Stenson (66) builds one-shot lead at Wyndham

By Associated PressAugust 19, 2017, 10:44 pm

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Henrik Stenson kept his cool when some birdie chances turned into pars. That patience paid off late in his round.

Stenson shot a 4-under 66 on Saturday to take a one-stroke lead in the Wyndham Championship.

The 2013 FedEx Cup champion and 2016 British Open winner was at 16-under 194 at Sedgefield with a round left in the PGA Tour's last regular-season event of the season.

The Swede had four birdies on a five-hole stretch of the back nine to overtake Webb Simpson for sole possession of first place.

''It's all about how you finish, I guess,'' Stenson said. ''I came back strongly, great birdies coming home and right where we want to be.''

Simpson, Kevin Na and Ollie Schniederjans were tied for second. Na shot a 65, Schniederjans had a 66 and Simpson - a North Carolina native who won on this course in 2011 - had a 68. Johnson Wagner was 14 under after a 65.

''Any time you're within two or three of the lead, you know you've got a good chance,'' Simpson said. ''And for more guys on tour, it's not every week that you have a chance to win. Hopefully, I'm going to take advantage of it and come out and play a good, solid day.''


Wyndham Championship: Articles, photos and videos


Stenson was at even par through his first 12 holes.

Then came the birdie binge he capped by sticking his second shot on the par-4 17th some 10 feet from the hole and converting that putt.

He could have ended his round with another one, but pulled his 15-foot birdie putt wide right and settled for par.

Still, his 72-hole score is second-best in tournament play at Sedgefield, surpassed only by Carl Pettersson's 191 in 2008.

''Obviously, what I've done so far is working pretty well, and I'm playing the course the way I think it's best for me,'' Stenson said. ''And I just trying to keep on hitting a lot of fairways, and if you do that, you can set up a lot of birdie chances with mid to short irons.''

Simpson - a local favorite who grew up in Raleigh, played in college at nearby Wake Forest and named his third child Wyndham after his first victory on tour came here - shared the 54-hole lead with Ryan Armour at 13 under.

Simpson birdied his first hole, then reeled off 11 consecutive pars before briefly taking sole possession of the lead with birdies on the 13th and 15th holes. He sank a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 13 and two holes later, he settled for birdie after missing a 35-foot eagle putt on No. 15.

Simpson could have caught Stenson on the 18th, but he pulled a 15-foot birdie putt left.

Winless on tour since October 2013, Simpson admitted his drought is ''on my mind a little bit,'' adding that he's ''very hungry to win again, very hungry to compete week in and week out.''

Schniederjans - a 24-year-old, third-year pro from Georgia Tech - is chasing his first victory on tour and his fifth top-10 finish of the year.

After shooting a 63 on Friday and starting his round two strokes off the lead, he became the first to 16 under with his birdie on the par-5 15th, hitting his second shot into the primary rough but recovering by chipping to 10 feet and converting the putt.

Then came trouble on the next hole. His tee shot on the par-3 16th landed in a low greenside bunker, and he stuck his chip into the rough just above the sand on his way to a bogey that dropped him back a stroke.

Na - who hasn't won on tour since 2011 - joined Stenson in making a big move on the back nine. He had birdies on Nos. 14, 15 and 17, landing his second shot inside of 10 feet.

''It's been a while since I won,'' he said, ''so I think I'm ready.''

Getty Images

Garcia among notables to miss FedExCup playoffs

By Will GrayAugust 19, 2018, 10:24 pm

For the first time in the 12-year history of the FedExCup, the PGA Tour's postseason will proceed without Sergio Garcia.

The former Masters champ has struggled mightily this summer, missing the cut in all four majors, and he entered the Wyndham Championship at No. 131 in the season-long points race with only the top 125 making the playoffs. Six years after winning at Sedgefield Country Club, Garcia again made a run up the leaderboard and was projected to reach No. 122 heading into the final round.

