Sedgefield Country Club
Sedgefield Country Club
Yards: 7,127 via the scorecard
Par: 70 (35-35)
Greens: Champion Bermudagrass; 6,500 square feet on average.
Rough: Bermudagrass at 2”
Water Hazards: There is one pond and 12 creeks running throughout
Course Architect: Donald Ross (1926); Kris Spence (2007) redesign
Winner’s Share: $954,000
FexExCup Points: 500 to the winner
Defending Champion: Patrick Reed defeated Jordan Spieth on the second playoff hole with his wife on the bag to win for the first time on TOUR.
Dates: Aug 14 – Aug 17
Notes: This is the final week to qualify for the FedExCup Playoffs. The top 125 after the completion of play advance to The Barclays at Ridgewood CC next week.
Recent History Lessons
After winning 31 of 40 tournaments in 2013, the USA has now won 24 of 40 events in 2013-14 but none in the last four weeks. Harris English, Jimmy Walker (THREE), Webb Simpson, Ryan Moore, Dustin Johnson, Chris Kirk, Zach Johnson, Patrick Reed (TWO), Scott Stallings, Kevin Stadler, Bubba Watson (TWO), Russell Henley, Chesson Hadley, Matt Every, Matt Kuchar, J.B. Holmes, Brendon Todd, Ben Crane, Kevin Streelman and Brian Harman have won for the USA.
Geoff Ogilvy, Adam Scott, Matt Jones, Steven Bowditch, John Senden and Jason Day, all Australians, have cashed six victories. Hideki Matsuyama and Seung-yul Noh are the Asian representatives. Martin Kaymer, Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy are the European chalk that has won four of the last six majors dating back to the 2013 U.S. Open. Angel Cabrera flies the flag for South America; Tim Clark flies it for South Africa.
S.Y. Noh, Steven Bowditch, Matt Every, Jimmy Walker, Kevin Stadler, Chesson Hadley Matt Jones, Brendon Todd, Hideki Matsuyama and Brian Harman are the first-time winners this season. There were 12, first-timers in 40 events last year and we’ve had 10 in 40 events in 2014.
Young Guns Versus Prime Time Versus Old Guys
Jimmy Walker (34) started the season out on the right foot for the Prime Time guys and has since added two more wins to lead the FedExCup standings. Ryan Moore (30), Zach Johnson (37), Kevin Stadler (33) and Bubba Watson (35), Matt Every (30), Steven Bowditch (30), Matt Jones (33), all were victorious before Watson picked up victory No. 2 of the year at Augusta. Matt Kuchar (37), J.B. Holmes (32), Adam Scott (33), Ben Crane (38), Kevin Streelman (35), Justin Rose (33), Tim Clark (38) and Geoff Ogilvy, 37, have added to the prime-timers trophy case as the season moves along.
Scott Stallings (28), Patrick Reed TWICE (23), Chris Kirk (28), Webb Simpson (28), Dustin Johnson (29), Harris English (24), Jason Day (26) and Russell Henley (24) Seung-Yul Noh (22), Martin Kaymer TWICE (29), Brendon Todd (28) and Hideki Matsuyama (22), Brian Harman (27) and Rory McIlroy THRICE (25), are the twenty-somethings who have made large noise this year.
Australian John Senden (42) FINALLY has some company in the winner’s circle this year for the old folks as Angel Cabrera, 44, won at Greenbrier.
Turn Back the Clock
At this point in the season last year there were 11, first-time winners and just four players with multiple victories Woods, Mickelson, Kuchar and Snedeker. Only Kuchar has cracked the winner’s circle this year and all that took was a hole-out from a bunker on the 72nd hole at RBC Heritage!
This year, Walker (3), Reed, Watson, Kaymer and now McIlroy (3) have won multiple times and there have been 10 players that are first-time winners.
Pay Attention: It’s FREE!
Not surprising the field is a bit thin this week after two majors and a WGC event in the last four weeks.
Since moving back to Sedgefield permanently in 2008, no player has defended their title or won multiple times.
This is the 75th edition of the Wyndham Championship but only the seventh event at Sedgefield since 2008.
Sedgefield completely redid their greens in 2012 as they replaced Bentgrass with Champion Bermudagrass. The advantage of Champion Bermuda is it takes hardly any water to keep it growing so they can cut it nice and short and slick it up if necessary.
This is the only Donald Ross course that is used annually on TOUR. I wouldn’t use Oak Hill as a comparison because the set up will be quite different.
Here are the winners since moving to Sedgefield in 2008:
2013: Patrick Reed
2012: Sergio Garcia
2011: Webb Simpson
2010: Arjun Atwal
2009: Ryan Moore*
2008: Carl Pettersson
*Ryan Moore is not in the field this week
Carl Pettersson holds the Sedgefield tournament record at 21-under-par 259.
Sergio Garcia holds the Sedgefield “new greens” tournament record at 262.
The Sedgefield course record is 61 by Pettersson, Kevin Na and Arjun Atwal.
The Sedgefield “new greens” course record was set last year by Tim Herron as he fired 61 in the second round after opening with 76. #weird
Of the last six winners since the move, three have made it their first victory on TOUR. Ryan Moore, Webb Simpson and Patrick Reed all claimed their first trophies on this historic layout. One might notice they all came in odd numbered years as well. #trendornotatrend
These gentlemen have business to attend to this week if they would like to advance to the FedExCup Playoffs:
No. 130: J.J. Henry
No. 129: David Lingmerth
No. 128: Greg Chalmers
No. 127: Charlie Beljan
No. 126: Sang-moon Bae
No. 125: Paul Casey
No. 124: Jhonattan Vegas
No. 123: Nicholas Thompson
No. 122: Robert Allenby
No. 121: James Hahn
No. 120: David Toms
This Will Win You a Bar Bet
Slammin’ Sammy Snead won eight of these back in the day and finished runner up three times, the most in either category in 74 previous events.
Inside the Ropes
From a modern test of golf at Valhalla to a classic, old-school layout, the TOUR arrives in Greensboro this week at this classic Donald Ross design. This will be the second Ross design they have seen this summer, after Pinehurst No. 2, for some of the players in the field. Built in the mid-20s Sedgefield shared hosting duties until the 70s for the Greater Greensboro Open. In 2007 after Kris Spence stripped it down back to its original layout, Sedgefield returned as host of the Wyndham Classic. This sounds similar to what Coore and Crenshaw did at Pinehurst No. 2 to get it ready for this year’s U.S. Open. Spence restored the original routing and refurbished the greens to their planned intentions to reflect what Ross had in mind 70 years before.
As with most Ross courses, the problem lies closest to the flag as his trademark is back-to-front sloping greens that require the pros to leave the ball in the correct position on the greens. The tee box will try and play tricks with lines of sight but fairways and lack of rough shouldn’t bother the best in the game. The second shots that find the wrong part of these undulating greens will require deft putting and/or chipping/pitching to save pars and escape. With only two par fives on the card par four scoring again should be a category to consider when scouting players this week. I’ll also take a look a solid ball-strikers and players who are flashing form. This is not a difficult course to get around but the money will be made into and on the greens this week. If the weather is nice and it gets slick look for rounds to be closer to single digits as the greens should be mature and ready to be cut short.
Sedgefield ranked 23rd-most difficult last year after checking in at No. 35 last year.
Only Heath Slocum in 2012 has moved into the top 125 in the last two years from players starting the week outside looking in. #badgamingangle