An eight-figure bonus pool wasn't enough to lure some of the biggest names to the Wyndham Championship, but Brandt Snedeker believes that may change in the near future.
Snedeker shot an opening-round 59 last year en route to a wire-to-wire victory, and he's back in Greensboro this week to defend his title. But the field for the final event of the regular season is lacking some star power, this despite Wyndham partnering with the PGA Tour to create the $10 million Wyndham Rewards to be split among the top 10 players on the season-long points list entering the playoffs.
Brooks Koepka's victory last week at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational ensured he'll pocket an extra $2 million as regular-season champ, but others near the top largely stayed away despite the lucrative bonuses available to Nos. 2-10. Only Paul Casey (No. 8) is in the field among the current top 10, with another eight players within reach of the top-10 threshold should they win this week.
Snedeker is 32nd in points and not in the mix for the Wyndham Rewards money, but he told reporters that he's not surprised that many stars have carved a schedule this year that didn't include a detour to Greensboro.
"I think it's in the process of changing the mind. I think this year was kind of a wait-and-see attitude with it," Snedeker said. "I think next year hopefully it's going to create a little bit more drama, guys realize how important it will be."
Snedeker likened the slow adoption to the first year of the FedExCup in 2007, with players needing to go through the full slate one time to get a better understanding of the incentives being offered. Next year's schedule could also benefit tournament organizers, with the Olympics creating a de facto off week prior to Wyndham except for the lucky few who will make the trek to Tokyo.
"It's tough. I get why, because we have three big events coming up. We had two big events back-to-back, so guys are tired," Snedeker said. "Obviously next year, things might be different. Guys might see that as a huge bonus, or a huge added incentive to come out here and play. Maybe if they tweak it a little bit, do something a little bit different next year with the way the prize money's shelled out, it might entice more guys to come."