Garcia plays Wyndham weatherman
With a year of maturing, the new Bermuda grass greens at Sedgefield Country Club pose a tougher challenge than when played on for the first time by the PGA Tour pros at the Wyndham Championship, the event’s defending champion claims.
Whether that translates into a winning score closer to par or not depends on the weather, Sergio Garcia said.
If rain stays and the ball rolls faster, the winner might get into double digits under par, he predicted on Tuesday after playing nine holes of practice. If the forecast holds and rain makes the greens soft, the winner could rival his 18-under total of last August, for the four rounds set to begin today not long after daybreak.
“If we manage to get decent weather, the greens will get very, very firm and obviously they are very fast,” Garcia said on Tuesday. “A lot of the pin positions and long putts will become tougher. So, it depends on the weather.
“If the weather gets it firm, I don’t know, just off double digits will win it. But if it rains, then there might be a little better chance to shoot a lower score.”
Garcia’s win was the first for the Spaniard in the U.S. since 2008. He has not won in 12 PGA Tour starts this season and has not finished in the top 20 in his last four outings.
Among those entered, he is the second highest in the World Golf rankings at No. 19 (bettered only by No. 7 Brandt Snedeker) and among seven of the last eight Wyndham winners. But he is not among the 15 winners of major tournaments in the field.
“Do I believe I am the favorite?” Garcia asked rhetorically. “I hope I am one of them. But, I wouldn’t say I am the favorite. The tournaments nowadays, pretty much anyone can win. ... So if I play well, I have a good chance. If I’m not on my game, then I probably have to do something a little extra to have a chance.”
If Garcia wins, he would be the tournament’s first back-to-back winner since Sam Snead repeated in 1955-56,
“Hopefully, it will be nice to change that bit of history,” Garcia said. “The only thing I can do is go out there, hopefully play well like I know I can do and we’ll see if that’s good enough.”
The tournament will be last that will determine the 125 golfers who will get into the upcoming Fedex Cup playoffs based on points and the 125 golfers who will retain their Tour card for next year based on money winnings.
Those just outside the top 125 in points include Peter Hanson, Nicolas Colsaerts, Brad Fritsch, Padraig Harrington and Bud Cauley. Others trying to make it are Chad Campbell, Vijay Singh, Woody Austin and Tommy Gainey.