Wyndham Championship opens Thursday in Greensboro

Aug. 14, 2014 @ 07:54 PM

There’s always plenty on the line at the season-ending Wyndham Championship — in addition to the tournament itself.

For some, it’s the last chance to play their way into golf’s postseason.

Others are trying to catch Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson’s eye and earn one of the three remaining spots on the U.S. team.

“Everybody is playing for something this week, and yeah, the field might not be as deep as some other weeks around it,” two-time winner Davis Love III, a former UNC Chapel Hill star, said Wednesday. “But the guys that are here are here for a lot of different, very important reasons and playing hard to try to get something out of this week.

“It’s a fun week to watch.”

And a stressful week to play.

Even if the players say it’s not.

Webb Simpson — a Raleigh native who played at nearby Wake Forest and lives in Charlotte — insists it “kind of feels like there’s no pressure.”

He says he’s been texting Watson and “hopefully I’ll play well the next three weeks, or at least solid golf, to make it hard for him not to pick me.”

Simpson is one of two former Wyndham winners — along with Brandt Snedeker — who came to Sedgefield Country Club in pursuit of spots on the Ryder Cup team.

Simpson, the 2011 winner, is 15th on the Ryder Cup points list while 2007 champion Snedeker is 20th. Watson will make his three captain’s picks next month.

Last year’s champion, Patrick Reed, has already secured his Ryder Cup spot, and at No. 9 on the FedEx Cup points list, is in good shape entering the playoffs.

All he has to worry about is defending his title.

With his wife carrying his clubs around this Donald Ross-designed course, Reed claimed his first PGA Tour victory here when he beat Jordan Spieth on the second hole of a playoff.

“It really jump-started my career, that’s for sure,” Reed said. “Playing really well here, and actually being able to cap it off and win, it led to me being able to play very well for almost a full year in a row and hopefully that will continue.”

Reed will join Snedeker and Simpson for a threesome Thursday afternoon. A bad sign for Reed: Nobody has won this tournament two years in a row since Sam Snead in 1955-56.

Reed last year became the latest first-time winner at the Wyndham. Four of its past five champions had never won before on tour.

Asked who might be the next to raise a trophy for the first time, Reed said “there are literally so many good golfers out here that haven’t won yet that I literally could not name just one player.

“Anyone out here, if they have a good week and they’re on their game, has a good chance of winning,” Reed said.

For the players on the playoff bubble, the focus isn’t necessarily on winning but on prolonging their season by at least one more week. The FedEx Cup playoffs begin next week at The Barclays in New Jersey.

Among those on the bubble: No. 120 David Toms missed the playoffs last year and No. 124 Jhonattan Vegas hasn’t made the postseason since 2011.

If the season ended now, No. 125 Paul Casey would hold the final postseason spot while No. 126 Sang-Moon Bae, No. 127 Charlie Beljan and No. 128 Greg Chalmers would be on the outside looking in.

And Love — the 2012 Ryder Cup captain who won this tournament in 1992 and 2006 — was at No. 161 on the playoff points list. He likely needs to finish first or second to make it to next week.

“There’s a lot of guys playing for something, playing to keep their card,” Love said. “Obviously, the pressure is not on me to keep my (PGA Tour) card as much as for pride. I want to finish in the top 125. I don’t want to finish outside of it.”

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Follow Joedy McCreary on Twitter at http://twitter.com/joedyap

 

