The Wyndham Championship Preview
After a bonkers 2018 PGA Championship, we have one more PGA Tour event before the FedEx Cup Playoffs. This week’s Wyndham Championship is a final opportunity for some to earn their PGA Tour card for 2018-19 and a chance for others to jump up a few spots for playoff positioning. This field is stack with interesting names and intriguing stories.
Let’s take a look at this week’s contest.
What: Wyndham Championship | When: Aug. 16-19
Where: Sedgefield Country Club — Greensboro, North Carolina
Ranking the field (odds)
- Webb Simpson (12-1): Trends converging including an unbelievable record here and a really underrated season in which Simpson has secured another Ryder Cup selection.
- Joaquin Niemann (28-1): I think he’s special. First time here coming off a made cut at the PGA in which he flirted with the leaderboard before fading late.
- Hideki Matsuyama (16-1): He’s showed something in the last few weeks with some solid play after a few months of wandering. I don’t know if he’s found it, but he has so much talent that it might not matter.
- Brandt Snedeker (22-1): His history here is solid — four top 10s including at T3 in 2016.
- Rafa Cabrera Bello (22-1): He finished T5 here in 2016 and top 10 at the PGA. Ryder Cup lock.
- Henrik Stenson (16-1): He’s the defending champion but there are injury concerns, and he missed the cut at the PGA.
- Ryan Moore (33-1): He’s been on a mini-heater of late and won here in 2009.
- Ollie Schniederjans (40-1): The first-team all-traj guy nearly won here a year ago and played well at Bellerive before fading late.
- Billy Horschel (28-1): This week feels like a Billy Horschel win, doesn’t it?
- Sergio Garcia (33-1): I know this summer has been absolutely atrocious, but he actually has something at stake this week as he’s No. 131 in the FedEx Cup rankings, and I have to go with the talent in situations like that.
Field strength — C+: It’s not a very good field, but that’s made up for by the “who keeps their PGA Tour card by getting inside the top 125” drama.
Three stories to watch
1. Minors to bigs: Several golfers who were in college last year are playing the big time this week. Doc Redman (Clemson), Doug Ghim (Texas), Norman Xiong (Oregon) and Dylan Meyer (Illinois) are among those playing who, one year ago, were prepping for the U.S. Amateur at Riviera. None are likely to win, but it’s worth following them all as they try and carve a path on the PGA Tour.
2. Hello, Euros? The heart of the European Ryder Cup team is not looking great right now. Stenson and Justin Rose might be hurt, and Garcia is playing as poorly as I can ever remember. Maybe they get it on track this week, and they’ll need to as Paris looms.
3. Photo finish: The low-key best drama of the season is guys jumping in and out of the top 125 over the final nine holes at Sedgefield. Only the top 125 in the FedEx Cup standings qualify for the PGA Tour for next season, and there are some big names that need big weeks. According to the PGA Tour, an average of 2.7 golfers jump into the top 125 from outside of it every year at Greensboro.
- 2017: Henrik Stenson
- 2016: Si Woo Kim
- 2015: Davis Love III
- 2014: Camilo Villegas
- 2013: Patrick Reed