A new Wyndham champion took home the Sam Snead Cup on Sunday, Aug. 16 and almost no one in Greensboro was there to see it.
The win by Jim Herman was no less amazing because of the lack of spectators on the course, but it was a tough tournament to have to miss. Herman shot a 61 on Saturday, Aug. 15 to get in position to win and followed that with a 63 on Sunday to win by one stroke. For all you weekend golfers out there wondering if you should try something new, Herman decided to try a cross handed putting grip for this first time in this tournament. Needless to say he was pretty pleased with the results.
The Wyndham Championship, originally the Greater Greensboro Open, has been played in Greensboro since 1938, missing two years because of World War II, but it has become a part of life in Greensboro whether it was played in the spring in snow or in the blistering heat of summer. And whether it was played at Starmount Country Club, Forest Oaks Country Club or at its current home Sedgefield Country Club, the people of Greensboro have turned out in droves to support and enjoy the tournament.
People come to watch golf, but it’s also a huge social event where you are likely to see people you haven’t seen in years.
Back in March, when the Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) games scheduled for the Greensboro Coliseum were cancelled, the assumption was that by the time of the Wyndham, in August, the country and the world would be back to normal. But if that proves anything, it is that you shouldn’t assume.
COVID-19 did something that changing venues and schedules couldn’t do – it nearly cleared the course of spectators.
The big winners this year, along with Herman, were the people who live at Sedgefield who had a private PGA tournament played in their backyards. Usually during the tournament people who live at Sedgefield have to put up with traffic, closed roads, strangers wandering through their yards and lots of noise. This year, they, along with tournament officials, limited media and a few volunteers, had front row seats to see a great PGA tournament.
Golf: the only professional sport where the big names don’t have to play all the time. Casual observers don’t know these dudes who show up once a year and cater to the Warren Buffets of the world. Can you imagine if Tom Brady or LeBron James only played in 1/3 of the games? No one would put up with it, but golf? Sure! Whatever…
I might play it every so often, but don’t give two rips about part time pro golf (aka the PGA).
Yackety-Coop, don’t talk back.