TEE TIMES

ROUND 1
All tee times are local
 
 
Sedgefield Country Club
TEE # TIME PLAYER NAMES
1
7:00 AM

USA Sean O'Hair

SWE David Lingmerth

USA James Hahn

10
7:00 AM

USA Cameron Beckman

USA John Daly

USA James Driscoll

1
7:10 AM

IND Arjun Atwal

JPN Ryuji Imada

KOR D.H. Lee

10
7:10 AM

USA Chad Campbell

USA Morgan Hoffmann

USA Brice Garnett

1
7:20 AM

AUS Aaron Baddeley

USA Roberto Castro

USA Scott Langley

10
7:20 AM

USA Lee Janzen

USA Nicholas Thompson

ITA Francesco Molinari

1
7:30 AM

USA Scott Stallings

SWE Carl Pettersson

AUS Stuart Appleby

10
7:30 AM

JPN Hideki Matsuyama

USA Billy Horschel

USA Nick Watney

1
7:40 AM

RSA Tim Clark

USA Chesson Hadley

USA Boo Weekley

10
7:40 AM

USA Bill Haas

USA Davis Love III

USA Fred Couples

1
7:50 AM

USA Brian Gay

USA David Toms

VEN Jhonattan Vegas

10
7:50 AM

KOR Sang-Moon Bae

USA J.J. Henry

USA Mark Wilson

1
8:00 AM

SCO Martin Laird

USA John Merrick

USA Johnson Wagner

10
8:00 AM

USA Ken Duke

USA Charlie Beljan

USA Lucas Glover

1
8:10 AM

ENG Brian Davis

USA Ricky Barnes

USA William McGirt

10
8:10 AM

USA Glen Day

USA Robert Streb

USA Andrew Svoboda

1
8:20 AM

USA Dicky Pride

USA Josh Teater

USA Kevin Kisner

10
8:20 AM

SWE Freddie Jacobson

USA Joe Durant

GER Alex Cejka

1
8:30 AM

USA Robert Garrigus

USA Justin Hicks

USA Brooks Koepka

10
8:30 AM

SWE Daniel Chopra

USA Tim Petrovic

JPN Ryo Ishikawa

1
8:40 AM

USA Bryce Molder

ARG Andres Romero

USA Michael Putnam

10
8:40 AM

USA Kevin Foley

USA Peter Malnati

ESP Rafael Cabrera Bello

1
8:50 AM

USA Marc Turnesa

CAN Brad Fritsch

USA Jason Allred

10
8:50 AM

RSA Tyrone Van Aswegen

USA Kevin Tway

USA Bobby Wyatt

1
9:00 AM

USA Jim Herman

USA Hudson Swafford

ARG Miguel Angel Carballo

10
9:00 AM

USA Will Wilcox

USA Wes Roach

USA Sam Love

1
12:15 PM

ENG Paul Casey

USA Luke Guthrie

USA Billy Hurley III

10
12:15 PM

USA Heath Slocum

USA Will MacKenzie

USA Martin Flores

1
12:25 PM

ZIM Brendon de Jonge

NZL Danny Lee

USA Jim Renner

10
12:25 PM

USA Troy Matteson

USA Bo Van Pelt

USA Brian Stuard

1
12:35 PM

USA Tim Herron

USA Steve Marino

USA Shawn Stefani

10
12:35 PM

USA Joe Ogilvie

USA Len Mattiace

SWE Peter Hanson

1
12:45 PM

RSA Ernie Els

CAN Mike Weir

USA Charles Howell III

10
12:45 PM

USA Michael Thompson

USA John Huh

RSA Retief Goosen

1
12:55 PM

USA Patrick Reed

USA Webb Simpson

USA Brandt Snedeker

10
12:55 PM

USA Brian Harman

AUS Steven Bowditch

USA Scott Brown

1
1:05 PM

USA Ben Curtis

USA Jonathan Byrd

KOR Y.E. Yang

10
1:05 PM

USA Derek Ernst

USA Kyle Stanley

AUS Robert Allenby

1
1:15 PM

USA D.A. Points

USA Tommy Gainey

USA Scott Piercy

10
1:15 PM

USA Jeff Overton

AUS Greg Chalmers

KOR Charlie Wi

1
1:25 PM

IRL Padraig Harrington

USA Troy Merritt

SWE Robert Karlsson

10
1:25 PM

USA Matt Bettencourt

USA John Rollins

ESP Gonzalo Fdez-Castano

1
1:35 PM

USA Steve Flesch

USA Chad Collins

USA Richard H. Lee

10
1:35 PM

COL Camilo Villegas

USA Todd Hamilton

USA David Duval

1
1:45 PM

USA Jeff Maggert

USA John Peterson

SCO Stephen Gallacher

10
1:45 PM

USA Rocco Mediate

RSA Trevor Immelman

USA Bud Cauley

1
1:55 PM

USA Eric Axley

USA Andrew Loupe

USA Patrick Rodgers

10
1:55 PM

USA Alex Prugh

USA Doug LaBelle II

ITA Matteo Manassero

1
2:05 PM

USA Justin Bolli

USA Patrick Cantlay

MEX Armando Villarreal

10
2:05 PM

USA Jamie Lovemark

USA Alex Aragon

USA Jesse Hutchins

1
2:15 PM

USA Edward Loar

RSA Richard Sterne

USA Will Collins

10
2:15 PM

ENG Gary Christian

AUS Bronson La'Cassie

USA Kelly Mitchum