A week after 23-year-old Collin Morikawa won the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park, the Tour heads to the east coast for the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina. As it has since 2008, the tournament will take place at Sedgefield Country Club. Expect low scores this week, as the last four iterations of the tournament saw winners at -21 or -22.
J.T. Poston was the winner last year, but who will take home the $1.152 million prize this year? Big names like Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth are all in the field, but here’s three guys with a good chance to make a run at this year’s Wyndham Championship.
He’s the odds-on favorite and last year’s runner-up, and this year he looks to get his second win in Greensboro. He first won the tournament in 2011. Simpson has two wins already in 2020: February’s Waste Management Phoenix Open in a playoff and the second tournament post-restart, the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head. Last week’s mediocre performance at the PGA Championship (T37 at -1) saw him drop two spots in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) to sixth. He was jumped by winner Morikawa and runner-up Dustin Johnson.
Simpson’s performance in last year’s tournament, a -21 second-place finish, would have been good enough for at least a tie-breaker playoff 10 out of the last 12 years. Last year, his putter kept him alive, as he was 11th in strokes gained putting at the tournament. He continues to be an elite putter on the Tour, 18th overall in strokes gained this year. At the PGA Championship, he fell all the way to 31st in strokes gained putting, perhaps the reason for his struggles at the tournament.
Casey looked ready to win his first career major last week at TPC Harding Park, but the youngster Morikawa was too much to overcome. A solid Sunday -4 66 saw Casey needing Morikawa to collapse at the end, but he was cool under pressure. Morikawa’s incredible drive on the 16th hole saw Casey’s major hopes once again slip away. He did, however, get his best major finish ever. Thanks to his performance in San Francisco, he jumped nine spots in the OWGR to 19th place.
The T2 finish was a bit of a deviation from the norm for Casey, though. Casey fell from 12th this past November all the way to 28th the week before the PGA Championship in the OWGR. Post-restart especially has seen him struggle. After a mediocre T32 finish at the Traveler’s Championship, Casey missed two straight cuts. His streak was only broken by the WGC – FedEx St. Jude Invitational, which has no cut. He finished T67 in a 78 man field. But a strong performance at the PGA Championship seems to indicate that he is ready to make a run at his fourth PGA Tour win, which would join his 15 European Tour victories, at this year’s Wyndham Championship.
At the end of 2014, Brendon Todd ranked 54th in the OWGR. Not too bad, right? He had won a couple Web.com Tour events, made it to the PGA Tour, won a tournament and seemed to be on his way to a solid career. Four years later he ended the year the 2,006th ranked player in the world, going as high as 2,043. After four top-10s in 2015, he missed the cut 23 out of 25 times in 2016. The next two years saw him miss seven cuts out of eight tournaments each year. What had happened? The dreaded yips.
Todd bounced back and is now at his highest OWGR spot ever, 44th. He closed out 2019 with two wins and a fourth place finish in his last three events. This year has been a little less kind to him, but he’s on the rise. After two missed cuts in the first two tournaments after the restart, he bounced back with a T11 finish at the Travelers Championship. He hasn’t missed a cut since. The past two weeks, he finished T15 in the WGC event then T17 in the PGA Championship. He’ll be looking for his fourth win on the PGA Tour this week at the Wyndham Championship.
The Payne Stewart Award, given to “a professional golfer who best exemplifies the values of character, charity and sportsmanship,” was given out this week. Zach Johnson was the winner, and the video of him finding out shows why.
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