Converging trends are reserved for golfers because each is unique with the set of factors that yield the multi-layered focus. However, that phenomenon can't be dismissed as it pertains to a pair of par-70 host courses during this fortnight that wraps with the Wyndham Championship, the final stop of the 2017-18 season before the FedExCup Playoffs.
When Brooks Koepka tapped in to secure victory at the 100th PGA Championship on Sunday, he not only added his name to the engraving on the Wanamaker Trophy, he also carved out a spot in the record books with the lowest aggregate in the history of the major at 16-under 264.
Now, Henrik Stenson defends his title at Sedgefield Country Club where he recorded a tournament record 22-under 258 last year.
For those needing a successful experience in Greensboro, North Carolina, to wedge into the top 125 of the FedExCup standings, and even for those just out to retain position and stay competitively sharp for the Playoffs, Sedgefield is there for the taking. Scroll past the ranking for more on the Donald Ross track, how Stenson adapted last year and more.
POWER RANKINGS: WYNDHAM CHAMPIONSHIP
RANK PLAYER COMMENT 15 Henrik Stenson 14 Ollie Schniederjans 13 Jason Kokrak 12 Hideki Matsuyama 11 Brian Gay 10 Chris Kirk 9 Julian Suri 8 Kevin Tway 7 Billy Horschel 6 Joaquin Niemann 5 Brandt Snedeker 4 Ryan Moore 3 Shane Lowry 2 Rafa Cabrera Bello 1 Webb Simpson
Notables in Tuesday's Fantasy Insider will include 2016 champion Si Woo Kim, 2012 winner Sergio Garcia, Jason Dufner, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Steve Stricker.
Every week, you could find a tournament within a tournament for at least one golfer. From navigating the unchartered territory of breaking through for his first PGA TOUR victory, to piling up points to qualify for the Ryder Cup team, to compiling FedExCup points to hang onto position inside a partial-season window of opportunity for participation in an invitational, and so on, goals are positioned all over the place.
This week is quite different. It's not hyperbole to state with equal emphasis that for a current PGA TOUR member, the Wyndham Championship, like any tournament, could serve as a launch pad for the remainder of his career, or he might be making his last career start on the circuit. Those who complete the tournament inside the top 125 of the FedExCup standings will qualify for the Playoffs. Those ranked 126-200 and not fully exempt for the 2018-19 season will be eligible to compete in the Web.com Tour Finals.
Not unlike Bellerive last week or even Firestone Country Club the week before, there are no tricks to tackling Sedgefield. The only objective for any in the field of 156 is finding the highest gear.
Last year's scoring average of 68.813 extended Sedgefield's placement among the top-two easiest par 70s to a fourth consecutive season. The field hit 73.97 percent of the greens in regulation for an average of 13.31 per golfer, the fourth-highest clip among all courses last season. Of 50 tracks rated, both the four par 3s and pair of par 5s slotted second-easiest.
In what was his first appearance in five years, Stenson ranked T3 in GIR and led the field in both proximity to the hole and birdie-or-better percentage with the putter. The precision on approach is nothing new for the sinewy Swede, but he downshifted off the tee, ranking a distant 67th in distance of all drives at 273.7 yards (8.5 yards below the field average). That's evidence for longer hitters who can abandon that strategy and still contend.
Accuracy off the tee isn't as important as positioning on this shot-maker's layout with inviting Champion bermudagrass greens averaging 6,500 square feet and tipping at 12 feet on the Stimpmeter. The customary combination of piling up the scoring opportunities and connecting with the putter will define those atop the leaderboard at the finish line.
After a dry opening round, the threat for inclement weather is forecast to arrive on Friday and linger throughout the weekend. Warm and humid conditions will be the norm, and there won't be much wind to help cool. This will be nothing new for the 37 in the field who made the trip from sweltering St. Louis.
ROB BOLTON’S SCHEDULE
PGATOUR.COM’s Fantasy Insider Rob Bolton reviews and previews every tournament from numerous angles. Look for his following contributions as scheduled.
MONDAY: Rookie Ranking, Qualifiers, Reshuffle, Medical Extensions, Power Rankings
TUESDAY*: Sleepers, Facebook Live, Fantasy Insider
WEDNESDAY: One & Done
THURSDAY: Champions One & Done
* - Rob is a member of the panel for PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Picks for PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf presented by SERVPRO, which also publishes on Tuesdays.