Tournament: The Wyndham Championship
Course: Sedgefield Country Club
Course Architect: Donald Ross created this gem in 1926, and Sedgefield CC stands as the only Ross designed course that hosts a regular tour event. Considering his legacy of designing courses like Pinehurst, Oak Hill and Aronmink, it is a shame that more of his designs do not see regular PGA tour play
Course Grass: Sedgefield CC features heat resistant Bermuda grass throughout the tees, fairways and rough.
Course Stats: Sedgefield CC is a par 70 that is set up to play at 7,071 yards. In other words, it is a short track that will yield a ton of birdies. Last year, Sedgefield played as the easiest par 70 on tour with the field averaging 69.2 strokes per round.
Course Features: Considering his legacy of designing courses like Pinehurst, Oak Hill and Aronmink, it is a shame that more of Donald Ross designs do not see regular PGA tour play. Ross often layered his fairways with cross bunkers, but his most distinguishable feature is how many options he gives players on approach shots. Given his Scottish background and affinity for classic links courses, it makes sense that many of Ross’s designs allowed approach shots to be played either on the ground or in the air, and Sedgefield is no different. In 2007, the course underwent a three million dollar renovation that transformed the course back to its original roots—while accounting for modern technology—and how Ross intended the course to be played. The biggest change was on the greens, where pure bent grass turf was replaced by “Champion Bermuda”. Interestingly enough, it was an ode to Ross, and the gift that he placed upon Pinehurst #2, when he first changed the green surfaces from oiled sand to Bermuda just in time for the PGA Championship in 1935. Champion Bermuda turf is described by many to offer the most pure rolling greens, but they are also the fastest. In Stimpmeter tests, they have averaged close to two feet more roll than other green surfaces like bent grass and Paspalum.
Key Metrics: Ball-Striking and Putting. More specifically, I am going to be looking at Proximity to Hole, Greens in Regulation, Strokes Gained: Putting and Scrambling. Looking back at previous winners there is one thing that jumps out at me most, and that is driving distance matters very little on what is a very short course by PGA Tour standards. What matters most is having a razor sharp wedge game and efficient putting. There will be plenty of birdies to be made on the course, but the winner will be the player who can avoid three putts and take advantage of makeable birdie opportunities.
1st Round Matchups
Ryan Moore (-105) vs Bill Haas
Bud Cauley (-120) vs James Hahn
Grayson Murray (+150) vs Lucas Glover
Robert Streb (+105) vs Shane Lowry
Kevin Kisner (+1400)
Jason Dufner (+2500)
Ryan Moore (+2500)
Kyle Stanley (+4000)
Danny Lee (+5000)
Kevin Na (+6600)
Russell Knox (+6600)
Hao-Tong Li (+8000)
Kevin Tway (+8000)
JJ Spaun (+13500)