Wyndham Championship to provide final piece of FedExCup puzzle
PGA TOUR's Greensboro, N.C., stop returns to Donald Ross-designed Sedgefield Country Club
August 13, 2008 // Franchising.com // PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL The Wyndham Championship, hosted this week by Sedgefield Country Club for the first time since 1976, will provide plenty of drama as the tournament is critical in determining the seeding for the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup. Players look to improve their position inside the top 30, 70, 120 and 144 as the PGA TOUR Playoffs begin Aug. 21 at The Barclays, the first of four Playoff events.
"The Wyndham Championship plays a crucial role as the last opportunity for competitors to position themselves well for the Playoff run. This, in addition to the return to Sedgefield Country Club, brings an additional layer of excitement to the event," said Rick George, PGA TOUR executive vice president and chief of operations.
The move to Sedgefield Country Club represents a link to the past as the Donald Ross-designed course produced Greensboro champions such as Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Billy Casper between 1938 and 1976. While Donald Ross courses have hosted major championships and Ryder Cups in recent years, Sedgefield will stand alone as the only Ross design to serve as the annual host of a PGA TOUR event. On Sept. 22, 2007, Sedgefield Country Club re-opened following a major 10 month, $3 million restoration project that transformed the golf course back to how Ross intended it to play, while taking into consideration the changes in golf technology and turf grass development.
"We are excited to be back at Sedgefield. The course is spectacular and sure to become one of the premier stops on the PGA TOUR," said Stephen P. Holmes, chairman & CEO of Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE:WYN). "We expect a tremendously successful tournament that will be embraced by the players, the many fans in the Triad and the millions of television viewers."
The 2007 Wyndham Championship proved vital to the inaugural PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup, as Brandt Snedeker entered the week at No. 26 on the FedExCup points list and used his Greensboro win to vault up to No. 9 and subsequently qualify for all four Playoff events. The only rookie last year to compete in THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola, Snedeker was later voted PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year by his peers. Snedeker enters the 2008 Wyndham Championship No. 49 in the FedExCup standings with hopes of a repeat of 2007.
"I've always played well in North Carolina for some reason and just kind of love the style of golf there," Snedeker said. "Winning the Wyndham Championship capped my season and was the main reason I was able to play so far into the Playoffs."
While Snedeker's jump in the rankings was certainly the most high profile in 2007, other players targeted the week as a last chance to position themselves for a run in the Playoffs and took full advantage:
- Billy Mayfair and Tim Petrovic used runner-up finishes to move safely into the top 70 and top 120, respectively. Mayfair moved from No. 75 to No. 40, while Petrovic moved from No. 124 to No. 82, guaranteeing them both a spot in The Barclays field and the Deutsche Bank Championship.
- Three players used top-15 finishes to move inside the top 144 to qualify for the Barclays — Jeff Overton (T2), Shigeki Maruyama (T7) and Anders Hansen (T11).
One of the players standing in Snedeker's path of a Wyndham Championship repeat is Vijay Singh. Fresh off his 32nd career victory at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, Singh is No. 7 in the FedExCup standings and fifth in the Official World Golf Ranking. He is playing in the Wyndham Championship for the first time since 1999, and he has three top-10 finishes in six prior starts in Greensboro.
Notable players who are entering the week outside of the top 144 on the FedExCup points list include two-time Wyndham Championship winner Davis Love III (150), Lee Janzen (154) and Rich Beem (166).
The 156-player Wyndham Championship field will be competing for a share of the $5.1 million purse and 25,000 FedExCup points beginning Thursday, Aug. 14. An exciting finish likely waits on Sunday as Shigeki Maruyama (2003) is the only champion in the past 15 years at the Wyndham Championship to win by more than three strokes. About Wyndham Worldwide Corporation
As one of the world's largest hospitality companies, Wyndham Worldwide offers individual consumers and business-to-business customers a broad suite of hospitality products and services across various accommodation alternatives and price ranges through its premier portfolio of world-renowned brands. Wyndham Hotel Group encompasses more than 6,550 franchised hotels and approximately 551,000 hotel rooms worldwide. Group RCI offers its more than 3.6 million members access to more than 67,000 vacation properties located in approximately 100 countries. Wyndham Vacation Ownership develops, markets and sells vacation ownership interests and provides consumer financing to owners through its network of approximately 145 vacation ownership resorts serving over 800,000 owners throughout North America, the Caribbean and the South Pacific. Wyndham Worldwide, headquartered in Parsippany, N.J., employs more than 33,000 employees globally. For more information about Wyndham Worldwide, please visit the company's web site at www.WyndhamWorldwide.com. About the PGA TOUR
The PGA TOUR is a tax-exempt membership organization of professional golfers. Its primary purpose is to provide competitive earnings opportunities for past, current and future members of the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour; to protect the integrity of the game; and to help grow the reach of the game in the U.S. and around the world.
In 2008, the three Tours are competing in approximately 108 events for approximately $355 million in prize money. Tournaments are being held in nine countries outside the U.S. and in 37 states. In addition to providing competitive opportunities for its membership, TOUR events also generate significant funds for local charities. In fact, the three Tours have surpassed the $1 billion mark in overall charitable contributions. The PGA TOUR's web site address is www.pgatour.com and the company is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.