But on an afternoon where Brandt Snedeker shot 65 en route to victory and runner-up Webb Simpson carded a 62, Garcia shot an even-par 70 that included three back-nine bogeys to drop from a tie for eighth into a tie for 24th. As a result, he moved up only three spots to No. 128 in the final regular-season event and will not have a tee time next week at The Northern Trust.


Full-field scores from Wyndham Championship

Wyndham Championship: Articles, photos and videos


He will remain fully exempt next year by virtue of the five-year exemption he earned with his Masters win last spring.

Garcia was one of 13 players who had made the playoffs every year since the advent of the FedExCup in 2007. Two other members of that select group also saw their streaks end this year, as former world No. 1 Luke Donald has missed most of the season with an injury while Bill Haas finished No. 152 after a T-45 finish at Wyndham.

Other notable players who failed to crack the top 125 include veterans Aaron Baddeley (No. 132), Shane Lowry (No. 140), David Lingmerth (No. 143) and Graeme McDowell (No. 144), all of whom saw multiple-year exemptions for victories in 2015 or 2016 expire this weekend in Greensboro.

Players who finish Nos. 126-200 in the season-long points will have an opportunity to retain their PGA Tour cards for the 2018-19 season at the Web.com Tour Finals, a four-event series that kicks off next week in Ohio. Players who finished Nos. 126-150 will retain at least conditional PGA Tour status for next year regardless of their Finals performance.

Getty Images

Bryant wins Dick's Sporting Goods Open for second time

By Associated PressAugust 19, 2018, 10:17 pm

ENDICOTT, N.Y. - Bart Bryant made a 25-foot birdie putt on the final hole Sunday to win the Dick's Sporting Goods Open for the second time in six years.

With playing partner Michael Bradley facing a 7-foot birdie putt that he would make, the 55-year-old Bryant rolled in the left-to-right breaking putt for a 7-under 65 and a one-stroke victory.

''It felt good. It really did,'' Bryant said. ''He hit a great shot in there. He went after the pin, which he had to do. ... I gave it a good run. But to make a putt like that to win a tournament, there's a little bit of luck involved and it was just kind of my day. ... I've had putts made on me on 18 to lose before, so it's nice to be on the other end of the stick this time.''

Bradley, the second-round leader, bogeyed the par-4 15th in a 68.

''It was fun. We had a good time,'' Bradley said. ''He shot 65-65 on the weekend, that's tough to beat. But I put a little pressure on, I hit a good shot into 18. He made a hell of a putt.''

Also the 2013 winner at En-Joie Golf Club, Bryant made six birdies in a nine-hole stretch from the third to the 11th and had six straight pars before the winning birdie putt on the par-4 18th.


Full-field scores from the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open


''I played awfully well, I didn't hit a bad shot today,'' Bryant said. ''I played conservatively, a little bit conservative coming in, but smart. It got the job done. Very pleased with the way everything went.''

Bryant finished at 16-under 200. The three-time PGA Tour winner's only senior victories have come at En-Joie, the site of the PGA Tour's B.C. Open from 1972-2005.

The 52-year-old Bradley is winless on the 50-and-over tour after winning four times on the PGA Tour.

''I played solid, 65-68-68,'' Bradley said. ''I just got beat.''

Tom Gillis (67) and Marco Dawson (68) tied for third at 13 under, a stroke ahead of Paul Goydos (65), Kenny Perry (67) and Mark Calcavecchia (67).

Getty Images

Snedeker goes wire-to-wire for first win since 2016

By Will GrayAugust 19, 2018, 10:12 pm

Even after shooting a 59 in the opening round, Brandt Snedeker had to work to secure his ninth career victory at the Wyndham Championship.

Snedeker led at Sedgefield Country Club the entire week after becoming just the ninth player to break 60 on the PGA Tour, carrying a one-shot lead into the final round. But he was caught down the stretch, first by C.T. Pan and later by Webb Simpson, to leave the outcome very much undecided.

But Simpson ran out of holes, and Pan made a costly mistake by hitting his tee shot on No. 18 out of bounds while holding a share of the lead. It meant that Snedeker needed only bogey to earn his second Wyndham title and first Tour victory since the 2016 Farmers Insurance Open, instead opting to sink a 20-foot birdie putt for a closing 65 and three-shot win.

