All to play for in North Carolina for Welshman Donaldson
The Wyndham Championship
US PGA Tour
Starts Thursday 12:30 - live on Sky Sports 3 from 20:00
After the excitement of the PGA Championship coupled with the distraction of the London Olympics you could forgive golf fans for taking their eye off this week's action at North Carolina's Sedgefield Country Club. Yet this week's US Tour installment is anything but just another leg for many of the players signed up for the Wyndham Championship. This weekend's action signifies the last tournament before the FedEx Cup play-offs, giving those players hovering around the 125th FedEx Cup ranking position an incentive to make the cut for the lucrative four-tournament series.
U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson goes into the championship as the defending Champion in an event which marked his maiden PGA Tour win. He shot an 18-under-par total and if successful this weekend 12/1 Simpson would move into the top five of the FedEx standings.
Co-favorite Jason Dufner also has an added incentive as he is the only player in the field who could potentially overtake Tiger Woods at the top of the FedEx standings. Having won twice already on the Tour this year the American would need to finish tied-second or better to assume the number one position.
The last favourite worth a mention in this week's field is the 16/1 rated Carl Pettersen. The big Swede was in contention at the USPGA, finishing T3 despite a two-stroke penalty for brushing a leaf in his backswing on the first hole of the final round. Having won round here in 2008 and currently sitting 11th on the PGA Tour in strokes gained putting an E/W punt for a top five finish at 1/4 odds looks to represent great value.
Clearly though this week is not all about the front runners. With so much at stake only two players ranked from 76-125 are not in the field (Fedrik Jacobson at 87 and Jason Day at 107). At this stage last year Jhonattan Vegas was sat comfortably in 34th position, however, a year on he finds himself on the brink of safety in 124th and will need to produce some of his best golf to hold off those vying for his spot on the FedEx Tour. 125/1 doesn't look to be a gamble that will come off in the outright market, but up against Brendan Steele and Heath Slocum in his first Round 3 Ball the 15/8 on the big American looks tempting considering how much is at stake.
One golfer who stands out from the field and one who is playing for ulterior motives will be Welshman Jamie Donaldson. The 36-year-old is desperate for a place in Jose Maria Olazábal's Ryder Cup team, however, he currently sits well outside the 10 automatic qualifying places. He is need of a victory in one of his next two starts and 80/1 says that the man who placed seventh at the US PGA Championship and who won the Irish Open in July can claim victory at Sedgefield.