Beach Umbrellas, Margaritas & Jimmy Buffett – Shane Lowry Can Play It Cool at the Wyndham

Shane Lowry can really play it cool this week entering the bar of the PGA Tour’s ‘Last Chance Saloon’ at the Wyndham Championship in South Carolina.

The Wyndham Championship is once again the final event of the ‘regular’ 2021/22 PGA Tour season and being staged for a 14th straight year at the Sedgefield Country Club course in suburban Greensboro, North Carolina.

The event is famous for its margaritas and the sounds of Jimmy Buffett throughout the spectator village and with fans of Buffett knowing it was in 1977 he released his hit song ‘Margaritaville’ featuring that remarkable opening line ‘Nibbling on a sponge cake, watching the sun bake’.

We had one of those really hot and humid ‘sun bake’ days when I was last at the event in 2017 but then how good was it to be sipping on an ice-cool margarita ahead of reporting on, and should I dare mention his name, Henrik Stenson winning with a then record-setting 258 four-round tally. Remarkably, Stenson’s prior Wyndham results had been – MC, MC & WD. He was also in great quintessential Stenson form at his post victory press conference with your author grabbing a photo of Henrik cheekily ‘peeking’ through a handle of the trophy.

Henrik Stenson ‘peeking’ from behind the Wyndham Championship trophy he won in 2017 (Photo – GolfByTourMiss)

The cool-looking Wyndham Championship tee markers (Photo – GolfByTourMiss.com)

For most inside the ropes this week it’s a ‘cool’ event and that’s no more evident as the ‘Wyndham Rewards’ tee markers feature a miniature red-and-white beach umbrella, a mini adjustable blue beach chair and a tiny pair of thongs laid out in a beach scene.

However, for many others teeing-up in this week’s $7.3m tournament, it will be an anxious four rounds for the field that I am going to place into three categories.

FIRSTLY – There’s those guys who are currently outside the top-125 who seek to retain full PGA Tour membership and they include the likes of American Kevin Tway. Tway’s 129th on the FedEx Cup standings and normally would need to be among the top-125 come Sunday night if he’s to retain his Tour card. However it’s a sad first this week in the Tour’s history, as all those LIV golfers among the top-125 such as Brooks Koepka (106th) will come off the list at the end of the Wyndham. It means Tway, whose only win on the Tour was in 2018, is now ranked 117th on looking assured of retaiin full membership.

And talking of battling to retain your Tour card, how about Seamus Power?  Power has chosen not to tee-up this week for a first time in five prior straight nail-biting Wyndham years for a very simple reason. He doesn’t need to be at the Wyndham.   The removal of LIV players has seen Power move from 25th to now 24th on the FedEx Cup standings and with the Waterford golfer probably chilling out in a full-size beach chair and shading umbrella. It’s Power’s luxury knowing he could very well qualify to contest all three ‘Play-Off Series’ events for the first time in his pro career. What a wonderful turnaround in fortunes for the affable Irishman compared to the anxiety of his opening four visits to Greensboro.

SECONDLY – There is those lying in the top-115  and that was the scenario of Aussie Jason Day.  Before the LIV players were removed he was holding down 115th on the standings but the former PGA Championship winner now finds himself placed 106th and the assurance of qualifying for next week’s opening event of the lucrative FedEx Cup ‘Play-Off’ Series and that’s the $15m FedEx St. Jude Championship in Memphis. Another LIV player to be pulled off the list is Day’s compatriot Matt Jones, lying 62nd on the standings.

THIRDLY – I’ve put Lowry in the third category.  He’s had a cracking season bravely in finishing runner-up after a last hole cloudburst robbed him of victory at the Honda Classic ahead of three straight thirds, starting with third at the Masters.

Lowry’s efforts in his 15 events earned the Offaly golfer close to $3.3m this year in PGA Tour prize money.  What Lowry hasn’t done is win. He gets that chance this week in returning to the Wyndham since his share of 23rd in 2020.

Shane?  Just to let you know. I’ve already got my hand up for a margarita victory toast while there’s a Jimmy Buffett song just a dime away.

First round tee times:

Sane Lowry – 6pm Irish



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