Matt Wallace likes Wyndham position, just not the golf course
There’s a reason why Matt Wallace says the most important member of his team at Sedgefield Country Club this week is his sports psychologist.
Wallace entered the Wyndham Championship at No. 80 in FedExCup points, 10 spots outside the number for next week’s playoff opener, the FedEx St. Jude Championship. To punch his postseason ticket, Wallace requires a minimum finish of solo 14th, though it’s more likely he needs a finish well inside the top 10 to be safe.
So far, so good – at least from a score standpoint – for Wallace, who fired an opening 3-under 67 and sat just two shots off the lead following the morning wave.
“We’re trying to enjoy the tournament rather than what it produces,” Wallace said.
Though, despite his start, finding that enjoyment has been somewhat of a challenge for the Englishman. Likely steaming after bogeying three of his last five holes, Wallace wasted no time telling reporters what he really thought about Sedgefield, the Donald Ross design considered by many to be one of the best on Tour.
“A bit pissed off actually with the finish,” Wallace said. “Playing nicely. Yeah, just frustrated. I don’t like this golf course.”
He went on to elaborate: “Because the runoffs are just absolutely ridiculous, and this, it’s just not fun to play. Hit a shot out of the rough on the last and it landed on the front and runs backward 40 yards. Like, it’s just not great. Yeah, I shouldn’t be in the rough, but it’s difficult to hit the fairway all the time, especially like this. … A lot of green in regulations is key, but the penalty for a miss – even on the par 3 down the hill, 12, you can’t go long because you can putt it off the green, so you play the smart play and you play it toward the front, the middle and, from 220 yards, I mean, it’s just, it’s too severe, so they need to do something about it. … Great tournament, great sponsor. Just for me, if I don’t have to come here, I wouldn’t, but I kind of need to.”
He later continued to explain his opinion: “I just think the penalty is just really, really severe, especially with bermudagrass, you know. It’s difficult to chip and play and I just think, yeah, just personally, my personal belief, my personal preference is if I play or design a golf course, I just have areas where it wouldn’t just carry on running away. I hit 5-iron into the last there and it pitches at the front and then doesn’t go anywhere and runs 20 yards down, you know.
“I don’t know, maybe I’m just being me and being a bit bitchy.”
Admitting himself that perhaps he shouldn’t be complaining, Wallace did leave himself open to changing his mind come Sunday.
A win and playoff spot would surely do the trick.
“Hopefully I can turn that tune around,” Wallace said, “and at the end of the week I’ll tell you I absolutely love this golf course and thanks for having me and I’ll be back again next year.”