Wyndham provides last chance for golfers' playoff push
August 16, 2017 08:44 PM
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — It's last-chance time on the PGA Tour.
The field at the Wyndham Championship is once again littered with players trying to earn their way into golf's postseason or earn full exemption on the tour for 2018.
When the tournament begins Thursday at par-70 Sedgefield Country Club, the focus — as it is every year — will be on those players on the bubble and those trying to improve their position for the playoffs.
"It's a great opportunity to put myself in a better spot heading into next week's playoffs," Henrik Stenson said Wednesday.
Stenson, who won the FedEx Cup in 2013, arrived at Sedgefield with security for next week at No. 75 on the points list.
Others have some work to do.
The top 125 on the points list qualify for The Northern Trust next week in Old Westbury, New York, and also will be fully exempt on the tour next year, if they aren't already.
Every player from No. 113 (Harris English) to No. 143 (Ricky Barnes) is in the Wyndham field. Among those directly on the bubble are No. 124 Daniel Summerhays, No. 125 Geoff Ogilvy and No. 126 Cameron Tringale.
"I guess that would consider me one of those bubble boys now," said Sam Saunders, the grandson of Arnold Palmer who's at No. 127.
Two players — Kyle Stanley and Shawn Stefani — cracked the top 125 here last year, and five did it in 2015.
"I need to play solid this week, but you know, my goal is not just to get into the FedEx Cup playoffs," he added. "My goal is to try and win a golf tournament this week. If I don't, and have a solid finish, that will take care of it as a byproduct. Can't get too hung up on trying to move up a couple spots. But obviously, that is of the utmost importance this week."
Some things to know about the PGA Tour's final regular-season tournament:
— FORMER CHAMPS: Only two of the past five winners of this tournament — Davis Love III (2015) and Camilo Villegas (2014) — are in this year's field. Si Woo Kim, who tied the event's 72-hole record with a 21-under 259 last year , is not here. In all, six of the eight players to win at Sedgefield since the tournament moved here in 2008 are playing, including local favorites Carl Pettersson (2008) and Webb Simpson (2011). Love, Simpson and Ryan Moore (2009) were placed in one threesome.
— FAVORITE? The only player here ranked in the top 15 on the points list is No. 9 Kevin Kisner, who led or shared the lead after each of the first three rounds of last week's PGA Championship in Charlotte before finishing in a tie for seventh place , four strokes behind winner Justin Thomas .
— PALMER'S WALL: This is the first Wyndham Championship without Palmer, who had five top-10 finishes in 13 appearances at what was then called the Greater Greensboro Open. A plaque commemorating Palmer's life and career was unveiled on the course's Wall of Champions behind the green at No. 9. Palmer, who died in September, also played college golf at nearby Wake Forest.
"The fact that I get to come and play a PGA Tour event where he competed and played is really special," Saunders said, "and really glad that he'll have a permanent mark here."
— LOTS OF LOVE: Davis isn't the only Love on the course this week. His son Dru, a former Alabama player in his first year on the tour, received a sponsor's exemption .
More AP golf: apnews.com/tag/apf-Golf
By JOEDY McCREARY
Updated: August 16, 2017 08:44 PM
(Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)