Wyndham last chance for FedEx Cup points
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2007 Wyndham Championship | Preview | 14 Aug 2007
The PGA Tour winds up its pre-FedEx Cup schedule with this week’s Wyndham Championship at the Forest Oaks Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina.
At the completion of this event the top 144 players from this year’s FedEx Cup points race will be eligible to play in next week’s The Barclays event at the Westchester Country Club in Rye in New York, the first event of the playoffs for the FedEx Cup. With so much money potentially on the line, this final qualifying event will have considerable significance for many players.
FedEx Cup points are reset at the completion of this week so the current points leader, Tiger Woods, will be awarded a total of 100,000 points leading into the finals while the last qualifier (the 144th player) will be awarded 84,700. This event carries the standard 25,000 points for a PGA Tour event, which offers those around the 144th place and on the fringe of inclusion or otherwise next week, the opportunity to stake a late claim.
The Forest Oaks Country Club is an original Maples Ellis design remodelled in 2003 by the defending champion this week, Davis Love III, who took full advantage of his intimate knowledge of the layout when he beat Jason Bohn by two shots last year. It was Love’s second win at Forest Oaks, the first coming in 1992 well before he became involved in the changes. Nearly 300 yards were added to the course in 2003, although interestingly two of the lowest winning totals in the event’s history have come since the redevelopment.
Lucas Glover will be buoyed by his inclusion – as a captain’s pick – in the US Presidents Cup team and has shown form enough of late to be considered a favourite to win this week. If he was to do so it may seem like this has been perhaps his most significant week in professional golf. Glover has made the cut in each of his three starts in this event and finished 6th in 2006.
Brandt Snedeker appears on the verge of his first PGA Tour win. He produced a very solid weekend at the PGA Championship to finish 18th in just his third major championship. Snedeker is in the middle of a very impressive rookie season on the PGA Tour and has recorded four top tens in his last seven starts. There would be little surprise if this was the event where Snedeker earned his first PGA Tour career victory.
Davis Love III has been in a horror run of form of late but there was a glimpse of something better when he finished 6th on a very demanding Firestone Country Club layout two weeks ago. He has, though, missed five of his last six cuts so although he has a good record at this venue he will need to turn around a very ordinary season to date.
Peter Lonard’s return to the short putter a month or so ago has yielded almost instant results with a fourth placed finish at the Bridgestone Invitational. A similar performance against a much weaker field this week would see Lonard very much in the thick of things. Tournament golf does not always work that way but he arrives in Greensboro playing well and with a greater level of confidence after Firestone.
John Senden has come of age as a player over the past twelve months, more especially with his wins at the John Deere and the Australian Open last year. It was his fourth placed finish on Sunday at the PGA Championship, however, that has provided him and his fans with the belief that he can now go on to greater heights on the PGA Tour.
Nathan Green had a rollercoaster ride at last wee’s PGA Championship, starting with 75 on Thursday, following up with 68 on Friday and then with just a few holes to play on Saturday he was at 2 under and very much in contention before falling away on the final day. Green made the cut in this event last year but finished well back although he is expected to do much better this week.
Other than Senden, Lonard and Green, the Australasian challenge is completed by the inform, Steve Allan, Mathew Goggin, Mark Hensby, Stephen Leaney, Jarrod Lyle, Paul Gow, Michael Sim, Gavin Coles, Grant Waite and Craig Perks.