GREENSBORO, NC – Russell Henley was grateful to get through the round with the lead at the Wyndham Championship. He hopes to hold on to another 18 holes for his first PGA Tour tournament in four years.
Henley shot a 1-under 69 on Saturday to take a three-stroke lead.
Henley, who scored the lowest 36-hole-on-tour this year, could not keep up at Sedgefield Country Club. Still, he rolled a 33-foot putt for the Eagle on the par-5 15th and finished at 15-under 195 while trying to win his fourth career title and the first since the Shell Houston Open in 2017.
Henley admitted he was excited to go on the round with his big lead. “It’s not going to happen every time, and these rounds are a good thing that make good tournaments and breaks,” he said. “I’m so grateful I’m down today.”
The group of six four strokes behind at 11 under included three play-off outsiders Rory Sabbatini, Scott Piercy and Roger Sloan now on track to play it in the field of 125 men for the post-season starting next week at The Northern Trust.
Sabbatini, the Olympic silver medalist last month, used his momentum from Tokyo to make a charge in the play-off status. His 69 included a birdie on the 17th hole that moved him from outside the post-season – he started the week at number 141 – to a projected spot at number 122.
Piercy also continued his admission to the playoffs of the tour with a 68. He was the first man out of the playoffs at number 126 when the week began. But his third consecutive round in the 60s put him at 93rd.
Sloan also needed a big week to continue his season, and he has achieved that so far with a second consecutive 64 to move from 131st place in the playoffs to No. 102.
Former FedEx Cup Champion Justin got up, who started the week 138th on the standings, shot 69 after a bogey on the final hole. He is 126th in the projections.
There is no guarantee that the current results mean that something will come in the next round – or the next hole. Just ask Tyler Duncan, who made five birdies on his top nine to move 61 places in the playoffs to 101st.
But Duncan plays the back nine on 3 overs for a 69 – and drops to 150th place at the end of the round.
It will also not be a normal last round, as the PGA Tour will start earlier, with the first golfers leaving at 7am to defeat the expected bad weather later in the day. Golfers will also go in the tries and from the first and tenth tees.
Henley, who entered at number 46, was locked up in the play-offs long before the start of the event. He focused on finishing the victory, something he could not do two months ago, when he was tied for the top three in three games after three rounds of the US Open.
Henley shot a final round 76 at Torrey Pines to fall back.
He looked like he was getting his form back with his eagle at number 15. But Henley missed a 13-foot putt on the 18th to drop a shot.
Henley hopes to get away from golf for a few hours tonight, knowing he started earlier than normal.
“I just think about trying to get a good meal, and if you can, you can not like it,” he said.
McCumber’s best career this year was with a second at the Puntacana meet in the Dominican Republic last September. He missed his last six tracks before getting hot this week.
“You have to stay in the process, and I feel like I did pretty well and was rewarded for it during the first three rounds this week, so I’m taking the momentum into tomorrow,” he said.