5 Things: Huh weathers storm, shares Wyndham lead
Saturday, August 17, 2013
GREENSBORO, N.C. –– For John Huh, patience was a virtue.
After a triple bogey on the second hole, he battled back to shoot an even-par 70 for a 54-hole total of 10-under 200 and a share of the lead with Patrick Reed at the Wyndham Championship.
On a rainy, dreary day when the greens remained lightning fast at Sedgefield Country Club, Huh weathered the kind of jittery passage from which most golfers never recover.
“Today was the longest day I think I ever felt on the golf course,” Huh said.
Brian Harman echoed that sentiment. “That’s the hardest this course has ever played,” he said.
Stuart Appleby took to Twitter and humorously voiced his feelings on the putting surfaces: “PGA Tour…WTF Greens...WayTooFast!”
Mother Nature continued her campaign for PGA Tour player of the year honors. Play was suspended due to inclement weather at 8:11 a.m. and resumed at 11:10 a.m. The Wyndham Championship became the 19th event that has had some sort of suspension of play this year on Tour.
As was the case with the third round, the final round will feature threesomes off split tees, between 7:15 a.m.-9:15 a.m. The forecast for Sunday isn’t pretty, either, and many were surprised the third round was finished.
“We were walking up 16 and I said, ‘Heck, every step we take is one further than I thought we were going to make it today,’ ” Harman said.
The final round sets up to be a shootout with eight players bunched within two shots of the lead. Among the possible storylines include first-time winners (Reed, Harman and Matt Every) to Zach Johnson (T-3) seeking his tenth to 47-year-old veteran Bob Estes (T-3) attempting to record his first victory since 2002 to Jordan Spieth winning for the first time in five weeks.
Here are four more things you need to know from Saturday:
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2. REED CHANNELING MONDAY-QUALIFYING MOJO: Patrick Reed, the 36-hole leader, shot a 1-over 71 for a 54-hole total of 200. As for his approach to the final round, Reed, who is bidding for his first Tour title, has a simple mindset.
“It’s a Monday qualifier,” Reed said.
Reed, who qualified for six Tour events through Monday qualifiers in 2012, was 3 over for the day after hitting his 5-iron 224 yards and over the green at the par-3 12th hole.
“I was posing on that one,” Reed said. “I couldn’t believe it went that far.”
He rebounded with three consecutive birdies on Nos. 14-16, capped by a 7-foot birdie that rolled center cut. Reed credited his wife and caddie, Justine, for the line on the putt.
“My wife read a perfect putt on 16. I saw it going right. She said, ‘No, it’s going left,’ ” Reed said. “When you have 19 putts on the front nine, you’re going to listen to somebody else.”
Reed had sole possession of the lead until a bogey at the last hole, but he wasn’t complaining.
“If I go and play better than everybody out in the field I’m going to win, you know,” he said. “All the other events I had to play not only better than everybody else but I also needed some help. This time I don’t need help because I’m at the top.”
Reed paused, then added, “If they want to help me, I don’t mind, that’s for sure.”
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3. SPIETH WINLESS IN HIS 20s (WE KID): Leave it to CBS’s David Feherty to break the news to Jordan Spieth that the teen sensation hasn’t won since turning 20 on July 27.
“Is that a goal?” Feherty asked, tongue firmly set in cheek.
“That’s a goal,” Spieth said with a chuckle. “At some point, it would be nice, really nice if it’s tomorrow.”
How fast we forget. It’s been five weeks since Spieth became the fourth youngest Tour winner and the first teenager to do so in 82 years. Spieth (T-3) carded an even-par 70 and trails the leaders by one stroke.
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4. CAROLINA ON HARMAN’S MIND: Brian Harman is a native of Savannah, Ga., but Greensboro, N.C., has been good to him, too. He won the AJGA’s FootJoy Invitational in 2003 and '04 at nearby Forest Oaks Country Club, and made his first PGA Tour start as a pro here four years ago on a sponsor invite.
“I love it up here,” Harman said. “It’s always fun coming back.”
His fondest memory? That’s easy. He made a 50-foot putt on the 18th green to win the 2004 FootJoy Invitational and avoid going into a five-man playoff.
On Saturday, Harman had a share of the lead on the front nine and shot 69 for a 54-hole total of 8-under 202. He enters the final round T-6 along with Matt Every and Robert Garrigus, and only two shots off the lead.
Harman’s gallery included his parents, who piled into the car at 3 a.m. and drove from Savannah to see their son play.
“I come from good stock,” he said. “I don’t know what happened to me, but they’re sure all right.”
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5. BUBBLES BURSTING: Don’t forget about the tournament within a tournament going on at the Wyndham Championship, the final regular-season event before the FedEx Cup playoffs begin.
PGA Tour cards will be at stake in the final round for several players trying to hold on or sneak into the top 125 of the FedEx Cup standings and secure playing privileges for the 2014 season, and a spot in the first playoff event. Heading into the final round, based on current projections, no player has played his way into the top 125 this week.
Among those living on the edge are: Steven Bowditch, projected No. 122; Stuart Appleby, No. 124; Robert Streb, No. 126; Shawn Stefani, No. 128; and among those needing to go low, Trevor Immelman, No. 140.