The Wyndham Championship is a tournament played on the PGA Tour and takes place at the Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina. It was first played in 1938 and has had three different host courses over the years, however all have been in the Greensboro area.
The Wyndham Championship now ordinarily brings an end to the regular PGA Tour season. That means those towards the top of the FedEx Cup rankings will be jostling for position ahead of the playoffs as those around the 125 mark are scrabbling for their tour cards for next season, though these will not be lost in 2020.
There is a certain irony about the PGA Tour season ending at a short track which rewards accuracy, course management and shot making. Many golf fans are upset at the way those skills have been replaced by sheer brawn. The number of shorter hitters who still have to secure their playing rights for next year illustrates the way the game has changed. They are at least afforded the chance for a strong finish by the nature of Sedgefield Country Club.
The design of Sedgefield and its big putting surfaces stop the course from being easily overpowered. It’s generally considered a second shot golf course but that is only true if those second shots are followed up by solid putting. Punters, therefore, should look for a player who will relentlessly hit fairways, rank well in terms of the proximity to the hole of their approach shots and putt consistently well.
|Sedgfield Country Club||Greensboro, North Carolina||7,131 Yards||$6,400,000|
As host of the Wyndham Championship, Sedgefield Country Club traditionally plays a very important role in the PGA Tour season. Usually, it is the last chance saloon for a whole host of players in their battle to retain their status on tour. That is not the case this strange year as nobody will lose their card due to the pandemic but this 7,217 yard, par 70 layout will still confirm the top 10 in the new Wyndham Rewards leaderboard which brings some handsome bonuses.
A regular criticism of the PGA Tour is that it is too reliant on wide open golf courses where players can simply ‘bomb and gouge’ their way to success. It is interesting then that the regular PGA Tour season ends at a course where driving distance is a long way from the most important attribute required to win. Finding fairways is more important at Sedgefield Country Club than at many other PGA Tour courses with approach play another key indicator of success.
Perhaps because shorter hitters can thrive at the North Carolina venue as much as big hitters, scoring in the Wyndham Championship is usually amongst the lowest of the season. Last year’s scoring average was a record low of 67.18 so players will have to make a high number of birdies just to make the cut this week. The test of golf demanded by Sedgefield is comparable to other Donald Ross designs, most notably East Lake which will once again host the Tour Championship at the end of the upcoming playoffs.
Wyndham Championship Recent Winners
|Year||Winner||To Par||Winning Margin|
|2020||Jim Herman||-21||1 Stroke|
|2019||J.T. Poston||-22||1 Stroke|
|2018||Brandt Snedeker||-21||3 Strokes|
|2017||Henrik Stenson||-22||1 Stroke|
|2016||Kim Si-woo||-21||5 Strokes|
|2015||Davis Love III||-17||1 Stroke|
|2014||Camilo Villegas||-17||1 Stroke|
|2012||Sergio Garcia||-18||2 Stokes|
|2011||Webb Simpson||-18||3 Strokes|
About the Wyndham Championship
The Wyndham Championship was founded in 1938, with the great Sam Snead winning the first edition. Up until 1988, the competition was known as just the Greater Greensboro Open before several different sponsors became involved. From 2007 onwards, the PGA Tour event has been named the Wyndham Championship after Wyndham Hotels & Resorts took over as the main sponsor.
The tournament has always been played in Greensboro, North Carolina. It has taken place on various courses, but Sedgefield Country Club is the spiritual and current home of the Wyndham Championship and has been the venue each year since 2008 (and on many occasions prior to that).
Snead’s Eight Wins
Sam Snead is without doubt one of the greatest players of all time. The Slammer had an incredibly successful career in the sport, picking up a staggering 141 professional wins including seven majors. The Virginia-born man won just about everything (except the US Open, at which he was second or tied second on four occasions), but his record in the Greater Greensboro Open was truly remarkable.
Snead won the inaugural tournament back in 1938, adding a second title eight years later. Sam then won back-to-back championships in 1949 and 1950, repeating the feat in 1955 and 1956. Snead secured his seventh win in 1960 before his eighth and final triumph came in 1965.
Snead was almost 53 years old when he won the last, becoming the oldest winner on the PGA Tour. Sammy went on to beat Billy Casper, Jack McGowan and Phil Rodgers by five strokes in North Carolina.
Sam Snead’s Greater Greensboro Open (Wyndham Championship) Wins
|Year||Who He Beat||Score (To Par)|
|1938||5-stroke win over Johnny Revolta||271 (-11)|
|1946||6-stroke win over Herman Keiser||270 (-10)|
|1949||Playoff win over Lloyd Mangrum||276 (-8)|
|1950||10-stroke win over Jimmy Demaret||269 (-11)|
|1955||1-stroke win over Julius Boros and Art Wall Jr.||273 (-7)|
|1956||Playoff win over Fred Wampler||279 (-5)|
|1960||2-stroke win over Dow Finsterwald||270 (-14)|
|1965||5-stroke win over Billy Casper, Jack McGowan & Phil Rodgers||273 (-11)|
Seve’s First Appearance on American Soil
When Seve Ballesteros turned professional in 1974, not many could have foreseen the impact that the Spaniard would make on golf during his career. Seve would go on to win 50 European Tour events (the most of any player in history) along with several PGA Tour tournaments.
Ballesteros was still making a name for himself when he picked up the Greater Greensboro Open title in 1978. That was Seve’s first appearance on American soil and the first of his nine PGA Tour wins. At the age of just 20, Ballesteros remains the youngest winner of this tournament. The Spanish star beat Jack Renner and Fuzzy Zoeller by a single stroke.
Atwal Makes History in 2010
The 2010 Wyndham Championship will always be a memorable one. Firstly, it was the first PGA Tour event to allow fans to use their mobile phones. Secondly, Arjun Atwal became the first Indian player to win on the PGA Tour.
It was a tight tournament at Sedgefield, but Atwal kept his cool at the end to beat American David Toms by one stroke. At the time of writing, that remains Atwal’s one and only victory on the PGA Tour.
Sifford Blazes Trail For African Americans
Another historical moment occurred in this tournament in 1961 when an African American was permitted to play in a PGA tournament in the Deep South for the first time. That man was Charlie Sifford, and he was leading the 1961 event after the first round having shot a score of 68. He wasn’t able to sustain that level of scoring however and in the end finished in tied fourth position (for which he picked up a cheque for $1,300).
Lyle’s Double in the 80s
Several different nationalities have won this event over the years, but only one man from Britain has prevailed in North Carolina. That man is Scottish ace Sandy Lyle. Sandy did not just settle for one win, either, as he followed up his first victory in 1986 with a second triumph two years later.
Lyle beat Andy Bean by two strokes to win his first in 1986. In 1988, Sandy – who was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2012 – needed a playoff to see off Ken Green to become one of just 10 players to win this event more than once.
Multiple Winners of the Greater Greensboro Open (Wyndham Championship)
|Player||Number of Wins (Years)|
|Brandt Snedeker||2 (2018, 2007)|
|Davis Love III||3 (2015, 2006, 1992)|
|Rocco Mediate||2 (2002, 1993)|
|Sandy Lyle||2 (1988, 1986)|
|Danny Edwards||2 (1982, 1977)|
|George Archer||2 (1972, 1967)|
|Billy Casper||2 (1968, 1962)|
|Doug Sanders||2 (1966, 1963)|
|Sam Snead||8 (1965, 1960, 1956, 1955, 1950, 1949, 1946, 1938)|
|Byron Nelson||1945, 1941|