Inside The Ropes At The PGA TOUR Wyndham Championship
The Wyndham Championship has recently served as the final PGA Tour stop for players to secure their jobs for the next year. The top 125 on the FedEx points list after the Wyndham are either in the playoffs or they are fighting for their jobs for the next season through a series of events with those who just missed the automatic promotion from the Web.com Tour’s Top 25. Vaulting into the Top 125 in the final week of the regular season is not an easy proposition for many as collecting enough points in just one week requires a very high finish in the Wyndham in order to get the needed result.
A Walk Inside The Ropes
This week, I had the opportunity to walk and talk with Shawn Stefani during the Wednesday Pro-Am. Stefani was fighting for his proverbial PGA Tour life this week in Greensboro. He entered the week 133rd on the FedEx Cup list and needed an excellent finish at Sedgefield Country Club and some help from others in the field to make the first playoff event at the Barclays.
I was hoping to rub off some good luck onto Shawn as my assigned pro last year was Scott Brown, who turned in a Top 3 finish and had a hole in one on the 3rd hole while playing with Tiger Woods in the final round. I’ll take some credit again here as not only did Stefani turn in a great week with a tie for 14th at 12 under to secure his card and an invite to Bethpage Black this week, but he too matched Brown’s feat from last year in exciting the crowd with a hole-in-one on the 165th on Saturday’s moving day.
Stefani and Brown
Turns out, there is some connection between the two. “Scott’s a great guy, he actually gave me some putting tips a few weeks ago at the Travelers” he recounted. Stefani had been struggling on the greens which had put him behind the eight ball for making the playoffs. Just in the Pro-Am contest alone, Stefani made several clutch par saves from 10+ feet and some impressive birdie putts, so it was clear that something was carrying over from Brown’s suggestions and would parlay itself into the finish Stefani needed this week.
What’s In The Bag: Shawn Stefani
Finally, those of us at home are always wondering what Tour players are gaming in their bags for any giving week. Here’s what Shawn had to say about his equipment:
“I’m not a huge equipment guy like other guys. I’m not a big tinkerer. Some guys just want the latest and greatest, but I think I should be able to play with what I’ve got” Stefani stated. For him and many of us out there, it is a comfort thing.” In regards to his choice of woods and hybrids, he added, “I love the Adams/Taylormade products. In my opinion, it’s the best out there. I mean, it’s just so good.”
Driver: Taylormade R-11S
3-wood: Taylormade JetSpeed
Hybrid: Adams Red
Irons: Mizuno MP-4 (2-PW)
Wedges: Titleist SM-6
And just to expand on how difficult it is to surge into the Top 125 in the final week, there was only one other player that accomplished that task this past week. Kyle Stanley, ranked 127th coming into the week, finished T-14th with Stefani, which gave him enough points to jump into the 116th spot and move onto the Barclays. Both Stefani and Stanley will have their work cut out for them this week as the playoffs will cut down to the Top 100 after this week’s event.
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Chris Wadwick has been a Class “A” member of the PGA of America since 2011. He is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in Business Administration. He brings a deep understanding of the inner workings of the golf business, especially club fittings, product knowledge, and visual merchandising, working for Dick’s Sporting Goods for over 7 years and Occoneechee Golf Club for more than three years, prior to that. When he is not in the office, you can always find him at a nearby golf course, attending games at his alma mater, or spending time with his wife and four dogs.