The Wyndham Championship once again marks the end of the regular 2014 golf season and as always, there were some surprises as well as heartbreak. Not only is the Wyndham the last chance for players on the bubble to make the FedEx Cup playoffs by getting into the top 125 in points, but tour cards to play in 2015 become equally as important.
The big surprise at The 2014 Wyndham Championship was of course the return of Camilo Villegas to the winners circle. The 32 year-old Columbian was the 11th ranked player in the world after winning the 2010 Honda Classic, and then his golf game went South without him. When he teed it up on Thursday in Greensboro, he was ranked 254th.
Villegas opened the Wyndham Championship on Thursday with a seven under par 63, and for a big change, closed it with another 63 on Sunday. He had posted some great Thursday scores in the past four years, but like the 2013 Honda Classic, played so badly on Friday that he missed the cut.
“You got to stay strong and keep working,” Villegas said philosophically as he sat beside the big silver cup named the Sam Snead Trophy in tribute to the Wyndham Championship’s eight-time winner.
“I’ve always done that. I’ve always been a hard worker and always kind of believed in myself, sometimes more than others and, again, just happy to be right here right next to this trophy.”
It’s hard to tell if this is the turning point for Camilo Villegas, but a win on the PGA Tour, and a trip to the FedEx Cup playoffs fortunately won’t hurt his career.
As most of you, who read my blogs know, one of my picks to make the Ryder Cup is Brandt Snedeker, and I was encouraged with the 2012 FedEx Cup champ’s finish at Greensboro. Snedeker played all four rounds in the 60’s, and his putter looks to be working again. Team USA will need help on the greens at Gleneagles.
Webb Simpson was able to finish in a tie with Snedeker at 14 under par, and remains another option for Tom Watson when he makes his selection early in September. Simpson was a part of the Meltdown at Medinah, and like Snedeker, wants another bite of the apple.
The real story at Greensboro are the two bubble positions at 125, and 200. The news was good for Robert Allenby, and not so good for Nicolas Thompson. Allenby gets the 125th and final tee-time at the Barclays next week, and Thompson will not.
For some of these players, their careers rested on putts coming down the stretch. Heath Slocum had a share of the Wyndham lead, but erratic play on the final nine holes on Sunday cost Slocum the next step in his career. He made a couple of birdies and an eagle three at the15th hole, but the bogeys at 17, and 18 left the 40 year-old from Baton Rouge, three spots short.
The other milestone that you need to be aware of, is the 126th thru the 200th spots. Players inside the 200th position earn a trip to the Web.com playoffs where they have a chance to earn their PGA Tour card for the 2015 season.
Doug LaBelle II finished in the last spot, and will move on, finishing just outside of the bubble were, David Duval, and John Daly.
It’s been a wonderful year on the PGA Tour, but now it’s on to New Jersey, and the FedEx Cup playoffs. The big names return this week to play for top 100 spots and move on for a piece of the $10 Million Dollar bonus pot at the Tour Championship.