Date: August 15, 2012
Author: Bruce Young /

Australians shoot for FedEx Cup chance

The PGA Tour this week plays its final event before the FedEx Cup playoffs get underway next week at the Barclays at Bethpage State Park in New York. This event takes on great significance for those players looking to play their way into the field for the Barclays as the possibility exists for anyone making the finals to, mathematically at least, win the FedEx Cup. The leading 125 on the FedEx Cup table at week s end will be on their way to New York but this week there is a significant event in itself at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro in North Carolina. The tournament has a great history in American golf, the Sedgefield Country Club having played host to the event in the last five years but also over a stretch of 15 years from 1961. To say the golf course was designed by Donald Ross is sufficient to describe a quality layout as there were not many golf courses on which Donald left his mark that are not considered to be of the highest class. Only two players from the world top ten, Webb Simpson and Jason Dufner, are in the field, Simpson here no doubt because he is the defending champion. Simpson won by three shots last year over George McNeil. Dufner does not enjoy a good record in the event although he is a much better player now than he was in previous years when playing the event. Dufner was neither good nor bad last week at Kiawah Island but his form prior was generally outstanding. Simpson not only won last year but he put together a final round of 63 in 2010 to finish 8th. Simpson missed the cut at the PGA but was 7th in his previous start two starts after winning the US Open. He obviously likes this golf course and is a genuine chance. Carl Pettersson is a former winner over this layout and after winning the Heritage earlier in the year he was brilliant last week when finishing 3rd at Kiawah Island. Not only did Pettersson win in 2008 he established a tournament and course record in the process. He finished 4th last year so like Simpson the golf course fits. Charl Schwartzel plays the event for the first time and while his form of late has not been great it has not been so bad to dismiss his chances. I like the chances of J.B. Holmes. He has put together several good events of late after returning to tournament golf earlier in the season following his brain surgery. He has not played this event previously but there is something about the way Holmes is going about his business that suggests that this could be a good week. John Mallinger might be one for longer odds. Mallinger was 4th at his last start in Reno and 11th at the AT&T National. He missed cuts in between but at his best he could contend and importantly he has played this golf course well finishing 12th and 3rd at his only two starts here previously. Mallinger was in 3rd position heading into the final round last year before finishing 12th so this is a place he enjoys clearly. There will be huge interest this week in how Ben Kohles performs after two wins in his first two starts as a professional on the Web.Com Tour. The University of Virginia graduate is already assured of PGA Tour status for 2013. This will be Kohles first start on the PGA Tour but the manner in which he has handled himself in his two starts to date as a professional leaves many wondering just how far he can go. Kohles is playing on a sponsor s exemption. Australasians in the field include Robert Allenby, Stuart Appleby, Rod Pampling Nathan Green, Matt Jones, Gavin Coles, Mathew Goggin, Nick OHern and New Zealander Danny Lee. Only Allenby (106) and Rod Pampling (125) are currently inside the top 125 who will graduate to the Fed Ex Cup playoffs next week so the others are looking for something special this week if they are to avoid a lengthy break in their schedule. Pampling will also need a good solid week as well. The next PGA Tour event for those who do not make it is not until the Justin Timberlake event in early October.