The PGA Tour leaves the west coast after young star Collin Morikawa won his first major at the fantastic 2020 PGA Championship. This week, the Tour heads across the country for the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, NC. It will be the final event of the 2020 regular season before the playoffs start next week.
Sedgefield Country Club
Started in 1938, The Wyndham Championship is the sixth-oldest event on tour. It moved to the current host site, Sedgefield Country Club, in 2008 following a renovation to the original Donald Ross design. This year, it will set up as a 7,131 yard Par 70 with two Par 5s and four Par 3s. Hole no. 14, a Par 4, was extended by an additional 25 yards to 505 yards after it played as the third-toughest hole in 2019. Otherwise, the course will set up similarly to years past, featuring Bermuda grass from tee to green, with just 2.5″ of rough. The champions in each of the past five years of this event have finished at 21 under-par or better, and with perfect weather forecasted, there is no reason to expect anything other than a birdie-fest this week.
In 2019, the two Par 5s, Nos. 5 and 15 played as the easiest holes on the course. The 509-yard fifth hole saw birdies 56.3% of the time and an additional 6.2% of eagles. It played more like a long Par 4 with a 4.35 scoring average and a spot in the outward nine to really get a low round going.
The 15th hole saw similar scoring results yielding 49.5% birdies and 3.8% eagles, for this 538 yard Par 5. While there are only two Par 5s this week, it is imperative that players score well on these holes.
All of the first five holes on the course played under-par last year, making for an exciting start to rounds, especially on the weekend. The back nine played much tougher, relatively speaking, as five of the six hardest holes were on that side of the course.
Both the front and back nine feature one long Par 3 of over 200 yards. The seventh played as the fifth toughest hole last year, while the 238 yard twelfth was the sixth toughest hole. Both played to 3.05 strokes on the week.
The hardest hole on the course was the eighteenth, which played over par on the week in 2019 and only saw 10.2% birdies. It plays as a 505 yard Par 4 during the event and will set up as a difficult finishing hole to decide this year’s champion.
The Wyndham Championship Field
We will see a far different tournament this week versus last, in all aspects, from the field to scoring. There are just three of the top 10 players in the Official World Golf Rankings, led by hometown hero Webb Simpson. The No. 7 player in the world, Brooks Koepka, will play in his 6th event in as many weeks and will play in the Wyndham Championship for his first time since 2015. Patrick Reed is the third top-10 player, as he comes in off of a 13th place finish at the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park. Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose, and Paul Casey round out the group as the players in the top 20 in OWGR playing this week.
As mentioned, this is the final event of the regular season, so many players will be looking to position themselves for the playoffs. Some of those may be outside of the current top 125 and looking to play their way into next week. Others, like Koepka and Rose are looking to move up into the top 70 to secure better positioning for the BMW Championship in week two of the playoffs.
He’s been nothing short of dominant at this event and as you will likely hear throughout the week, he lives on the course. In fact, he loves this event so much that he named his daughter Wyndham. There’s not much more that needs to be said after something like that, but just to reiterate the point, I’ll give you a bit more.
In the past five years, he’s finished 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 72nd and 6th. Prior to that, he came through and won the event for his first PGA Tour win in 2011.
He has a great history here, fond memories and a daughter that reminds him of the event everyday. I’m not sure there can be a better course history stat line out there for any player at any event.
Snedeker has struggled since the PGA returned from the COVID shutdown. He’s missed cuts in half of the six events he’s played and hasn’t finished better than 41st during that stretch. I’m sure he will be excited to be back to an area that has given him some great memories.
Similar to Simpson, Snedeker’s first tour win was in Greensboro at this event, though it was up the road at Forest Oaks Country Club in 2007. He did win the 2018 Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield and finished 3rd in 2016. Overall, this part of North Carolina just seems to be an area where the courses fit his eye.
Horschel has never come through a winner at the Wyndham Championship, but he has been just as consistent in recent years as Snedeker and Simpson. The Florida Gator has three top-eleven finishes in the last 4 years, topped by a tie for 5th in 2016. He’s a guy that favors the Bermuda greens and is always a threat to contend on these types of courses.
Horschel comes in off of a so-so, 43rd place finish at the PGA Championship last week, but with top 25s in each of his three prior events. He will come into the 2020 Wyndham Championship with a great knowledge of the course, some positive memories at this tournament, and in overall solid form.
It comes as no surprise that Armour has had solid results at the Wyndham Champioship in recent years. His game has always been about fairways and greens, which is the main formula at Sedgefield Country Club. Over the past three years, Armour has finished no worse than his 22nd last year. His best finish was a tie for 4th in 2017, followed up by an 8th place finish in 2018.
He comes into the tournament off of two straight missed cuts, but had two top-10 finishes prior to that. Armour seems to have the ability to turn it on for the Wyndham, having had similar results prior to his good finishes at this event in prior years.