2016 Wyndham Championship First Round Notes

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Rafa Cabrera Bello
Just five days removed from his T5 finish at the Olympic Games in Rio, Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello made five birdies and an eagle (par-5 fifth hole) en route to a bogey-free, 7-under 63.

In his only other start in the Wyndham Championship, Cabrera Bello missed the cut in 2014, following rounds of 68-74—142.

This week’s Wyndham Championship marks Cabrera Bello’s 31st career start on the PGA TOUR and 10th of the season. This season, he has collected top-10 finishes at the World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play (3rd) and Shell Houston Open (4th).

On the European Tour this season, Cabrera Bello has amassed five top-10 finishes in 14 starts, highlighted by runner-up finishes in back-to-back weeks at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters and Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

Cabrera Bello has claimed four international victories, dating to 2006.

Before today, the closest Cabrera Bello has been to the top of the leaderboard after 18 holes was T2 at the 2013 Open Championship (finished T21).

Kevin Na
Making his sixth start in the Wyndham Championship, and first since 2010 (T18), Kevin Na posted a bogey-free, 7-under 63. In round three of 2010, Na made seven birdies and an eagle en route to a 9-under 61, tying the tournament record for low 18-hole score (T18). In his only other made cut at the Wyndham Championship, Na finished T37 in 2007 at Forrest Oaks Country Club.

Still seeking his second career PGA TOUR win (2011 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open), Na has collected seven top-10 finishes in 22 events this season. Of them, three came in his first three starts; Safeway Open (P2), Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (T2) and the CIMB Classic (T3). He also finished solo-seventh at the U.S. Open and is coming off a T7 at last week’s John Deere Classic.

En route to a T3 finish at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January, Na posted a third-round, 10-under 62.

Na hit 10 of 14 fairways in regulation and missed just three of Sedgefield Country Club’s 18 greens. He was a perfect three-for-three at getting up-and-down from around the greens and needed 27 putts to complete his round.

Na has previously held a lead/co-lead after 18 holes four times. His best finish among them was at the 2015 PLAYERS Championship (T6). Most recently, he held at least a share of the lead through three rounds at the 2015 DEAN & DELUCA Invitational, before a final-round, 2-over 72 resulted in a T10 finish.

First-Round Lead Notes
Since making a return to Sedgefield Country Club in 2008, the only first-round leader to hang on for the win was Arjun Atwal, following an opening-round, 9-under 61. Since 1976, the only other first-round leaders to convert for the win are Danny Edwards (1982), Mike Springer (1994) and Jesper Parnevik (1999).

Through 39 stroke-play events this season, nine first-round leaders/co-leaders have managed to hang on for the win. Most recently, Jimmy Walker did so at the PGA Championship.

Brandt Snedeker
2007 Wyndham Championship winner Brandt Snedeker opened with a 5-under 65 in his 10th-consecutive tournament start. His lone bogey came at his last of the day, No. 18.

In addition to his win in his rookie year of 2007, Snedeker also finished inside the top 10 at the Wyndham Championship in 2009 (T5), 2010 (T8) and 2014 (T5).

Sponsored by Wyndham Rewards, Snedeker is in search of his ninth career win on the PGA TOUR and second of the season (Farmers Insurance Open). With a win this week, he would join Adam Scott, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Russell Knox and Jordan Spieth as multiple winners this season.

Snedeker has already claimed multiple wins in two events; 2012 and 2016 Farmers Insurance Open and 2013 and 2015 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Snedeker hit just five of 14 fairways in regulation.

After round one of the 2007 Wyndham Championship at Forrest Oaks Country Club, Snedeker was six strokes back at 2-under 70.

In last year’s second round, Snedeker posted a 9-under 61, tying his career-low round and the tournament record for lowest 18-hole score. Among those with whom he shares that tournament-score distinction is Kevin Na, who opened with a 7-under 63 in today’s first round.

Luke Donald
At No. 99 in FedExCup points, England’s Luke Donald aced the 16th hole in round one from 163 yards, using a 9-iron en route to a 5-under 65. It marked his first ace on the PGA TOUR.

As the Official Mortgage Sponsor of the PGA TOUR, Quicken Loans will award one year’s worth of mortgage payments to Larry D. from Ardmore, Okla. to commemorate the ace.

The Quicken Loans’ Hole-In-One Sweepstakes awards one year’s worth of mortgage payments to a randomly selected entrant for every ace during official PGA TOUR events from the Waste Management Phoenix Open through the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. Fans can enter the sweepstakes by visiting pgatour.com/quickenloans.

The ace at No. 16 also won Donald “Vacations For Life” courtesy of Wyndham Vacation Ownership. The prize includes one vacation ownership interest in Club Wyndham Access, providing a lifetime of vacations and access to resorts throughout the U.S. and around the world. Additionally, Donald’s caddie Mick Doran, will receive a one week stay at a Club Wyndham resort.

Donald’s ace was just the second in tournament history at No. 16 (Derek Lamely/R2/2011).

Donald is making his fifth start in the Wyndham Championship this week and is coming off a T26 finish in last year’s event.

Donald, who maintained his exempt status through this season on the PGA TOUR by virtue of being the official money leader in 2011, is in search of his second top-10 finish of the 2015-16 PGA TOUR Season (T2/RBC Heritage).

Since joining the PGA TOUR in 2002, Donald has collected five TOUR titles and is in search of his first since the 2012 Valspar Championship.

From May of 2011 through May of 2012, on three separate occasions, Donald held the World’s No. 1 ranking for a collective 56 weeks. He comes into this week ranked No. 90.

