GREENSBORO, NC – Russell Henley shot an 8-under 62, his lowest round in more than two years, to take the lead in the suspended first round of the Wyndham Championship on Thursday.
Henley fired three of his last four holes for a 2-stroke lead Gesing Kang |, Ted Potter Jr., Chris Kirk, Hudson Swafford, Scott Piercy and Michael Thompson in the PGA Tour’s last regular season meet. Adam Hadwin was also 6 down, but had two holes left when the dark ended the game.
A storm stopped the game for 2 hours, 7 minutes, with 30 players unable to finish.
Past champion Webb Simpson and Kevin Kisner led a group of 10 once again at 65 at Sedgefield Country Club, where many rivals are struggling to reach the top 125 to advance to the play-offs starting next week at the Northern Trust.
Henley, at number 46 in the standings, was not worried about the post-season, but came out quickly with a round without chasing his first PGA tournament in four years.
He moves forward with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 15th before finishing with birdies at 17 and 18, the latter with a 20-foot putt. He finished 61st at the John Deere Classic in 2019 with his lowest round on the tour since a career low.
Henley has been playing solid golf lately. He equaled the 36-hole lead at the US Open in June, and then reached two straight top-20 finishes before missing the cut at the British Open. He returned this week hoping he could carry his strong game to the end.
“I didn’t win for years, so I felt like I was a little underperforming just like I was playing,” he said.
“My mindset,” Henley continued, “is the feeling that I can play my game, play my normal game, then I can give myself a chance, and that’s where I am.”
“I want to play well this week and get a chance to keep playing next week,” Scott said.
Rickie Fowler, who came in at 130th place and needed a good week, did not help him with a 71. Justin got up, the winner of this week’s Payne Stewart Award, must finish in the top-10 to advance after finishing in 138th place. He opened with a 66, tied for 19th place.
Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama was at 69, tied for 89th.
Pan, from Taiwan, wins a seven-man playoff game for the bronze. He shot a 68.
Louis Oosthuizen, the only top-10 player on the FedEx leaderboard, withdrew due to a neck injury.