GREENSBORO, N.C. – The first round of the 69th annual Wyndham Championship is three weeks from today. The tournament is set for Aug, 11-17 at Sedgefield Country Club. Some pre-tournament notes are below:
David Duval Joins the Field: 2001 British Open champion David Duval committed to the Wyndham Championship Field this morning. The 13-time PGA TOUR winner was No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings during the 1999 season. He finished No. 1 on the official PGA TOUR money list in 1998 and second in both 1997 and ’99. Duval eagled the last hole to win the 1999 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic and shoot 59 becoming just the third player at that time to record the elusive score. Al Geiberger and Chip Beck had already recorded a 59. He has represented the United States on two Ryder Cup teams and three President’s Cup teams.
More Player Commitments: Two-time U.S. open champion Lee Janzen, Ryuji Imada, this year’s AT&T Classic winner, Richard S. Johnson, winner of last week’s U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee, Daniel Chopra, winner of this year’s Mercedes Championship, J.B. Holmes, winner of this year’s FBR Open; Johnson Waggoner, winner of this year’s Shell Houston Open; D.J. Trahan, winner of this year’s Bob Hope Chrysler Classic; 2007 Wyndham Championship runners up Tim Petrovic, Billy Mayfair and Jeff Overton; Chris DiMarco, Brett Wetterich, Heath Slocum, Vaughn Taylor, Peter Lonard, Steve Marino, Bill Haas, Joe Ogilvie, Billy Andrade and Nick Watney are among the latest PGA TOUR golfers to commit to the Wyndham Championship.
Chinese Golfer: The player widely considered the best professional golfer in China is playing in the Wyndham Championship. W.C. Liang, who won the 2007 Order of Merit on the Asian Tour, is playing on the Commissioner’s Exemption for foreign players. Liang plays on the Asian Tour and the Japan Golf Tour. After more than a dozen top-10 finishes on the Asian Tour, he won the 2007 Singapore Masters, which was co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the European Tour making him just the second golfer from the People’s Republic of China to win on the European Tour. When he played in the 2007 PGA Championship, he became the first Chinese golfer to compete in the PGA TOUR’s final major of the year.
Harris Teeter Tickets: Wyndham Championship tickets are once again available at all Piedmont Triad Harris Teeter locations. Shoppers who show a Harris Teeter VIC card receive a $10 discount on each ticket purchased; good-any-day tickets will be $25 instead of the usual $35. Tournament tickets are also available at wyndhamchampionship.com.
Three Defending Champions?? The Wyndham Championship is in an unusual situation; it kind of has three defending champions. Brandt Snedeker won the inaugural Wyndham Championship last year and went on to win 2007 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year honors. What a lot of people may not remember is that Al Geiberger was the last player to win the Piedmont Triad’s PGA TOUR event at Sedgefield Country Club beating Lee Trevino by two strokes in 1976 to win the Greater Greensboro Open. The next year, the tournament moved to Forest Oaks Country Club. So as the Wyndham Championship comes home to Sedgefield, Snedeker is the defending champ, but Geiberger is the defending Sedgefield champion. And the third defending champion? Since he was unable to defend his 2006 victory last year because of kidney stones, Davis Love III will have his chance to defend in this year’s tournament.
Right Decisions, Right Now Youth Golf Clinic: Since its inception many years ago, the Wyndham Championship’s youth golf clinic has been a huge hit among Piedmont Triad-area kids. Each year, PGA TOUR professionals participate in the clinic and teach local kids about the sport they love. While the clinic had always been successful, last year, it became even more meaningful by teaching kids an important lesson. Right Decisions, Right Now: Be Tobacco Free teaches kids about steering clear of all tobacco products. With its move to Tuesday of tournament week, the Right Decisions, Right Now Youth Golf Clinic has become even better attended. Piedmont Triad-area kids have an opportunity to learn golf from the best in the business while receiving a vital life lesson at the same time. This year’s clinic is set for Tuesday, Aug. 12 at 4:30 p.m. at the Sedgefield Country Club practice range. Admission to the clinic is free for all kids.
The Sweet Spot: Course construction is well underway at Sedgefield Country Club. The area around the 15th , 16th and 17th holes will be a special place to watch the tournament. From the “sweet spot,” fans can see all of the par-three 16th hole in addition to most of the par-five 15th and the par-four 17th. Many corporate hospitality facilities are in this area, but general admission ticket holders will have access to the large grandstands at the 15th green and the 17th tee as well as a small area underneath the 16th hole tee boxes. Concessions will also be available at the “sweet spot.”
Wyndham Championship Block Party: After an extremely popular debut last year, the Wyndham Championship Block Party, presented by the Greensboro Grasshoppers and returns to Hamburger Square in downtown Greensboro. Located adjacent to Natty Greene’s on Elm Street, the Block Party will feature The Breakfast Club, American’s premier 80s cover band. Formed in December 1993, The Breakfast Club was the first tribute band of its kind in the country. Created by Jerry Finley, who worked with such 80s music legends as The Romantics and The Hooters, the band continues to be the most requested and widely marketable 80s tribute band in the southeast United States.
Brandt Snedeker’s Wyndham Endorsement: After the 2007 PGA TOUR season, defending champion, Brandt Snedeker signed an endorsement deal with Wyndham Worldwide. Wyndham is embroidered on the collar of Snedeker’s shirts. After he won the Wyndham Championship and completed all of the post-tournament obligations, Snedeker had missed his flight to New York for The Barclays, the first tournament in the FedExCup playoffs. Steve Holmes, the Chairman and CEO of Wyndham Worldwide, was about to depart Greensboro for New Jersey; Wyndham Worldwide is located in Parsippany, N.J. Wyndham’s Kevin Rinker called Holmes and asked if Snedeker and his caddie could fly with him so Snedeker could be at the golf course Monday morning as planned. Holmes agreed to wait for Brandt. With the help of the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department, Snedeker and his caddie made a very quick trip to Piedmont Triad International airport, and the winner of the inaugural Wyndham Championship was on his way to the playoffs. The groundwork for Snedeker’s Wyndham endorsement was laid during that short flight to New Jersey and finalized in text messages from Franz Hanning, the CEO of Wyndham Vacation Ownership; Hanning and Snedeker played together on the winning team in the pro-am earlier that week.
The 2008 Wyndham Championship is set for Aug. 11-17 in Greensboro, N.C. Tickets are available online at wyndhamchampionship.com or through the tournament office. The tournament thanks title sponsor Wyndham Worldwide and Premier Partners, AIG, BB&T Cadillac, Harris Teeter, and VF Corporation for their continued support. Additional tournament information is available at wyndhamchampionship.com or through the tournament office at (336) 379-1570. For more information about Wyndham Worldwide, please visit www.wyndhamworldwide.com.
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