Founded in 1938 as the Greater Greensboro Open, the Wyndham Championship is the sixth-oldest event on the PGA TOUR. In its early years, the tournament alternated between two Greensboro, N.C. courses: Starmount Forest Country Club and the current home course at Sedgefield Country Club. After 31 years at Forest Oaks Country Club, the Wyndham moved back to Sedgefield in 2008 and became the only regular-season PGA TOUR event contested on a course originally designed by the legendary Donald Ross. The 2016 tournament is the 77th renewal of North Carolina’s oldest professional golf event. The tournament enjoys a rich history that few PGA TOUR events have.
Sam Snead won the very first tournament which was originally played at both Starmount Forest and Sedgefield Country Clubs. The first place prize was $1,200.
Ben HoganAfter winning the North/South Open in Pinehurst -- the first win of his career -- Ben Hogan arrived in Greensboro and won a tournament that was delayed three days by snow. After playing the first round at Starmount, some three inches of snow fell. Once the snow melted, play resumed at Starmount before moving to Sedgefield where Hogan played 36 spectacular holes to win by nine strokes. After the tournament, Hogan went to Asheville where he earned his third consecutive win at the Land of the Sky Open.
1941 & 1945
Byron Nelson defeated Sam Byrd by eight strokes to win the tournament at Starmount Forest Country Club. It was the third of his 11 straight PGA TOUR wins. He also won the tournament in 1941, joining Sam Snead as the only two-time winners of the event to date.
Sam ByrdSam Byrd, former backup player for Babe Ruth and the New York Yankees, made history when he won the tournament in 1942. To this day, he is the only Major League Baseball player to win a PGA TOUR event.
Vic GhesziTall Vic Gheszi played the ball and the mud with equal skill to win the tournament in which no golfer broke par in 72 holes of stroke play.
Sam SneadWith what PGA TOUR officials called the largest crowd ever on the winter tour, Sam Snead won with rounds of 66-70-66-67 in perfect springtime weather at Sedgefield. The tournament actually ran out of tickets, and officials went to Cone Mills to print more for the weekend.
Dave DouglasSam Snead finished tied for first with Dave Douglas, who shot 277, and seemed headed to a playoff. However, the tournament was settled after a rules discussion regarding Snead’s second shot at the 17th hole at Starmount Forest Country Club. After Snead’s tee shot landed in the creek, he incorrectly played the ball on the green side of the creek. Long after play was complete, he was assessed a two-stroke penalty, giving him a new four-round total of 279. The penalty moved Snead from a tie for first place to third, two strokes behind Douglas who was declared the winner.
Dow FinsterwaldDow Finsterwald, who finished second or third on the money list every year between 1957 and 1960, won the tournament at Starmount Forest Country Club.
Sam SneadSince its inception in 1938, the tournament alternated between Sedgefield and Starmount Forest Country Clubs. The 1960 tournament followed a hard winter in the Piedmont Triad and, at tournament time, Starmount wasn’t in the best condition. After winning the tournament for the seventh time, Snead jokingly suggested that Starmount owner Edward Benjamin spend some of his money to fix up the course before the next tournament. Benjamin was not amused and banned Snead from Starmount for life, making Sedgefield the then permanent home of the tournament. Also, in 1960, Thorne Wood fired a first-round 66 and became the first left-handed golfer in PGA TOUR history to lead an official event.
Mike SouchakWhen Mose Kiser Jr. and his colleagues began preparations for the 1961 GGO, the impact of the Feb. 1, 1960 Greensboro Sit-Ins at Woolworth’s was just beginning to be felt across the nation and the Civil Rights Act was still some four years down the road. With full support from Sedgefield, the host club, the tournament decided it was time to open its arms across the racial divide and issued a personal invitation to Charlie Sifford to participate in the 1961 tournament. Sifford, a seasoned and accomplished competitor who grew up caddying in Charlotte, graciously accepted, becoming the first African- American to play in a PGA TOUR event in the Old South. Sifford had already played in a TOUR event in California. Sifford led the first round at Greensboro with a 68, trailed by only three strokes after three rounds and wound up tied for fourth behind winner Mike Souchak, Sam Snead and Billy Maxwell. There were some racial hecklers along the way, but, for the most part, he was welcomed in a dignified manner befitting his stature in the game and in his native state. Six months later, the Caucasian Clause came out of the PGA TOUR bylaws.
