'Mr. Monday' holds Wyndham 36-hole lead

By Will GrayAugust 16, 2013, 10:02 pm

Low scores were once again the name of the game Friday at the Wyndham Championship, where calm conditions and overcast skies kept the greens at Sedgefield Country Club receptive to accurate approach shots. Here's a look at how things stand in Greensboro, where Patrick Reed holds a one-shot lead at the halfway point:

Leaderboard: Patrick Reed (-11), John Huh (-10), Jordan Spieth (-9), Charlie Wi (-7), Ross Fisher (-7), Bob Estes (-7), Rory Sabbatini (-7)

What it means: After gaining notoriety last year for successfully navigating a series of Monday qualifiers, Reed now stands alone at the top through 36 holes in search of his first career PGA Tour win. With a spot in the FedEx Cup playoffs already secure, the 23-year-old could surge up the standings with a high finish at Sedgefield in advance of next week's playoff opener.

Round of the day: Named the PGA Tour's Rookie of the Year in 2012, Huh fired the day's low round by two shots with a bogey-free 62 to move firmly into contention heading into the weekend. A winner last year at the Mayakoba Classic, Huh birdied four of his first eight holes Friday and notched four more birds on his second nine, the front. Finishing the day with birdies on each of his final two holes, Huh found 16 of 18 greens in regulation while carding the lowest score of his short PGA Tour career.

Best of the rest: Beginning his round on the back nine, Reed carded birdies on Nos. 12-13 to make the turn in 2-under 33. He then added four more red figures on his inward half, coming home in 4-under 31 to complete a round that matched his lowest score on the PGA Tour this season and, like that of the man directly below him on the leaderboard, included 16 of 18 greens in regulation.

Biggest disappointment: Entering the week 126th on the FedEx Cup points list, Peter Hanson needed a strong effort at Sedgefield to give himself a shot of making the playoffs, and appeared in good position after a 2-under 68 Thursday. The Swede ran into trouble Friday, though, carding a 3-over 73 to miss the 36-hole cut. Though he'll still retain status for the 2013-14 season thanks to his standing on the season-long money list, he'll be on the sidelines for next week's event at Liberty National.

Main storyline heading into Saturday: With players off early in threesomes Saturday to avoid potentially inclement weather, youth will be served in the day's final group that will include a pair of 23-year-olds in Reed and Huh alongside the 20-year-old Spieth. Reed will look to maintain his position, eyeing a third straight top-10 finish on the PGA Tour, but will likely need to remain aggressive to do so as low scores should continue throughout the weekend. 

Shot of the day: Just off the green in two at the par-4 10th hole, Ernie Els attempted to take an aggressive line with his birdie effort across the high point of a slope behind the green, but failed to get the ball out of the fringe. The South African rebounded impressively, holing a 30-foot putt from just off the green for an improbable par, one that statistically included zero putts despite the fact that Els hit the ball with his putter twice.

Quote of the day: 'To be able to putt on really fast greens like this, it's a treat.' – Reed, who took 29 putts during the second round.

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Woods talks about Ryder Cup prospects in third person

By Ryan LavnerAugust 21, 2018, 1:47 pm

Conversations between Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods have gotten a little awkward.

That’s what happens when Woods, the U.S. Ryder Cup vice captain, needs to assess the prospects of Woods, the player.

“We’re talking about myself in the third person a lot,” he said with a chuckle Tuesday at the Northern Trust Open. “That’s one of the most interesting conversations I’ve ever had and I’m having a lot of fun with it.

“I’m one of the guys on the short list, and sometimes I have to pull myself out of there and talk about myself in the third person, which is a little odd.”


The Northern Trust: Articles, photos and videos


After placing second at the PGA Championship, Woods finished 11th on the U.S. points list with just eight months of tournament results. Three of Furyk’s four captain’s picks will be announced after the BMW Championship in three weeks, and barring a late injury, it’s almost a certainty that Woods will be one of those selected.

Still, Woods was named in February as an assistant for his third consecutive team competition, even though he told Furyk at the beginning of the year that he envisioned himself as a player on the 2018 squad.

