By John Brasier
Could Justin Thomas and Shane Lowry come to Greensboro in an attempt to qualify for the $56-million FedExCup?
Depending on what happens at this weekend’s British Open — and next week’s 3M Open in Minnesota — there could be a very good chance.
Which pro golf stars will enter the Wyndham Championship? When will Greensboro’s annual PGA Tour event be played in 2024?
When and how will stars such as Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau be eligible to return to PGA Tour events?
Many questions about the PGA Tour, and the Wyndham Championship in particular, remain unanswered with only two weeks remaining until the opening round of the Aug. 3-6 tournament at Sedgefield Country Club.
And questions about the field, never set until the Friday prior to the start of the tournament, are tougher to try to answer in advance with only the 3M Open between this week’s British Open and the Wyndham.
Defending champion Tom Kim, past winner Si Woo Kim and former Masters champion Adam Scott are among the Wyndham’s early commitments.
Bobby Powell, the Wyndham tournament director, told Triad Business Journal that he expects many players will make decisions on the rest of their 2023 schedule based on their position in the FedEx Playoffs points race. Players near — and on either side — of the cutoff line for the top 70 qualifiers (down from 125 last year) into the playoffs might add Greensboro to their plans.
Notable players just outside the top 70 include Lowry (72) and Thomas (75). While there may be no players of the stature of Lowry or Thomas just inside the top 70, Matt Kuchar (54) and Hideki Matsuyama (56) may not feel safe following the British Open.
As for LIV Tour players returning to the PGA Tour, no reinstatement policy has been announced yet by the PGA Tour, so no LIV Tour players will be in the Wyndham field.
Powell said the PGA Tour had told tournament officials that it expected to have the 2024 schedule out by the end of summer, but said he didn’t think the tour meant the official calendar date in late September. Powell said he had received no indication that the Greensboro tournament would be moved next year.
“If you look at definitions we’re near the end of the summer, right?” Powell said. “I think it will be sometime in the next two or three weeks.”
But there’s at least one major Wyndham Championship issue settled — the tournament has sold out its hospitality areas, which circle the greens on the final four holes. Weekly and daily grounds passes remain on sale.
Powell said if demand exists, he could probably add hospitality spaces behind the 15th green.
What else is new? There’s an unfinished castle-shaped structure near the putting green that has a connection to Wyndham. Tournament officials said they expect to make an announcement on that next week.
The course appears ready. The fairways are immaculate, the greens are firm, smooth and fast and the rough is so high, shots only a few feet off the fairway can be tough to find.