GREENSBORO, N.C. — Russell Henley shot a 6-under 64 on Friday to open a four-stroke lead midway by way of the Wyndham Championship.
Henley was at 14-under 126, tying Stewart Cink on the RBC Heritage in April for the bottom 36-hole rating this season.
Olympic silver medalist Rory Sabbatini was tied for second with previous champion Webb Simpson and Scott Piercy.
Sabbatini shot a 64, Simpson 65 and Piercy at 66.
Former FedEx Cup champion Justin Rose, exterior the playoffs at the beginning of the week, continued his surge towards the postseason with a 65 that left him at 9 below in a bunch with Tyler Duncan and Brian Stuard.
Duncan had the bottom rating of the spherical at 62. Stuard shot 66.
When Henley teed off, the first-round chief had already been handed by Sabbatini, Piercy and Simpson. Henley, who opened on the again 9, received going with 4 straight birdies on Nos. 14-17 to regain the lead.
Henley added three extra birdies on his last 9. It was a few months in the past that Henley shared the midway lead on the U.S. Open. He was amongst three leaders after 54 holes till falling off with final-round 76.
Henley hopes he can preserve the identical drive and mentality on the weekend. In any case, this isn’t the U.S. Open and pars right here will in all probability lead you out of rivalry.
“You must do the whole lot proper,” Henley mentioned. “So it is sort of the identical means aside from I am simply primarily making an attempt to maintain committing to each shot off the tee and put myself within the fairway.”
It was a superb day for Sabbatini, Piercy and Rose, all who started the week exterior the 125-man postseason cutoff, however have performed themselves into subsequent week’s Northern Belief with 36 holes to go.
Sabbatini, buoyed by his Tokyo expertise, has moved from 141st within the FedEx standings to a projected ninety fifth. He tied his profession low 36-hole rating of 130, final achieved in 2003 on the Shriner’s Youngsters’s Open.
Piercy began this week as first man out at No. 126. His 64-66 begin has him projected at eightieth for the playoffs.
Rose, who received the 2018 FedEx Cup, was additionally exterior at No. 138 when he teed off Thursday. He is contained in the playoffs at 117th after taking pictures 66-65.
It was not the case for playoff outsider Rickie Fowler, who missed the lower after taking pictures 71-72. He had wanted to complete twenty first or higher to maintain his 11-season streak of advancing to golf’s postseason intact. As a substitute, Fowler may have a number of weeks off earlier than subsequent season.
“I do know what I am able to, I have been up there and performed towards the very best on the planet and been a top-five, top-10 participant on the planet for plenty of years in my profession,” Fowler mentioned. “I am not able the place I am snug or the place I need to be.”
Sabbatini mentioned his recreation kicked into gear in Tokyo — he completed with a 61 for the silver behind gold-medalist American Xander Schauffele — and has continued on the PGA Tour’s last regular-season occasion.
His play at Sedgefield Nation Membership has him pointing towards the playoffs. “I do probably have a flight reservation, however I do not know which route.”
Piercy had made the playoffs the previous six seasons.
Rose mentioned his first two rounds have him fascinated about greater than the top-10 end wanted to proceed his season. He is aiming for his first PGA Tour win because the Farmers Insurance coverage Open in 2019.
“I do know I would like to complete top-10, however on the identical time there isn’t any level limiting your self to that sort of considering,” he mentioned. “Successful would go an extended option to sort of really feel like you may compete within the playoffs.”
Amongst these lacking the three below lower have been Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama and veteran Ryan Moore, who will miss the tour playoffs for the primary time because it started in 2007.