Tournament: Wyndham Championship, August 17-20, 2017
Course: Sedgefield Country Club (Ross), 7,127 yards, par 70.
Defending Champion: Si Woo Kim. Kim shot a course record 60 on Saturday and had a pretty easy time of it Sunday, finishing with a 4 stroke victory. He withdrew from the British Open last month with a back injury and will not be able to defend his title.
Fun Fact: The Atlantic Coast Conference was founded at this club in 1953.
Television: Thursday, 2-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Friday, 2-4 p.m. (GC). Saturday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m. (CBS)
‘Dawgs in the Field (Three-ish): Kevin Kisner, Harris English, Brendon Todd (alternate)
What a difference a year makes. At this tournament last year, we had 8 former Bulldogs teeing it up. Most were trying to improve their playoff position. This year, the Bulldog stalwarts on the PGA Tour have secured their position and are prepping for the FedEx Cup playoffs which start next week.
This is right in line with the rest of the field. Only 5 of the top 30 FedEx point leaders are playing this week (including #9 Kevin Kisner), yet all but 15 of players ranked 90-190 are here hoping to move up in the rankings or even to qualify for the playoffs. With 500 FedEx Cup points on the line for the winner, someone ranked around #150 (approximately 600 points season to date) would move up around 100 places in the rankings and likely be qualified for both the first and second rounds. And most every year, a player sneaks into the playoffs based on their play in this regular season-ending event.
The top 125 in points after Sunday make it to the first round (next week’s Northern Trust), then the top 100 the week after (Dell Technologies), the top 70 for the 3rd round (BMW Championship) and the top 30 vie for it all with the Tour Championship finale at East Lake. As I mentioned, the Kiz is safe at #9, probably all the way through to the Tour championship.
Harris English is currently #113, and I think safe for the 1st round. So he’s playing in hopes of gaining some points and moving up in the rankings while the most of the world’s best stay home. Bubba Watson is in a similar position (#111), but is not playing this week.
Brendon Todd is an alternate this week, which means someone in the field has to withdraw by Thursday morning before he will get to officially enter. He’s number 247 on the FedEx points list, so nothing short of a win will get him into the playoffs.
Those Bulldogs not competing this week include Chris Kirk at #95 - which can mean currently qualified for rounds 1 and 2 unless the guys immediately behind him jump him; Hudson Swafford at #35 who is safe for rounds 1 and 2 but dicey for round 3; Russell Henley at #19 who is likely safe for rounds 1-3 but needs some points to ensure his entry into the Tour Championship; and Brian Harman who sits prettily at #10.
Two other Bulldog alums have cashed checks this year on the PGA Tour, Keith Mitchell and Lee McCoy. But neither have entry into this week’s event and even with a win would not qualify for the playoffs on points. Both are currently playing the mini-tours.
If you tire of MLB and pre-season NFL football, there’s some golf + drama as golfers careers are on the line (kinda sorta). Thank goodness this doesn’t apply to our boys.
And as always...