1963 & 1966
Doug SandersDoug Sanders won his second Greater Greensboro Open as the tournament took on its first corporate sponsor Allied in 1966. The $20,000 first prize money provided by Allied allowed the tournament to offer a six figure ($100,000) purse for the first time.
Sam SneadSam Snead won his PGA TOUR record-setting eighth Greater Greensboro Open. He won the first GGO in 1938 and, when he won his eighth 27 years later, he became the TOUR’s oldest tournament winner at age 52 years, 10 months and eight days. The tournament hosted its first champion’s banquet and honored Snead on the occasion of his 25th appearance in the Greater Greensboro Open. Ed Sullivan was the Toastmaster.
Billy CasperThough the final round was postponed due to the April 4 assassination of Martin Luther King, Billy Casper came away with his second win in this event at Sedgefield. He also won the tournament in 1962.
Gene LittlerFour players competed in the largest playoff in tournament history, a five-hole sudden-death playoff. Gene Littler sank a curling 12-foot putt at the 15th hole to defeat Julius Boros, Orville Moody and Tom Weiskopf.
Gary PlayerArnold Palmer was the leader or tied for the lead after each of the first three rounds of the tournament. Gary Player fired a final-round 65 to win the tournament by two strokes at Sedgefield Country Club. It was the lowest final round score by a tournament winner at Sedgefield. Palmer finished tied for fifth, five shots back.
George ArcherArnold Palmer held two-stroke lead in the final round when he teed off on the par three 16th hole at Sedgefield and appeared to be headed to an easy victory. Palmer put his tee shot into the creek beside the 16th green (now hole #7) and tried to play it out of the shallow water there. That decision cost him the tournament as he recorded a triple-bogey six and finished third. George Archer defeated Tommy Aaron on the second hole of the playoff to win the tournament.
Al GeibergerAl Geiberger won the Greater Greensboro Open in what was then the last tournament at Sedgefield Country Club for three decades. Geiberger defeated Lee Trevino by two strokes to claim the $46,000 first-place check. The tournament moved to Forest Oaks Country Club the following year where it stayed for 31 years.
Playing in his first United States tournament, Spain’s Seve Ballesteros won the Greater Greensboro Open at age 20 years and 11 months – the youngest winner in tournament history. He defended his title the next year and finished tied for 12th. In 1981, he made his final appearance and finished tied for 45th.
Fayetteville’s Raymond Floyd defeated George Burns and Gary Player in a playoff at Forest Oaks and became the first North Carolina native to win the event. Two-time winner Davis Love III and 2011 champion Webb Simpson are the only other native North Carolinians to win it.
Sandy LyleThe tournament’s 50th Anniversary marked a major homecoming, with Snead, Nelson and Floyd and Wadkins returning. Sandy Lyle won his second Greater Greensboro Open within two years of his first.
Davis Love IIIThere have been many stirring finishes to this tournament. But, perhaps the one that many refer to as the granddaddy of them all occurred in 1992 and was produced by one of only two North Carolinians ever to win here – Davis Love III. He started the final round three shots behind, yet won the tournament by a whopping six strokes, posting a course-record 31-31–62 that included two eagles on holes where he did not even have to putt. ￼After birdies at the first two holes, Love hit a 117-yard wedge to the seventh that landed about six inches behind the pin and backed up into the cup for an eagle two. When he came to the par-five 15th, he had birdied three more times and was comfortably in the lead. But his heroics were not over. He smashed a 310-yard drive onto the flat of the distant hill, then sailed a 1-iron over the green and into the back bunker. Not to worry; he blasted out perfectly – right into the cup for an eagle three. The crowd erupted into a celebration seldom, if ever, equaled in the history of the tournament. Many in the crowd were good friends, including many former classmates at UNC Chapel Hill. Amazingly, he almost holed out for another eagle on the very next hole, his pitching wedge approach stopping barely two inches to the right of the pin. “That’s one that should have gone in,” Love was quoted as saying later, only partly in jest. It was that kind of day, one that will endure as long as stories of great golf days and Greensboro are recounted.
