Players are heading down the final stretch of the 2016 season as The PGA Tour travels to Greensboro, NC for The Wyndham Championship, the final event before the start of the FedExCup Playoffs.
A talented field has assembled to take on the Donald Ross-designed layout at Sedgefield Country Club, each player knowing that a strong showing could serve as a springboard to a deep playoff run.
This week the course will play to a par of 70 and measure 7,127 yards, relying on its demanding putting surfaces as its main line of defense. Course management, accuracy and finesse around the greens are typically the focus here and if the leaderboard after Round 1 is any indication, the players with the fittest short games will once again find themselves in contention come Sunday afternoon.
Two players who certainly had their flat sticks working on Thursday were first round co-leaders and Titleist Brand Ambassadors Rafa Cabrera-Bello (Pro V1x) and Kevin Na (Pro V1x). Both players fired 7-under-par 63s on Thursday and each player credited his putting for the early success.
“It's been pretty solid,” said Cabrera-Bello, who is hoping to cement a spot on the European Ryder Cup team with a good finish this week. “Gave myself lots of chances, stayed away from trouble and putting was great today. Putting was very, very good.”
“The golf course has changed,” said Na, who hasn’t played the course since 2012, when Sedgefield switched form Bentgrass to Bermudagrass greens. “It's a lot more difficult. You know, I played unbelievably well. I hit it really well. I made a lot of putts and there were a couple par putts that were probably key to keep my round alive.”
Na is hoping that his 7-birdie performance is just the start of good things to come, not the least of which will be the birth of his first child.
“I want to guarantee myself, lock myself for the Tour Championship. I added this week so I could get some more points. Obviously we have four playoff events but, I'm only going to be playing three because the second playoff week my wife and I are having our first child. We're having a girl. So we're very excited.”
Congratualtions on the good news, Kevin!
And best of luck to all of #TeamTitleist this week at the Wyndham Championship.
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TITLEIST BY THE NUMBERS
A total of 113 players in the field are trusting a Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball for their success at the Wyndham Championship, more than eight times the nearest competitor with 13 and more than all competitors combined.
Titleist was also the top choice among players in the hybrids category (31) as well as the irons category with 46 sets in play.
Titleist Vokey Design Wedges also topped the approach, sand and lob wedge (214) category and Scotty Cameron putters were the top choice among players with 64 putters in play.