Hole 1: Brooks Koepka has now won three out of the last seven majors after his victory at Bellerive Sunday afternoon. He won in a similar fashion to the U.S. Open this year, fending off a charging Tiger Woods and Adam Scott. He was able to fully take advantage of a soft golf course and put on a ball striking clinic on the back nine. If it were not for a few nervous birdie putts on the back nine he could have won by four or five strokes. He hit seventy-three percent of his fairways, which is huge for the guy who is tenth on tour in driving distance .
Hole 2: After years of injuries Tiger Woods has gotten back to catching the world’s attention in major championships and contending in them. Tiger shot his lowest round ever in the final round of a major with a 64 on Sunday. His driver continues to be a problem, but his iron play and putting are still at elite levels. It is sad to think that if his putts on eleven and fifteen dropped instead of sitting on the edge of the cup he would have been in a playoff. He is now twenty-sixth in the OWGR and is a shoe-in for a captains pick for the Ryder Cup. Tiger is 176th on the PGA tour in driving accuracy and has still been putting up good rounds despite this. You have to think if he gets the driver straightened out the wins will start coming. But that is a HUGE IF. Tiger will be back in two weeks for the first event of the Fed Ex cup playoffs.
Hole 3: The Wyndham Championship is the last chance of the season for players outside the top 125 to secure their tour card for next season and qualify for the first event of the Fed Ex cup. Every player in this field is looking to improve on their position in the standings making for an unusually interesting Sunday. You may see some familiar names out there, but most of these guys have been having down years and need to make something happen. Henrik Stenson won last year and is in the field again trying to defend.
Hole 4: The notable names in this weeks tournament are going to mainly come from players who play both in Europe and on the PGA tour. Sergio Garcia is currently sitting at 130 in the standings and he has split his time between the two tours. Other names you may recognize outside the top 125 are Shane Lowry (139) , Graeme Mcdowell (143) and Hunter Mahan (155).
Hole 5: The guys just inside the 125 mark also have to put together a good week in order to maintain their spots in the Northern Trust. These guys are mostly Pga Tour journeymen who you might have seen in contention at tournaments over the years. Familiarizing yourself with these guys can make watching the tournament on Thursday and Friday more interesting because if they miss the cut their season is likely over. If you want to see the standings for yourself you can find them here.
Hole 6: The tournament this week will be played at Sedgefield CC in Grensboro NC. It is a par 70 course playing at 7127 yards with Bermuda greens. It is not an overwhelmingly difficult golf course so the winning score should be somewhere between 14 under and 21 under par. Last year Henrik Stenson set the tournament low score of 258 (22 under). Driving accuracy is incredibly important on this course because the fairways are wide but placement is key for approach shots. The greens are what defend this course so players who drive the ball well will have a big advantage when trying to score. Par four scoring is another important statistic as there are only two par fives and a mix of challenging and easy par fours. The PGA tour website has a course description and pictures of the holes if you want more details on the layout.
Hole 7 : The betting favorites are Webb Simpson at +1000 and Henrik Stenson at +1250. Shane Lowry and Ryan Moore are solid picks as +2500 as they have both had success at this course in the past. Lowry is also coming off of a good showing at the PGA. Garcia (+3000), Simpson, and Stenson have all won here in the past so seeing them in contention would not be a surprise.
Holes 8 and 9: If Sunday did not get you your full fill of Tiger I will leave you this
Thats it for this week. Hit ’em hard and hit ’em straight. The FedEx Cup preview will be coming next week.