Rocco MediateRocco Mediate pulled out the win after he and 1990 Champion Steve Elkington went head to head in a four-hole playoff. It was his second-career PGA TOUR win.
1996-2001The Chrysler Classic of Greensboro hired Tournament Director Mark Brazil to bring consistency to the tournament. Brazil would work closely with the Greensboro Jaycees to stage the tournament each year.
1996-2001The Chrysler Classic of Greensboro hired Tournament Director Mark Brazil to bring consistency to the tournament. Brazil would work closely with the Greensboro Jaycees to stage the tournament each year.
Rocco MediateRocco Mediate took a single-stroke victory at Forest Oaks, becoming just the ninth golfer in tournament history to win multiple tournaments. He also won in 1993.
Shigeki MaruyamaIn 2003, the tournament moved from its traditional spring date to the fall and became the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro. With the new name came a renewed Forest Oaks Country Club. The original Ellis Maples course was redesigned by Davis Love III and his course design company. The new design added length and “bite” to the course increasing total yardage to 7,311. Daimler-Chrysler increased its involvement as the tournament purse grew to $5 million making the Chrysler Classic the most lucrative stop in the Tour’s “Fall Finish.”
K.J. ChoiIn 2005, the Greensboro Jaycees Charitable Foundation Board was formed to oversee tournament operations. Immediately after the formation of the board, tournament director Mark Brazil began reporting directly to the Greensboro Jaycees Charitable Foundation Board rather than the Greensboro Jaycees. When the PGA TOUR announced its re-alignment, the Piedmont Triad’s PGA TOUR event earned a coveted date during the FedEx Cup portion of the season starting in 2007. The Triad’s PGA TOUR stop become the last regular-season event before the four-tournament FedEx Cup Championship series.
Davis Love III
In January, the tournament learned that the Daimler-Chrysler Corporation would not return as the title sponsor in 2007 making 2006 the final year of the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro. Just prior to the 2006 tournament, Wyndham Worldwide was introduced as the new title sponsor of the Piedmont Triad’s PGA TOUR event. The tournament would be called the Wyndham Championship starting in 2007, removing Greensboro from the tournament’s name for the first time. Davis Love III became just the eighth multiple winner of the Piedmont Triad’s PGA TOUR event when he won the 2006 tournament recording four rounds in the 60s. The man who did the re-design of the Forest Oaks Country Club layout just three years earlier battled cold, wet conditions to win the tournament by two strokes over Jason Bohn. Love, who also won the event in 1992, joined Sam Snead (8), Sandy Lyle (2), Danny Edwards (2), George Archer (2), Billy Casper (2), Doug Sanders (2) and Byron Nelson (2) as multiple winners.
In the first tournament played in August, PGA TOUR rookie Brandt Snedeker won the inaugural Wyndham Championship and became the 13th first-time winner in tournament history. Other first-time winners were Sam Byrd (1942), Art Doering (1951), Earl Stewart (1953), Stan Leonard (1967), Bob Goalby (1958), Bud Allin (1971), Danny Edwards (1977), Seve Ballesteros (1978), Joey Sindelar (1985), Steve Elkington (1990), Mike Springer (1994) and Frank Nobilo (1997). In December, Snedeker was named the PGA TOUR’s Rookie of the Year with his Wyndham Championship title as the centerpiece of his rookie season. Also in 2007, the board that oversees tournament operations was renamed the Piedmont Triad Charitable Foundation Board reflecting the continued regionalization of the Piedmont Triad’s PGA TOUR event. In addition, the Donald Ross-designed course at Sedgefield Country Club was restored to its original design and modernized for today’s PGA TOUR players. The $3 million restoration process, led by Donald Ross course expert Kris Spence, took 10 months to complete. After the Wyndham Championship concluded, tournament officials began negotiations to move the tournament from Forest Oaks Country Club back to Sedgefield.
