Ryan Moore has had a bleak season. He entered the week ranked 196e in the FedEx Cup points standings, had missed three cuts in a row and is not even thinking about his great chances of qualifying for the FedEx Cup playoffs, which start next week.
“I’m just not even under,” he said. “I’m so far out, it doesn’t even matter right now. I’m trying to do everything I can this week. I’m just trying to get some confidence for next season.”
But Sedgefield Country Club, where he won the 2009 Wyndham Championship, is a happy hunting ground and he’s found some of that old magic in shooting rounds of 67-68 to share the 36-hole lead at 9-under 135 with Brandon Wu and Joohyung Kim.
“A day like today could have easily been right or something,” Moore said. “Instead I kept my momentum and finished 4 under.”
Moore attributes his struggle to an injury to the costovertebral joints, which connect the ribs to the spine.
“It’s nothing that I need surgery for, but it’s just a really tricky place,” Moore said. “It’s where your rib joint meets your spine. I have kind of a chronic deterioration there and I just keep spraining it over and over, as you can imagine, it doesn’t feel great to spin and swing a golf club as hard as I can.”
“There is a course of action. There are things I can do to help it, I just don’t have it,” he continued. “I need a good six, eight weeks off to deal with it a bit and I’ll just try to close out the year and deal with it and then hopefully have some time here to do it.”
Moore has a friend filling in as a caddy this week, the same friend who was on the sack when he finished T-2 at the 2021 John Deere Classic, his last top-10 finish.
“Apparently I’m about to have him caddie for me permanently,” Moore said. “We continue to do well together for whatever reason, at least during his random fill weeks, so it’s good.”
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Thomas rides the train
Joohyung Kim studies his putt on the 18th during the second round of the Wyndham Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports
Joohyung Kim from South Korea, mentioned by Tom, a nickname he got as a child after the cartoon Thomas the train – “I had the whole [Thomas the Train] thing, I had the lunch box, I had the toys, yeah,” – carding rounds from 67-64 to go into the weekend at 9-under 131.
He is tied for the lead despite opening the tournament with a quadruple bogey eight, the worst start of his career.
“I was laughing,” he said. “There was like I couldn’t do anything. It was just the first hole and gosh I just got a really bad lie and then I didn’t really have another good lie and didn’t really have another good lie, didn’t really have another good lie. It didn’t turn out bad.”
Kim, 20, rallied for seven birdies and shot 3-under 67.
“I just stayed very patient out there. I knew there were birdies. Once I had momentum I kept pushing and I think seven birdies came out like that,” he said. “It was a bad hole and I said to myself, you know what, I can still get this, I can still today keep falling below par and somehow it worked.”
On Friday, Kim made seven more birdies and only one bogey en route to shooting 64. When he drove into the bunker on the first hole, 10e of the day – he thought to himself, “Well, here we go, just don’t make a quad.”
He made par. “So improved the most on hole #1,” he snapped.
Kim has gone crazy this week. He has made 301 foot, 1 inch putts, the most in the first two rounds since the Wyndham Championship moved to Sedgefield Country Club in 2008. He had 9.2 strokes on the greens, the most SG: Putting in consecutive rounds (in the same event) this season.
“If you had told me yesterday after the first hole where I would be after two days, I would have taken it for sure, so happy,” Kim said.
Henley on the hunt
Russell Henley strikes from the 9th fairway during the second round of the Wyndham Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports
Russell Henley has some unfinished business at the Wyndham Championship. Henley was the leader on 54 holes last year and needed a birdie to win the title. Instead, he made a bogey and missed the six-man playoff.
Henley may have a second bite to the apple when he shot 5-under 65 at Sedgefield Country Club to improve to 8-under 132 and tie for fourth, one stroke off the lead halfway through.
“I feel great about my hitting the ball around here, but this course has often made me feel comfortable,” Henley said. “I feel like I can hit the fairway and attack the pins and I know where to miss it. Yeah, and being Bermuda grass, I’m kind of used to that, so it’s a combination of those things.”
Henley has had another solid season, making 18 cuts in 20 starts. He didn’t play at all between the PGA Championship, US Open and British Open, as his family welcomed baby No. 3, daughter Jane, who is nine weeks old.
“I haven’t been able to play nearly as much as I wanted to and had to miss some events that I would normally play,” he said. “This is our first event with the 9 week old. She’s actually a great baby, so it was pretty great, but I also have a great wife.”
The line is over
Brian Stuard watches his tee shot on the 9th tee box during the second round of the Wyndham Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports
Brian Stuard was the iron man of the Tour this season. The 39-year-old journeyman makes his 34th start of the regular season, three more than any other player. Unfortunately, he missed the cut 21 times, including 11 in a row in the Wyndham Championship. He couldn’t have picked a better time to find his game. Stuard shot rounds of 65-68 to earn his first weekend start time since the Mexico Open, which ended on May 1.
Stuart is also positioned to take his second Tour title. He is tied for seventh place, just two strokes away from the 36-hole lead. Stuard’s round of 68 included a chip-in birdie at number 7, his 16e hole of the day. Stuard came in the week at number 137 in the FedEx Cup standings, but is projected at number 123.
Monday qualifying magic
Blake McShea responds to his putt on the first green during the second round of the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club on August 5, 2022 in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)
Blake McShea is making the most of his PGA Tour debut. The 24-year-old from Zebulon, North Carolina, was one of four open qualifiers this week. First he shot 2-under par in a pre-qualifier last Thursday to get into Monday’s qualifying. He then shot 6-under to earn his way into the Wyndham Championship.
He hasn’t slowed down since the tournament started. McShea followed up Thursday’s 69 by shooting a bogey-free 5-under 65 on Friday. He’s T-10 at 6-under 134 heading into the weekend. Perhaps the highlight on Friday was McShea making a twisting 43-foot birdie putt on the par-3 12th.
“Probably going off the green if it didn’t touch the hole,” he said.
McShea has a lot of local support, including his kindergarten teacher in his gallery.
“There are so many people here, I haven’t even seen all the faces, but I couldn’t be more grateful for it,” he said.
Story originally appeared on GolfWeek