The Tour returns to the state containing the not oldest state university in the country. It's the state that's north of South Carolina. It's the state that divides it's collegiate fanbase more ways than UGA fans have rivals. It's the state that tries to claim the birthplace of Brunswick Stew, and has a misplaced sense of righteousness about it's barbecue. And it's the state that has Sedgefield Country Club, site of this week's Wyndham Championship.
Last week's PGA Championship was won by Jason Day, an Aussie, and thus deprived Americans of having a native son win all four calendar year majors.... which has been denied us since 1982. This doesn't bother me in the least, but, ya know.... 'Murica and all that. We had 6 former Bulldogs competing, and 3 made the cut and showed themselves well. Harris English had one bad round, but still finished T48. Bubba Watson put a charge into the crowd but couldn't really go low and finished T21 (he shot each round better than the previous... not bad). And Russell Henley finished T12 after flirting with the top 5 (and shot every round under par).
Now the golf world takes a breather before the FedEx Cup playoffs begin, and there is one last tournament in which to win points and either improve your standing or just flat out get into said playoffs. And that is in Greensboro, NC more specifically at Sedgefield Country Club. It's a decent course but not epically historic or anything like that. This is a run-of-the-mill PGA Tour stop except that it will make or break many player's chances of qualifying for the playoffs and deciding their final standing... thus deciding for many if they keep their Tour playing privileges for next year or are forced back to Qualifying School or even the mini-tours. Keeping inside the top 125 on the money list is what keeps you alive, or the 2 year exemption that comes from winning a tournament. This is stressful for the journeyman, and there are several books dedicated to the subject. Thankfully, we really don't have anyone in this position save for one (more on that later). We've discussed the FedEx Cup Playoffs before, so feel free to use this as a refresher.
But we do have a few 'Dawgs playing this week. Many big names skip this tournament, preferring to rest up before the Playoffs begin. There are others who use it as a tune-up, or want to work on whatever didn't work last week at the PGA. Whatever the reason, it's a mixed bag. Adam Scott is here, Tiger Woods is here (for the first time in his 19 year career). Luke Donald (134th), Camillo Villegas (126th), and Vijay Singh (127th) are all here too. But here is who you're rooting for, along with their current playoff ranking:
Erik Compton (114): Compton could use a good showing. He's safely in for the first week, but the playoffs get progressively smaller fields so he needs to improve his position.
Harris English (46): English is also safe for the first 3 weeks, but a strong showing against this weaker field could move him closer to the top 30.
Brian Harman (66): See English above.
Hudson Swafford (96): See Compton above.
Brendon Todd (52): See English above. Actually, Todd hasn't played well the last couple of weeks (T61 and MC at PGA), so he might be looking to regain some form.
Chris Kirk, Bubba Watson, and Kevin Kisner are all safely inside the top 30 on the list, so have foregone competition this week. And Kirk is still recovering from a broken hand in July, and hopes to make it to the Barclays next week.
TV Coverage is standard fare: 3-6 pm Thu/Fri on the Golf Channel, and 1-2:30 pm Sat/Sun. CBS picks it up at 3:00 pm Saturday and Sunday. So if you don't care for preseason NFL, if the Braves are on the road (where they suck something awful), and you don't want to watch the out-of-season SEC Network programming, tune in to golf and root on some Bulldogs.