“I’m very close to making that happen,” he said. “It’s been a long year, and that’s been one of my goals, to make the team. To be a part of that team you have to be one of the 12 best players, and I’m trending toward that.”

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Woods on busy schedule: 'It's about pacing myself'

By Ryan LavnerAugust 21, 2018, 1:34 pm

At the beginning of the year, Tiger Woods was anxious to see how his fused back would hold up to tournament play.

Now he’s in the midst of one of his busiest stretches in years.

With the Tour Championship and Ryder Cup likely to be added to his schedule over the next few weeks, Woods could play seven events in a nine-week span.


The Northern Trust: Articles, photos and videos


“That is a lot of golf,” he said Tuesday at The Northern Trust. “It’s about pacing myself and making sure I don’t practice too much, don’t overdo it and make sure my training schedule goes well.

“One of the hardest things this year has been finding the right balance. As the summer has gone on, I’ve gotten better and felt better. This is a pretty important stretch.”

Woods has already played 14 events – his most since 2013, when he had 16 starts.

He’s committed to playing the first three playoff events, beginning with this week’s event in New Jersey. There’s a week off after the BMW Championship, and at No. 20 in the FedExCup standings, Woods doesn’t need to do much to punch his ticket to East Lake. He’s also virtually assured of being a U.S. captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup, held in France the week after the Tour Championship.

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Tiger Tracker: The Northern Trust

By Tiger TrackerAugust 21, 2018, 1:00 pm

Tiger Woods begins his FedExCup Playoffs run at this week's Northern Trust. We're tracking him at Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, N.J.


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Stock Watch: Will Bjorn buy or sell slumping Sergio?

By Ryan LavnerAugust 21, 2018, 12:07 pm

Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.

RISING

Sneds (+9%): It doesn’t always happen, a Tour player shooting 59 and then finishing it off with a W, so it was satisfying to watch Brandt Snedeker go wire to wire at the Wyndham. An in-form Sneds now should edge out Kevin Kisner for one of Jim Furyk’s final captain picks.

Viktor Hovland (+6%): Watching the Oklahoma State junior maul the field at the U.S. Amateur, a question arose: How does the fifth-ranked player in the world not win more often? The U.S. Am was just his second title, anywhere, outside of Norway. That could all change, after he proved to himself that he could handle the best field and the stiffest challenge.

Lexi (+4%): She once again was penalized – for playing preferred lies in a different fairway – but Thompson still shot 17 under and tied for 12th in her first start since a self-imposed break to recharge her batteries. In the media tent she was refreshingly honest about the difficulties of being a 23-year-old superstar who never went to college and whose life is consumed by golf. Here’s hoping she can find a better balance (like, say, Michelle Wie) over the next few years.

Tyler McCumber (+3%): The world rankings don’t reflect it, but McCumber is playing the best golf of anyone in the world right now. In his past four starts on the Canadian circuit, he’s gone win-win-3rd-win and shot 90 under par with a scoring average of 65.88 and just two rounds higher than 68.

Nick Taylor (+1%): Playing for his Tour card, Taylor shot a bogey-free 63 Sunday at the Wyndham – with an eagle and birdie in his last four holes – to jump from 129th to 119th in the standings. That’s clutch.


FALLING

Billy Hurley III (-1%): A winner two years ago at Tiger’s event, Hurley is now headed back to second stage of Web.com Q-School after finishing 201st in the standings – by a point. A tough break for one of the game’s good dudes.

Kevin Stadler (-2%): He reminded us of the dangers of slamming clubs, after the head of his 7-iron flew off and struck a spectator in the head, requiring stitches. It was a scary scene – “It’s been a while since I’ve seen so much blood,” said playing partner Shaun Micheel – that could have been even worse.

Sepp Straka (-3%): There were plenty of stories of heartbreak at the Web.com Tour regular-season finale, perhaps none as crushing as Straka, who went 5 over for his last seven holes (including three consecutive bogeys to finish) to drop outside of the top-25 bubble.

Sergio (-4%): At last, some signs of life – his tie for 24th in Greensboro was his best finish on Tour since March – but he still didn’t make the playoffs, and it still might not be enough to sway Thomas Bjorn. For the captain it may come down to a question like this: Who would you rather have in Paris, Sergio or Russell Knox?