The final event of a drama-filled PGA TOUR season is taking place this week at the Wyndham Championship. It won't be long now before we'll be able to go behind the scenes of this crazy campaign when the NetFlix documentary series gets published.
There are plenty of narratives tossed around this week with players vying for their PGA TOUR status and/or a spot in the FedExCup Playoffs.
The field is full at 156 golfers with the top 65 and ties advancing onto the weekend, as usual.
Let's jump right in and talk about the host course, Sedgefield Country Club.
We saw a Donald Ross design last week in Detroit and it's another one on the docket this week in Greensboro.
Looking at the scorecard we see a par 70 that plays to 7,131 yards. A new tee box added to the par-4 14th makes it play 505 yards, up 25 yards over last year.
Overall, there are three par 4s under 410 yards and three par 4s over 485 yards with the rest falling somewhere in the middle. Where the course opens itself up to shorter hitters is the par 5s as they both play under 550 yards and are reachable for everyone in the field.
Off the tee, they'll see tight, tree-lined fairways. There aren't a lot of holes that allow the bigger hitters to separate themselves with power. Most call this a positional, or second-shot course.
Finding the fairway is crucial as the tricky, bermuda rough can put a lot of doubt in a golfer's mind as they try to attack the firm greens. As Kevin Streelman put it last year, "You get the hot flyers. You can get the fluffy chunkers sometimes, too."
Iron play becomes a key skill to target this week due to the fast, undulating greens. If you're missing your approach shots in the wrong spots then the scrambling challenge becomes a tough one and the bogeys can add up quickly.
Similar to last week, there aren't a whole lot of big numbers lurking. The three long par 4s each yield bogey rates over 20 percent but the rest of the course is relatively tame.
As I just mentioned above, the greens are often speedy and have a lot of undulations. Comfort on bermudagrass is a big plus this week when looking for names to target for your betting card or DFS lineups since the course is wall-to-wall bermuda.
The overall scoring environment is one of the easiest par 70s they'll see all season.
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Quotes on the Course
Peter Uihlein: "It's one of those golf courses where if you're on with your irons, I think that's kind of what it's all about. Old-school Donald Ross where it's very positional, you're not going to overpower it. You've got to be pretty sharp with your short irons especially, and then make some putts."
Jim Furyk: “It definitely suits my style. You have to get the ball in play. You have to put the ball in good positions with your iron shots. The fairways are relatively tight. The greens are somewhat small and once you get to the greens the battle's not over."
Patrick Reed: "It's not one of these where you just set up and hit it as hard as you can, as far as you can. It's more on kind of playing golf shots, whether it's driver off tee or irons off tee, you have to shape it both ways, you have to flight your ball. Hitting shots into greens you can get creative, because there's a lot of slopes and undulations in these greens so you can use a lot of ridges to feed the ball back towards the hole."
Brandt Snedeker: "there's only two par 5s, everybody in the field can reach them, so distance here is not an overriding factor. You don't have a huge advantage here just because everybody's hitting in the same spots off most of the tees. I think that's why, when that becomes less of an issue, guys who wedge and putt it better tend to do a better job here."
Position off the tee and steady iron play. Then catch a hot putter.
Let's look at the leaderboards over the last three years and see where the most crossover success can be found, when it comes to other courses played on the PGA TOUR or DP World Tour:
Harbour Town GL
Sea Island Golf Club
The theme is short and easy. You don't need to overpower any of these courses.
Thursday: Sunny with a high of 89 degrees. Winds at 7 to 12 MPH.
Friday: Sunny with a high of 87 degrees. Winds at 5 to 10 MPH.
It looks like a great week for golf but the threat of rain can't be ruled out on any day, just yet.