second to Brandt Snedeker and Webb Simpson at the Wyndham.
Snedeker, who won the tournament in 2007 and 2018, and Simpson, who did it in 2011, wasted no time in assuming their superhero identities here, each opening with a 6-under 64 to trail early leader Byeong Hun An by two strokes after the completion of the morning wave.
Mackenzie Hughes, Patrick Rodgers and Rory Sabbatini each signed for 7-under 63.
“I'm definitely a horse for a course,” said Snedeker, 38, who came into this week with a 67.4 career average at Forest Oaks C.C., where he won in ’07, and Sedgefield, where he opened with a 59 on the way to victory last season. “This golf course kind of sets up perfectly for me, I love it, I know how to play it, so no real big surprises out there.”
At 32nd in the FedExCup, the nine-time PGA TOUR winner has work to do to get back to East Lake for the season-ending TOUR Championship, which he won on the way to the FedExCup title in 2012. And he’s not even on the radar to make this year’s Presidents Cup team.
His career, though, has one thing in common with Tiger Woods, this year’s U.S. captain. Like Woods, Snedeker has feasted at his favorite events, winning twice at not just the Wyndham, but also the Farmers Insurance Open and AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Snedeker laughed off the comparison. “Yeah, I think Tiger won at one golf course as many times as I've won in my whole career,” he said, “so he's got me beat there a little bit.”
As for the prospect of the Presidents Cup, he added, “I need to win some golf tournaments and kind of get my game to where I feel like I would be a deserving pick.”
Last year’s runaway winner of THE PLAYERS Championship, Simpson, 33, is much higher up the list of U.S. Presidents Cup Team hopefuls, up from 11th to 10th after his runner-up finish at the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational last week. Just outside the top eight who will automatically make the team, he expressed his disappointment to Woods that he hadn’t moved up higher. Woods told him to play better, which Simpson laughed about earlier this week.
Much like Snedeker, Simpson, whose career-scoring average at the Wyndham was an even spiffier 67.0 coming into this week, appreciates everything about this tournament. He and his wife, Dowd, even named one of their five kids Wyndham, but call her Winnie.
“I love the Bermudagrass,” Simpson said. “I love having options off the tee, hitting different clubs, undulating greens. … You know, my brother lives here, (I) went to Wake (Forest) 30 minutes down the road; I just feel very comfortable here and always love coming here.”
The tournament was under lift-clean-and-place rules after a storm dumped seven inches of rain in downtown Greensboro on Wednesday night, but only an inch or so at Sedgefield. To a man, the morning wave of players raved about perfect greens, which Patrick Rodgers (63) likened to “putting on a pool table” after he had made a gaudy 166 feet of putts.
Simpson eagled the par-5 fifth hole and had two bogeys in his round. Starting on the back nine, he was even par through his first seven holes before catching fire. He said he believes Woods is watching, and added he might text him again Sunday night if he keeps playing well.
“It's on your mind all the time,” he said of the prospect of making Woods’ Presidents Cup team.
If there’s such a thing as an all-Wyndham team, Simpson and Snedeker are already on it.