5 Things: Reed leads; Els edges on; more
Friday, August 16, 2013
Following an opening-round 65 by posting a 64 is a strong way to open a tournament. It's given Patrick Reed the Wyndham Championship lead by a shot over John Huh and his second-round 62 in Greensboro, N.C.
They'll play alongside Jordan Spieth on Saturday when tee times are early and in threesomes off both nines, in an attempt to manage expected bad weather – all this while players jockey for valuable FedExCup points with the playoffs up next.
Here are 5 Things to Know from Sedgefield CC.
PHOTOS: Wyndham Championship, PGA Tour, second round
Check out pictures of PGA Tour golfers during Friday's second round of the 2013 Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C.
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1. FINDING FEDEXCUP POINTS: Tell Ernie Els this isn't an important tournament. The South African needed birdie at the last to make this week's cut – and stuck his approach inside 5 feet, then made the putt.
At 86th on the points list, Els projects to enter the playoffs at 89th if he finishes near the back of the weekend field at the Wyndham Championship, which would get him into two playoff events: The Barclays and the Deutsche Bank Championship. He'll still need to rise during the weekend and in those first two tournaments, as the top 70 advance to the third playoff stage, the BMW Championship.
Wyndham leader Patrick Reed, on the other hand, has improved his stock enough that winning this week would have him, ranked 78th entering the Wyndham, projected to play the entire playoff series, capped by the Tour Championship.
Here’s a look at the how some other players on the bubble fared in making the cut Friday at Sedgefield Country Club (FedEx Cup rank entering the week in parentheses):
- Charlie Wi (No. 119): T-4, 7 under
- George McNeill (No. 120): T-35, 3 under
- Greg Chalmers (No. 122): T-47, 2 under
- Stuart Appleby (No. 123): T-22, 4 under
- Steven Bowditch (No. 125): T-35, 3 under
- Trevor Immelman (No. 126): T-22, 4 under
- Robert Streb (No. 133): T-47, 2 under
- Greg Owen (No. 134): T-35, 3 under
- Shawn Stefani (No. 136): T-35, 3 under
- Ross Fisher (No. 162): T-4, 7 under
And among those who missed the cut:
- Aaron Baddeley (No. 118)
- Scott Langley (No. 121)
- Ben Crane (No. 124)
- Peter Hanson (No. 126)
- Brad Fritsch (No. 128)
- Padraig Harrington (No. 129)
- Bud Cauley (No. 130)
- Fabian Gomez (No. 131)
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2. REED AT THE READY: Continuing the momentum he built with top-10 finishes at the John Deere Classic and RBC Canadian Open, Patrick Reed moved to the top of the leaderboard Friday in Greensboro with a bogey-free 64 that, at the time, tied first-round co-leaders Ross Fisher and Chris Stroud for the low number of the week.
That mark didn't last through the afternoon, but his 11 under is still the best in the field.
"I'm just hitting it solid. That's what you have to do out here, you have to hit fairways, hit greens," Reed said. "I think I've only missed five greens total in two days. If you do that, you're going to give yourself opportunities.
". . . We had a lot of 30-, 40-footers that we had to get down in two. But once I dialed it in, we started making some birdies on the back nine."
When Reed says "we," he includes his caddie as many players might tend to do. In Reed's case, that's his wife, Justine. He also includes his swing coach, who joined him for some time off at a lakehouse – followed by some fine-tuning of his game.
"I worked really hard with my swing coach, Kevin Kirk," Reed said. "There were 9, 10-hour days grinding at the golf course. It shows, got it sharp for this tournament, the weekend, and also for the playoffs."
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3. HUH HIKES UP LEADERBOARD: Speaking of bogey-free, John Huh matched leader Patrick Reed in that regard Friday and then some – a 62 pulling him within a shot of the lead at 10 under.
"I hadn't really thought about having a two-digit number, but . . . I've been hitting it good, able to get up and down," said Huh, a UC-Northridge product who had missed his last four cuts.
Sedgefield CC has provided quite the elixir, however. Huh finished T-19 here last season, with four rounds below 70.
"This is a golf course that you've got to be able to drive the ball well, got to get the good speed on the greens," he said. "I think I held up pretty good on all of that."
Huh started his round Friday on No. 10 and made four birdies on each side, but saw distinctions in the two nines.
"It seems like the front nine plays a little easier; you have a lot of holes that you can be a little aggressive, I guess, and I think I did it," he said, having closed out with birdies at Nos. 5, 8 and 9. "I capitalized on a few of the holes, so I'm really pleased with the way I played today."
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4. SERGIO SLIPS: When scoring conditions are ripe, as much of the field has shown during the first two rounds in Greensboro, shooting par can move a player down the leaderboard.
Just ask defending champion Sergio Garcia, who posted 14 pars, two birdies and two bogeys Friday – and slid from one shot back of the lead to six back.
It's the reverse of last year, when Garcia fired a second-round 63 that put him in position to win. If he follows with a pair of weekend 66s as he did last year, however, Garcia should be plenty happy again.
The Spaniard is 66th in FedExCup points. Adding his fifth top-10 Tour finish of the season could help him make it all the way through the playoff events that are about to begin.
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5. SHORT SHOTS: Leader Patrick Reed and second-place John Huh stand to become million-dollar men this weekend, as Reed has $973,999 in earnings this season and Huh $992,482. . . . Brendan Todd, T-22 at 4 under, is the only Monday qualifier to make the cut. . . . Joey Snyder improved 12 strokes Friday, from 80 to 68, but still missed the cut. . . . Sam Snead (1949-50, 55-56) is the only man to successfully defend his title at this tournament.
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