Tournament Town finally got a tournament, the Wyndham Championship, which was played at Sedgefield Country Club Thursday, Aug. 12 through Sunday, Aug. 15.
And the 82nd edition of this PGA tournament didn’t disappoint, with a record six-way tie for first after 72 holes of play. Only twice previously in PGA history has there been a six-way tie for first and there has never been a seven-way tie.
Kevin Kisner won with a birdie on the second playoff hole; all six players parred the first playoff hole.
The Wyndham proved that after 18 months of being locked up and social distancing, people were ready to get out and enjoy being in a crowd. The 2020 Wyndham featured some great golf, with the winner, Jim Herman, shooting a 61 on Saturday followed by a 63 on Sunday to win the tournament, but there was no roar from the crowd when came up the hill at 18 on Sunday, because no fans were allowed on the course.
The 2021 Wyndham was limited to selling 15,000 tickets a day, but 15,000 is a lot of folks even when you spread them over an 18-hole golf course. Because of the recent increase in COVID-19 cases there is a mask mandate in effect for Guilford County, but it only applies to indoor spaces, and unless you have a VIP pass to get in the clubhouse or media pass for the Irwin Smallwood Media Center, there aren’t many indoor options at the Wyndham – and tents don’t count.
Margaritaville, where Mr. Margaritaville himself, Jimmy Buffet, stopped in and played in 2016, looked like what it was a bar under a tent where the crowd was enjoying themselves.
Along with the folks who come out to enjoy golf, and those who come out to socialize at a golf tournament, were nearly 2,000 volunteers who kept the tournament going.
For the past five years one of those volunteers has been Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan. You might expect the mayor to rate one of those jobs with a title but no duties, but Vaughan works in the Caddy Lounge, more commonly called the Caddy Shack, providing food and lots of hydration for some of the unsung heroes of PGA tournaments.
Vaughan said, “Aside from the heat, everybody is having a good time. I think the golfers and the caddies really feel appreciated and wanted. The Wyndham is really above par when it comes to all the amenities it provides.”
Putting on her mayor’s hat Vaughan said, “The national and global media exposure that Greensboro receives from the Wyndham is extremely valuable. It’s broadcast in over 200 countries.”