Wyndham Championship, magical first round

Lots of birdies on a course that often gave very low scores, rewarding aggressive play

by Andrea Gussoni
Wyndham Championship, magical first round

In the archive a spectacular first round at the 2023 Wyndham Championship, a PGA Tour tournament that is taking place on the Sedgefield County Club course in Greensboro, North Carolina, in the United States. Lots of birdies on a course that often gave very low scores, rewarding aggressive play.

Wyndham Championship, results

At the end of the first 18 holes at the top of the rankings is the American Russell Henley, able to close his round with 6 birdies and an eagle at par 5 on the 15th hole, taking himself to -8.

The first pursuers of him are the Canadian Adam Svensson and the South Korean Byeoung Hun An, both at -7. The battle to enter the FedEx Cup playoffs is getting very interesting, with this tournament representing the last call for those who want to try to enter the first 70 places in the Race that guarantee access to the final phase of the season.

With the fifth provisional place at -5, Adam Scott would be projected to 68th place, starting from square number 81. Desperate attempt also by Andrew Novak, for now fourth at -4 and with still a couple of positions to climb to get back from its current 106th place in the FedEx rankings.

The PGA Tour also holds an annual qualifying tournament (known as the Q-School), held over six rounds each fall; the top twenty-five finishers earn the right to play on the PGA Tour the following year. The rest, if classified within the seventy-fifth position, can instead participate in the Nationwide Tour.

The top 25 in Nationwide Tour cashes also earn the right to play on the following year's PGA Tour. A player who wins three tour tournaments in one year receives an "on-field promotion" which guarantees him or her participation on the PGA Tour for the remainder of the year.

At the end of each season, the top 125 players on the money list receive a "tour card" for the following year, which exempts them from qualifying for most tournaments. However, at certain tournaments, known as invitationals, the exemption only applies to the top seventy of the previous year's rankings.

Players classified in positions 126 to 150 receive a conditional tour card, which gives them precedence to replace players who decide not to participate in any tournament. Winning a PGA Tour tournament entitles you to a tour card for a minimum of two years, plus one year for each additional victory up to a maximum of five years.

Winning one of the three World Golf Championships tournaments or The Tour Championship guarantees exemption from qualifying for three years. Anyone who wins one of the four Majors or The Players Championship gets guaranteed participation in the tour for five years.

Players who win twenty tour tournaments are qualified for life. Particular conditions are foreseen for players who are in the top fifty or twenty-five of the table with no other reason for exemption from qualifying or for players returning from injury.

As with other professional sports organizations, there are no rules restricting tour participation to men only. Annika Sörenstam and Suzy Whaley played tournaments on the PGA Tour in 2003, and Michelle Wie did so consecutively from 2004 to 2008.

However, neither of them ever made it past the cut, although Wie missed one occasion in 2004 for a single shot difference. The LPGA, on the other hand, is a women-only organization. The PGA Tour pays close attention to fundraising for charities, often in favor of local associations that operate in the cities where the tournaments are held.

With the exception of some older tournaments, PGA Tour rules dictate that all tour tournaments be run on a non-profit basis; the PGA Tour itself is a non-profit organization.