If you’re old enough to remember, the
Greater Greensboro Open was once the
gateway to the rites of spring. The tournament for years was the week before The
Masters, and the Greensboro Jaycees, who
ran the event, put on a helluva show at
Sedgefield Country Club.
The locals came out of winter hibernation in droves. They served Blatz beer
back in the day – wonder where that brand
went – and your bags weren’t searched
and seized at the gate, which made getting
a cocktail when you needed one a much
It wasn’t the world’s largest outdoor
cocktail party, as has been advertised by a
certain college football game, but it could
have been the largest backyard barbecue.
The patrons, when well-oiled, were the
slightest bit rowdy, but you’d be, too, if
you’d been cooped up all winter and the
PGA Tour was in town.
Between then and now, Greensboro has
undergone a complete makeover. When the
PGA Tour purses got so big, local money
dried up and the GGO needed corporate
sponsorship along with a bigger course.
So the event moved to Forest Oaks Country
Club and corporate hospitality tents were
invented, which made getting a cocktail
simpler for those lucky enough to have
the right badge. The rest of the proletariat
would have to make do on Miller Lite.
Today, the Wyndham Championship –
after a couple of schedule moves – is back
at Sedgefield and now occupies the slot
just before the FedEx Cup playoffs that
begin this week. The hotelier built a beach
alongside the par- 3 16th hole, stocked with
scenery, and it was a coin toss whether
you’d rather watch bikini-clad babes or
birdies and bogeys.
If Charl Schwartzel or Keegan Bradley
wins a playoff event, one of them will likely
be Player of the Year and the other is a lock
for Rookie of the Year.
rush to get inside the top 125 on the FedEx
Cup points list and thereby avoid a five-week vacation for those outside the magic
Jason Dufner was in the field, back up
on the horse that threw him in the ditch
at the PGA Championship. Tommy (Two
Gloves) Gainey was atop the leaderboard
after two days, Els was in the hunt and all
seemed right with the world.
Things were especially right in Keegan
Bradley’s world, and he wasn’t in the field
in Greensboro. He was busy being con-
It’s going to take the outcomes of the
FedEx Cup Playoffs to determine the
end-of-year awards on Tour. There are five
players on Tour who have won twice this
year – Schwartzel, Bradley, Mark Wilson,
Nick Watney and Bubba Watson. None of
the final three are Player of the Year mate-
rial unless one of them wins one or more
playoff events, which might include The
Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup.