Last weekend produced two maiden winners on the PGA Tour, with Abraham Ancer winning the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational at 45-1 and Erik van Rooyen taking the Barracuda Championship at 66-1.
Ancer has proven to be a world-class player over the last couple of years and finally caught the breaks. He jumped from No. 23 to No. 11 in the Official World Golf Ranking. The dual Mexican and American citizen triumphed in a playoff over Sam Burns and Hideki Matsuyama on the second extra hole. Ancer hung in there all day as the final pairing of Harris English and Bryson DeChambeau, plus playing partner Cameron Smith — who was tipped here last week but settled for T-4 along with Paul Casey — found trouble off the tee all too frequently on the back nine.
Meanwhile, van Rooyen set a tournament record of 50 points under the Modified Stableford scoring format. This victory, while not providing a Masters invitation, gives the South African a two-year PGA Tour exemption and an entry into next year’s PGA Championship. Van Rooyen jumped into the top 100 in the world at No. 79.
This week the PGA Tour moves to Greensboro, N.C., for the Wyndham Championship. This provides the last opportunity for players to clinch spots in the top 125 in the FedEx Cup standings to make the playoffs and lock up their playing privileges for the 2021-22 season.
Webb Simpson (12-1), a North Carolina native who won his first PGA Tour event here in 2011, named one of his daughters Wyndham after this tournament’s sponsor. He is always a contender here, with two runners-up and two third-place finishes in his last four stops in Greensboro. Matsuyama (14-1) was a late entry after his runner-up showing last week in Memphis. Louis Oosthuizen (18-1) has been as hot as any player in the world but is still seeking his first victory of 2021 and his first win on American soil. He’ll try to reach that milestone in his first career appearance at Greensboro.