GREENSBORO, N.C. – The most-recent PGA TOUR winner, Raleigh’s Akshay Bhatia, joins an impressive group of young stars in next week’s Wyndham Championship, the tournament announced today. The 84th annual Wyndham Championship is set for Aug. 2-6, 2023 at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C.
Bhatia won his first PGA TOUR event this past weekend when he outlasted Patrick Rodgers in a playoff to capture the Barracuda Championship at California’s Tahoe Mountain Club. A native of California, Bhatia’s family moved to Wake Forest, N.C. just outside Raleigh when he was a small child. He was home schooled and played neither high school nor college golf but turned professional at age 17 to chase his dream of playing the PGA TOUR.
He did not qualify as a fulltime PGA TOUR member this season but got into the Puerto Rico Open and finished second. That earned him special temporary member status allowing him to accept unlimited sponsor’s exemptions. After last weekend’s win, he’ll debut as a PGA TOUR member at next week’s Wyndham Championship. He is 92nd in FedExCup points and 106th in the Official World Golf Rankings. After accepting sponsor’s exemptions in in 2020 and ’21, he will make his third Wyndham Championship start next week.
Duke University alumnus Alex Smalley is playing his first full season on the PGA TOUR but will make his third Wyndham Championship start. A Sedgefield Country Club member, Smalley will make his third Wyndham Championship start next week; he finished tied for 29th in 2021 and tied for 13th last year. He is 45th in the current FedExCup point standings and 66th in the Official World Golf Rankings. He has four top-10 finishes this season: tied for fourth at the Cadence Bank Houston Open, tied for fifth at the RSM Classic, tied for ninth at the Travelers Championship and tied for second at the John Deere Classic.
Chapel Hill, N.C. native Ben Griffin finished fourth in the 2022 Wyndham Championship. The University of North Carolina alumnus is playing his first full season on the PGA TOUR. He is currently 68th in FedExCup points and 113th in the Official World Golf Rankings. His finished tied for third at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship for his best finish of the season to date. Griffin stepped away from Golf in 2021 and worked as a loan officer for a mortgage group during the spring and summer before returning to professional golf.
Sam Bennett won the 2022 U.S. Amateur and turned professional following his five-year collegiate career at Texas A&M. Bennett was named first team All-American and first team All-Southeastern Conference while playing for the Aggies. As the U.S. Amateur champion, he took the Masters by storm, finished tied for 16th and secured low-amateur honors. Just after completing his college career, he teed it up at the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday and finished 63rd. His best finish since turning professional was tied for 20th at the RBC Canadian Open. He will play the Wyndham Championship on a sponsor’s exemption in his first Sedgefield start.
Raleigh native Ryan Gerrard turned professional last season and will play the Wyndham Championship on a sponsor’s exemption. The University of North Carolina alumnus is 170th in the Official World Golf Rankings but has special temporary member status and is unranked in FedExCup points. His best finishes this season are fourth at The Honda Classic, fifth at the Barracuda Championship last weekend and tied for 11th at the Puerto Rico Open.
About the Wyndham Championship:
Contested annually on the Donald Ross-designed course at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., the Wyndham Championship was founded in 1938 and is the seventh-oldest event on the PGA TOUR excluding the Majors. The tournament thanks title sponsor Wyndham Rewards and presenting sponsor Truist for their continued support. Additional tournament information is available at www.wyndhamchampionship.com and the tournament’s social media channels, including the Wyndham Championship Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram.
About Wyndham Rewards:
Named the number one hotel rewards program by readers of USA TODAY, Wyndham Rewards® is the world’s most generous rewards program with more than 50,000 hotels, vacation club resorts and vacation rentals worldwide. Designed for the everyday traveler, members earn a guaranteed 1,000 points with every qualified stay and may redeem points for a wide range of rewards, including free nights at any of approximately 9,100 hotels or tens of thousands of vacation club resorts and vacation rentals globally through affiliation with Wyndham Destinations and others. Wyndham Rewards has approximately 101 million enrolled members around the globe. Join for free today at www.wyndhamrewards.com. You’ve earned this.®
About Wyndham Hotels & Resorts:
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: WH) is the world’s largest hotel franchising company by the number of properties, with approximately 9,100 hotels across over 95 countries on six continents. Through its network of approximately 845,000 rooms appealing to the everyday traveler, Wyndham commands a leading presence in the economy and midscale segments of the lodging industry. The Company operates a portfolio of 24 hotel brands, including Super 8®, Days Inn®, Ramada®, Microtel®, La Quinta®, Baymont®, Wingate®, AmericInn®, Hawthorn Suites®, Trademark Collection® and Wyndham®. The Company’s award-winning Wyndham Rewards loyalty program offers approximately 101 million enrolled members the opportunity to redeem points at thousands of hotels, vacation club resorts and vacation rentals globally. For more information, visit www.wyndhamhotels.com.
About Club Wyndham:
Club Wyndham® is the flagship vacation ownership brand as part of Wyndham Destinations, the world’s largest vacation ownership business. From the busy streets of the Big Apple to the calming shores of Hawaii, Club Wyndham owners have access to more than 100 resorts to unlock new cities, new experiences and new destinations. Club Wyndham lets travelers spark their sense of adventure with spacious resort suites featuring the comforts of home, including fully equipped kitchens, separate living and dining areas, and separate bedrooms, plus resort amenities and quality service. Wander across town, across the country or across the ocean – no matter what’s on your travel bucket list, Club Wyndham offers the chance to live it. All Club Wyndham resorts participate in Wyndham Rewards®, the number one hotel rewards program as named by readers of USA TODAY, and the world’s most generous rewards program with more than 50,000 hotels, vacation club resorts and vacation rentals worldwide. Club Wyndham is part of Travel + Leisure Co. (NYSE: TNL) and its portfolio of travel businesses. For more information, visit ClubWyndham.com. Connect with us on Twitter: @ClubWyndham; Facebook: @ClubWyndham; and Instagram: @ClubWyndham.
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