The Wyndham Championship returned to Sedgefield Country Club beginning with the 2008 tournament. In a February 20 news conference, tournament officials cited a restored Donald Ross original golf course, close proximity to the Grandover Resort where most players and sponsors stay as well as a course located much closer to the center of the Piedmont Triad as reasons for moving the tournament. The course returned to the PGA TOUR covering some 7,117 yards and playing to a par 70. After 31 years at Forest Oaks Country Club, the Wyndham Championship would again be contested on one of the courses where the tournament began in 1938. N.C. State alumnus Carl Pettersson won the 2008 tournament posting four rounds in the 60s and setting the 72-hole tournament-record score of 259, 21-under-par. Pettersson is the player representative on the Piedmont Triad Charitable Foundation Board of Directors, the body that oversees tournament operations. The PGA TOUR named the Wyndham Championship its most-improved tournament for 2008.
The 70th Wyndham Championship might be remembered for torrential rains that disrupted play during the first and third rounds, but the playoff that determined the winner was more memorable than fairways that looked more like rivers than a PGA TOUR venue. Although the tournament concluded as scheduled on Sunday, each of the first three rounds was com- pleted the day after it began. During the final round, Sergio Garcia seemed in control of the tournament, but he was unable to sustain the level of play needed to take the title. He needed to hole a shot from the greenside bunker at the par four 18th hole to join a playoff with Jason Bohn, Kevin Stadler and Ryan Moore. On the third playoff hole, Moore made birdie to clinch his first PGA TOUR victory and become the tournament’s 14th first-time winner.
2010 was a year of firsts for Arjun Atwal and the Wyndham Championship. In addition to his nine previous international wins, Atwal picked up his first career PGA TOUR victory and became the first Indian-born player ever to win
a PGA TOUR event. He also became the first Monday qualifier to emerge victorious on the TOUR in 24 years. It was a first for the Wyndham Championship because for the first time in PGA TOUR history, patrons were allowed to bring cell phones to the course. Atwal tied Carl Pettersson’s two-year-old Wyndham course record with a first-round 61; 2007 Wyndham champion Brandt Snedeker was hot on his heels, shooting 63 for second place. After the second round, the two were tied for the lead at 12-under-par. With three pairs of consecutive birdies during his third round, Atwal built a three-stroke lead, shoot- ing a 5-under 65 to reach 17-under 193. Atwal was at 19 under for most of the final round until he bogeyed the par three 12th hole. Minutes later, Lucas Glover bogeyed 14 while Justin Leonard, John Rollins and David Toms birdied No. 16. At that moment, seven players shared the lead at 18 under par. Atwal, birdied the 16th hole and added pars on 17 and 18 to win the Wyndham by a single stroke over David Toms for a thrilling victory.
One of the best fields in tournament history challenged Sedgefield Country Club in 2011, but for the 16th time in tournament history, the Wyndham produced a first-time winner in Wake Forest alumnus Webb Simpson. Three-time major winner and World Golf Hall of Fame member Ernie Els, three-time major winner Padraig Harrington, two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen, 2010 FedExCup champion Jim Furyk, world No. 16 Paul Casey, world No. 17 Ian Poulter, world No. 18 Kyung-Tae Kim, world No. 19 David Toms, 2009 U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover, 2011 FedExCup champion Bill Haas, 2008 Masters winner Trevor Immelman, 2008 champion Carl Pettersson, three-time major winner Vijay Singh, two-time major winner Angel Cabrera, 2007 champion Brandt Snedeker, 1997 British Open winner Justin Leonard, two-time Wyndham winners Rocco Mediate and Davis Love III made up the fantastic field. Despite the all-star cast, Simpson, the Raleigh, N.C. native, was the star of the show navigating the Donald Ross-designed course in 18-under-par 262 and finishing second in the final FedExCup point standings. In addition, Derek Lamely made a hole-in-one at the par three 16th hole on Friday and won “Vacations for Life” courtesy of Wyndham Worldwide.
Sergio Garcia claimed a 2-stroke win Monday in the water-logged Wyndham Championship for his first victory on tour since the 2008 Players Championship. Putting was the key behind Sergio Garcia’s first PGA Tour victory in four years. He finished with a 66 to wind up at 18-under 262, claim $936,000 in prize money and maybe seal a spot on the European Ryder Cup team. Tim Clark was at 16 under following his 67 in the final tour event before the playoffs, and Bud Cauley finished 15 under after his 68. Garcia led both after the third round and when the fourth round was held up overnight thanks to a persistent downpour.
