First Look: Wyndham Championship
August 08, 2014
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM
- The PGA TOUR returns to Sedgefield Country Club where Patrick Reed won his first TOUR title. (Tyler Lecka/Getty Images)
• COURSE: Sedgefield Country Club, 7,127 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 hiatus.
• 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: Defending champion Patrick Reed and former U.S. Open winner Webb Simpson headline the lineup at the regular season’s final stop. Though the roster features just five of the current top 30 in the FedExCup race, all but 14 from Nos. 80-161 are entered. … Memorial champion Hideki Matsuyama is highest in the world rankings at No.16. … Two-time winners Davis Love III and Rocco Mediate tee it up again to help celebrate the event’s 75th edition. It’ll be Mediate’s 23rd start in Greensboro, Love’s 20th. … Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher, No.31 in the world rankings, is among among four European Tour pros given sponsor exemptions.
• 72-HOLE RECORD: 259, Carl Pettersson (2008).
• 18-HOLE RECORD: 61, Carl Pettersson (2nd round, 2008), Arjun Atwal (1st round, 2010), Kevin Na (3rd round, 2010), Tim Herron (2nd round, 2012).
• LAST YEAR: Patrick Reed turned tree trouble into the “best shot of my life” for a birdie that yielded his first career title, beating Jordan Spieth in a playoff of PGA TOUR rookies. Spieth’s closing 65 pulled even with Reed (66), following with a snaking 25-foot par on the first extra hole to extend the playoff. But Reed countered with his own heroics one hole later, uncorking a 7-iron from an uphill lie that stayed low underneath a tree branch and stopped 7 feet from the pin. With wife Justine as his caddie, the Reeds became the first husband/wife duo to win on TOUR since Steve Stricker captured the 1996 BMW Championship with wife Nikki on the bag.
• STORYLINES: It’s the final chance for players to crack the FedExCup playoffs lineup by moving into the top 125 on the points list. No one took advantage last year – the first time since the FedExCup came into play that the final 125 had the same names as before Greensboro. … Notable players who hover around the bubble include Steve Stricker (122nd/not playing), Paul Casey (124th) and former major champs Ben Curtis (131st), Mike Weir (134th) and Trevor Immelman (141st). … No one in the past four years has come to Greensboro outside No.135 on the points list and left with a playoff berth.
• SHORT CHIPS: Reed’s victory gave the Wyndham its fourth first-time winner in the past five editions, joining Simpson (2011), Arjun Atwal (2010) and Ryan Moore (2009). … Since the tournament returned to Sedgefield CC in 2008, all but one champion held at least a share of the 54-hole lead. The exception was 2009, when Moore made up four shots on Sergio Garcia. … Though Love is a longshot to make the FedExCup playoffs at No.161 in points, he’ll set a PGA TOUR record with his 29th consecutive season of at least $100,000 in earnings.
• TELEVISION: Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:30 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS).
• RADIO: Thursday-Sunday, noon-6 p.m. (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com).