Peter Malnati  
Peter Malnati made six birdies and just one bogey in his opening round to post a 5-under 65. In his last 36 holes, Malnati has now made 15 birdies. In the final round of last week’s John Deere Classic, Malnati carded nine birdies though his first 16 holes, before finishing with a triple bogey at No. 17 and a bogey at the 18th (finished T27).

Before last week, Malnati had struggled, missing 18 of 19 cuts. Last fall, he won the Sanderson Farms Championship in just his third start of the season. He comes into this week’s Wyndham Championship ranked 94th in the FedExCup standings.

Malnati hit all 14 fairways in regulation and missed just three of Sedgefield Country Club’s 18 greens.

Miscellaneous Notes
In his first start since winning the PGA Championship last month, Jimmy Walker struggled to a 4-over 74 in his seventh start in the Wyndham Championship. Walker succumbed to a triple bogey at the par-4 14th after pulling his tee shot out of bounds. Walker’s one top-10 finish in the event came in 2012 (T4).

In his first start at the Wyndham Championship, World No. 8 Rickie Fowler posted a 3-under 67 in round one. Currently No. 30 in FedExCup points, Fowler is angling to improve his standing this week to help ensure a start in theTOUR Championship by Coca-Cola for a fourth time and third-consecutive.

Making his 13th start in the Wyndham Championship, “Mr. 58” Jim Furyk made six birdies, including four in a row on Nos. 2-5, to open with a 4-under 66. Dating to the 17th hole in round three of the Travelers Championship, Furyk has now hit 38 consecutive greens in regulation. In doing so, he gets to within three of the most recent longest streak of 41 since 2002 (Tom Pernice). The all-time record of 51 belongs to Bob Lohr (1993).

Furyk has amassed four top-10 finishes in his 12 previous starts in the event, most notably a solo-second in 1999 at Forrest Oaks Country Club. Furyk finished T9 in last year’s event.

Six past champions of the Wyndham Championship are in the field: Camilo Villegas/2014 (72), Patrick Reed/2013 (66), Webb Simpson/2011 (70), Arjun Atwal/2010 (75), Ryan Moore/2009 (68) and Brandt Snedeker/2007 (65).

Six players who just returned from the Olympic Games in Rio are in this week’s field: Rafa Cabrera Bello (63), Graham DeLaet (76), Rickie Fowler (67), David Hearn (72), Danny Lee (65) and Patrick Reed (66).

FedExCup Notes
As the final event in the PGA TOUR Season, the Wyndham Championship is pivotal in the race to the FedExCup Playoffs. It offers the final opportunity for players to improve their FedExCup positions heading into the Playoffs, or in some instances, move into the top 125 in the standings and qualify for the first Playoffs event, The Barclays.

Here’s a look at Nos. 120-135 in the FedExCup standings headed into this week’s Wyndham Championship:

Player

FedExCup Rank

Entering Wyndham

R1 Score/Position

Blayne Barber

120

67/T22

David Toms

121

DNP

Seung-Yul Noh

122

71/T102

Sung Kang

123

67/T22

Matt Jones

124

72/T116

Whee Kim

125

72/T116

Scott Stallings

126

72/T116

Kyle Stanley

127

69/T58

Nick Taylor

128

74/T138

Steve Marino

129

68/T41

Bronson Burgoon

130

77/T151

Morgan Hoffmann

131

70/T75

Chris Stroud

132

69/T58

Shawn Stefani

133

66/T8

Chad Collins

134

70/T75

Steve Wheatcroft

135

68/T41

Last year, five players moved from outside the top 125 to inside the top 125 in FedExCup points’ standings: Davis Love III, Jason Gore, Jonas Blixt, Camilo Villegas and Ryo Ishikawa.

Three of the eight previous FedExCup champions have competed in the Wyndham Championship the week preceding the start of the Playoffs: Vijay Singh (2008), Bill Haas (2011) and Brandt Snedeker (2012).

Four of the nine winners of the FedExCup are in this week’s field: Billy Horschel/2014 (66), Brandt Snedeker/2012 (65), Bill Haas/2011 (66) and Jim Furyk/2010 (66).

No player outside the Playoffs bubble entering the Wyndham Championship has successfully negotiated his way to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.

Six rookies are inside the top 125 in FedExCup Standings heading into the Wyndham Championship (*in Wyndham Championship field): Smylie Kaufman (25), Emiliano Grillo (28), Patton Kizzire* (58), Harold Varner III* (79), Michael Kim (112) and Brett Stegmaier* (119).

Rookies to qualify for FedExCup Playoffs
2014-15            9
2013-14            2
2013                 9
2012                 11
2011                 11
2010                 7
2009                 6
2008                 9 (field was 144)
2007                 11 (field was 144)

Web.com Tour Finals Bubble Notes
The Web.com Tour Finals debuted in 2013 with the Wyndham Championship playing a key role in the final qualification. Players ranked Nos. 126-200 on the FedExCup points list will be eligible for the Web.com Tour Finals. Last year at the Wyndham Championship, no players moved from outside the top 200 in.

Bogey-free rounds:
R1: Rafa Cabrera Bello (63), Kevin Na (63), Derek Fathauer (65), Dicky Pride (66), Rickie Fowler (67) and Scott Pinckney (67).

Scoring Averages at the par-70 Sedgefield Country Club:

Front 9              Back 9              Total                 Cumulative
R1                    34.619              35.116               69.735                    —

A.M. Scoring Average: 69.27
P.M. Scoring Average: 69.83

George McNeill (neck) withdrew during the first round and Wes Roach (back) withdrew after his first round.

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