Patrick Reed won a sudden-death playoff on the second extra hole to outlast Jordan Spieth. Both players parred the first playoff hole at No. 18 when Spieth rolled in a 30-foot effort for par while Reed missed his birdie putt. On the second playoff hole, No. 10, Reed played a miraculous second shot from the trees on the right side of the fairway to seven feet with Spieth already safely on the green. Spieth narrowly missed his birdie putt and posted a par. Reed rolled his 7-foot putt up the hill and made birdie to earn his first PGA TOUR victory in his 38th start at 23 years of age. With the win, Reed moved from 78th to 22nd in the FedExCup point standings.
Reed was the first player to win on TOUR with his wife (Justine) as his caddie since Steve Stricker won the 1996 BMW Championship with his wife (Nicki) caddying.
The Wyndham Championship celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2014 with former champions Bob Goalby (1958), Dow Finsterwald (1959), Lanny Wadkins (1983), Rocco Mediate (1993 and 2002) and Davis Love III (1992 and 2006) returning for the festivities. Mediate and Love played in the tournament; Goalby, Finsterwald and Wadkins made special appearances. In addition, Weldon Fields, a tournament volunteer at the inaugural Greater Greensboro Open in 1938, returned shortly after his 100th birthday to take part in the festivities. The tournament field included 21 Major championship winners, seven former tournament winners and multiple international stars including World Golf Hall of Famer Ernie Els. Colombian golfer Camilo Villegas became the third international golfer in the previous five years to win the Wyndham when he captured the 2014 tournament. Arjun Atwal, a native of India, won in 2010; Spaniard Sergio Garcia won in 2012, and the Colombian superstar won the Wyndham’s 75th anniversary tournament. Villegas shot a seven-under-par 63 in the final round – just as he had done in the opening round - to take a one-stroke win over Wake Forest University alumnus Bill Haas and Swedish golfer Freddie Jacobson. With the Wyndham win, Villegas captured his fourth-career PGA TOUR victory and snapped a 116-tournament winless streak that began after his 2010 victory in the Honda Classic.
Davis Love III
2016 Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III won the 76th annual Wyndham Championship in 2015 and captured a third Sam Snead Cup for his efforts. Only the man for whom the trophy is named has more wins (8) at this event. Love posted a final-round 64 to take a one-stroke win over Jason Gore with Charl Schwartzel and Paul Casey among those tied for third. Record crowds attended the Wyndham to see a world class field that included six former world No. 1 golfers including Tiger Woods. The 14-time major-championship winner made his first Wyndham Championship appearance and the “Tiger Effect” was in full swing with record-setting crowds following him all weekend. From his opening hole early Thursday morning, Woods was the story of the tournament. He finished the first round two strokes off the lead, fired a five-under-par 65 on Friday and entered weekend tied for the lead; he finished tied for 10th. The Wyndham Championship set records in attendance, merchandise sales, concessions sales and international media impact. The 76th annual Wyndham Championship, won by three-time champion Davis Love III, will forever be remembered as the first time Woods played Wyndham.
Si Woo Kim
Korean golfer Si Woo Kim won the 2016 Wyndham Championship to become the 18th international champion and the 18th first-time winner in tournament history. At 21 years, one month and 24 days, Kim is the tournament’s second-youngest winner. Seve Ballesteros, who won at 20 years 11 months and 24 days in 1978, is the youngest champion in tournament history. Kim is the tournament’s second Korean champion joining 2005 winner K.J. Choi, the golfer he considers his hero, as Korean-born winners. After a pedestrian two-under-par 68 in the first round, Kim vaulted up the leaderboard with a course-record, 10-under-par 60 to take a two stroke lead into the weekend and cruised to a five-stroke win over second-place Luke Donald and the two golfers that tied for third place, Hideki Matsuyama and 2007 Wyndham winner Brandt Snedeker. Donald became the second golfer to win “vacations for life” courtesy of Wyndham Vacation Ownership and Wyndham Rewards, part of Wyndham Worldwide, when he made a hole-in-one on the par three 16th hole during the first round. Shawn Stefani, Peter Malnati and Scott Brown also recorded holes-in-one marking the 2016 event the first in tournament history with four golfers recording holes-in-one.