PGA Tour Inc.

08/10/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 08/10/2020 16:18

Power Rankings: Wyndham Championship

Defending champion J.T. Poston will be reviewed in Tuesday's Fantasy Insider along with fellow champions at Sedgefield, Sergio Garcia (2012) and Brandt Snedeker (2018). Jordan Spieth, Tommy Fleetwood and Sungjae Im also will be included among the notables.

The season-long Wyndham Rewards will conclude this week. The top 10 in the final standings earn bonus (unofficial) prize money. All but the No. 1 position (held by Justin Thomas) are undetermined. As of midday Monday, eight of the 29 who are mathematically alive to finish inside the top 10 are scheduled to compete in the Wyndham Championship.

Meanwhile, as detailed on April 30, all jobs are safe for the 2020-21 season because of the pandemic, but qualifying for the Playoffs can elevate status for dozens of golfers who currently don't carry status strong enough to have advanced to last season's Playoffs. As a result, the action around the top-125 bubble is much more volatile than it is around the top 10. From Graeme McDowell at 108th in points through Rob Oppenheim at 145th, every golfer is committed to the Wyndham Championship. Many more beneath Oppenheim also are in play.

For those who finish 126-200 in the FedExCup, they will secure eligibility in the 2021 Korn Ferry Tour Finals. With what hopes to be a full season on deck, and with all cards retained, that perk may not seem to be critical now, but it likely will matter for a handful.

Sedgefield presents as a speed track to the finish line. Since it began hosting the Wyndham Championship in 2008, it's been the easiest or second-easiest par 70 every season but one (2013). Last year's scoring average of 68.175 was its record low.

While there is value in splitting fairways, there's just not enough to penalize wayward shots, so it's a bomb-and-gouge opportunity even though the leaderboards don't reflect that profile in the aggregate. Because scoring is so low, the objective is to hit as many of the Champion bermudagrass greens as possible and trust in the putter.

Now, what's sort of hilarious about believing in oneself to prevail and convert on the many benefits that go with winning is that J.T. Poston not only played video-game golf, it was cheat code kind of stuff. En route to his breakthrough victory in 2019, he ranked T2 in fairways hit (45 of 56), co-led in greens in regulation (62 of 72) and paced the field in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green. Most impressively, he got up and down all 10 times to complete the tournament in bogey-free, 22-under 258. (By comparison, Scott Stallings also was perfect in scrambling for the week - he went 14-for-14 - but he three-putted five times, each resulting in a bogey. He finished T31.)

Sedgefield has a new overall yardage for the first time since 2012. It's only a couple of paces longer at 7,131 yards, all four extra yards as a result of a new tee on the par-4 14th hole, which now tips at 505 yards. Greens are dialed to measure 12 feet on the Stimpmeter. The longest rough will top out at a customary two-and-a-half inches.

It's mid-August in the Triad, so it'd be a surprise only if rain wasn't in the forecast. And, well, it is. Storms also could fire with daytime heating. Sticky conditions will be the constant. Wind will not be a factor.