Russell Henley shot a 6-under-par 64 on Friday and doubled his lead after two rounds of the Wyndham Championships in Greensboro, N.C.
Henley is at 14-under 126 at the midway point to grab a four-shot lead after leading by two strokes following his sizzling opening-round of 8-under 62.
“Keep trying to make good decisions and commit to what I’m doing,” Henley said about his mastery thus far of the Sedgefield Country Club course. “This course, so much can happen. You know, I feel good about my game, but … there’s so much golf to be played and I’m just excited to try to keep playing well.”
Slovakia’s Rory Sabbatini is in a three-way tie for second place at 10-under, following his own 6-under 64 on Friday. Webb Simpson (65) and Scott Piercy (66) also are tied for second place.
A group of three tied for fifth place at 9 under includes England’s Justin Rose as well as Tyler Duncan and Brian Stuard. Duncan had the best round of the day with an 8-under 62.
Starting his round on the back nine Friday, Henley was 1 over through his first four holes until reeling off a string of four consecutive birdies starting at the 534-yard, par-4 14th hole. He put his 190-yard approach shot just inside of 20 feet and made the birdie putt.
He two-putted for birdie at the par-5 15th, put his tee shot on the par-3 16th hole to within 15 feet and made that birdie putt then landed his approach shot at No. 17 inside 10 feet for another.
“I just knew that my game was there and so I just tried to keep committing to every shot and it just kind of happened,” Henley said about his birdie run. “I wasn’t really thinking about doing it, I just tried to hit every shot the best I could.”
He finished his round with three birdies on the front nine, including one at the par-5 fifth hole which he eagled in the opening round.
Of the seven who were tied for second place after the opening round, only Piercy stayed there heading into the weekend. His steady round, which also started on the back nine, included two birdies on each side and no bogeys.
“I drove it in the rough a lot and when you drive it in the rough, you can’t really hit it close to the pins,” Piercy said. “And I think the pins were a lot tougher today, too. The fact that I was able to go bogey-free and still shoot 4 under from the rough, basically all day, says I managed it well and I chipped and putted well.”
Sabbatini, who won a silver medal at the just-completed Tokyo Olympics, stayed hot to move into contention for his first PGA Tour victory since the 2011 Honda Classic. Once as high as No. 8 in the world, the 45-year-old has six career PGA Tour victories.
Sabbatini said his game has been trending in the right direction for most of the year, but he found a sense of inner peace in the final round at the Olympics that he has carried over into this week. He shot a 61 in the fourth round at Tokyo and missed gold by one stroke.
“I think I’ve always put too much pressure on myself on the golf course, being too hard on myself on the golf course, expected too much of myself,” Sabbatini said. “I think maybe there (at Tokyo) I just kind of took a step back and relaxed and somehow it just seems to have clicked.”
Not making the cut after two rounds was Rickie Fowler, whose 2-over 72 on Friday left him at 3 over for the tournament. The result means he will miss the FedEx Cup playoffs for the first time in his 12-year career.
–Field Level Media