"I guess I'm turning into Bubba Watson, wanting to cry every two seconds," Snedeker told reporters. "To do it here, to shoot 59 on Thursday, to be in the lead all week, to deal with that pressure every night, to be able to step up to the plate today and shoot 65 when I had to means the world to me."


Wyndham Championship: Full-field scores | Full coverage

Current FedExCup points list


Snedeker struggled with injury for much of last season, and this spring he missed the Masters for the first time since 2010 while toiling near the edge of the top-125 bubble in the points race. But the veteran turned things around with a T-6 finish in Memphis in June, added a T-3 finish last month at The Greenbrier and now has come full circle in the city where he earned his first career win at nearby Forest Oaks in 2007.

"I'm a lot stronger than I thought I was," Snedeker said. "I've still got a lot of great golf in me. I'm excited about the FedExCup playoffs. I've done this before, I've won that thing, and I can't wait to try to make a run to Atlanta in the playoffs because I'm playing great."

It was a bittersweet result for Pan, who had his wife on the bag this week and briefly appeared poised for a breakthrough victory. The former University of Washington standout made six birdies in a 12-hole stretch in the middle of his round to catch Snedeker, but his drive on No. 18 sailed well right. It led to a double bogey, and at 18 under he ended the week tied for second with Simpson.

The result was still Pan's best of his young PGA Tour career, having started the week at No. 108 in the points race despite not having a single top-10 finish this season.

"Just had a little noise in my head and it caused me to hit a bad shot," Pan said. "But overall I feel good about the whole round. I played great. Just one bad shot, but that's OK."

Getty Images

Taylor crashes playoffs with closing 63 at Wyndham

By Will GrayAugust 19, 2018, 9:31 pm

Nick Taylor picked a good time to shoot his best round of the season.

Taylor was the big mover in the standings during the final regular season event, shooting a final-round 63 at the Wyndham Championship to grab a share of eighth place. The result moved the Canadian from No. 129 to No. 121 in the season-long points race, ensuring a spot in The Northern Trust next week and fully-exempt status for the 2018-19 season.

"You try to block it all out when you're playing. I tried not to look at any leaderboards today, especially the second 18," Taylor told reporters. "When I got my PGA Tour card the first time I shot a 63 in the final round ironically of the Web.com Finals. So I tried to draw back on that, and it worked today."

Taylor earned his lone PGA Tour win at the 2014 Sanderson Farms Championship, and he dug himself an early hole Sunday morning with a triple bogey on No. 14 while completing his rain-delayed third round. But he made four straight birdies on Nos. 2-5 in the final round, added an eagle on No. 15 and birdied the 72nd hole to retain his card with room to spare.

"It was a long day, obviously," Taylor said. "It was a lot of sleepless nights. Last night I didn't sleep that great."


Wyndham Championship: Full-field scores | Full coverage

Current FedExCup points list


Taylor was one of two players who moved inside the top-125 bubble in the final round of the regular season. Harris English started the week at No. 132, but a T-11 finish allowed him to eke in at No. 124 with no room to spare. English shot a final-round 68 that included a two-putt par from 60 feet on No. 18 when a bogey would have sent the veteran to Web.com Tour Finals.

"It's one of the more nerve-wracking feelings I've had in a long time," English said. "It's a way different feeling than trying to win a tournament. I'm glad it's over."

With Taylor and English moving into the top 125, two players saw their seasons come to an end after missing the cut at Sedgefield Country Club. Martin Piller fell from 124th to 126th and was the man edged out by English's closing par, while Tyrone Van Aswegen dropped two spots from No. 125 to No. 127.

Ireland's Seamus Power, who also missed the cut in Greensboro, finished the season at No. 125 with 377 points, six ahead of Piller.

All players who finished the season Nos. 126-200 on the points list will have a chance to earn one of 25 PGA Tour cards available at the four-event Finals, while Nos. 126-150 will retain conditional PGA Tour status for next season.