Ryan Moore has suffered through a dismal season. He entered the week ranked 196th in FedEx Cup point standings, had missed three cuts in a row and isn’t even thinking about his long-shot chances of qualifying for the FedEx Cup playoffs, which start next week.
“I am just not even in the frame of,” he said. “I’m so far out of it, it doesn’t even matter at this point. I’m trying to do whatever I can this week. I’m just trying to gain some confidence going into next season.”
But Sedgefield Country Club, where he won the Wyndham Championship in 2009, 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 Joohyun Kim.
“A day like today easily could have been even or so,” Moore said. “Instead, kept my momentum and ended up at 4 under.”
Moore attributes his struggles to an injury to the costovertebral joints, which connect the ribs to the vertebral column.
“It’s nothing I need surgery for, but it’s just a very tricky spot,” Moore said. “It’s where your rib joint like meets your spine. I kind of have some chronic deterioration in there and I basically just keep spraining it over and over and over again, which you can imagine doesn’t feel great twisting and swinging a golf club as hard as I can.”
“There is a course of action, there’s things I can do to kind of help it, I just haven’t,” he continued. “I need a good six, eight weeks off to kind of deal with it and I’ll just try to finish out the year and deal with it and then hopefully have some time coming up here to do it.”
Moore has a friend filling in as a caddy this week, the same pal who was on the bag when he finished T-2 at the 2021 John Deere Classic, his last top-10 finish.
“I’m about to make him start caddying for me permanently apparently,” Moore said. “We keep doing well together for whatever reason, at least on his random fill-in weeks, so it’s good.”
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Thomas the train is rolling
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
South Korea’s Joohyung Kim, who goes by Tom, a nickname he was given as a kid after the cartoon Thomas the Train – “I had the whole [Thomas the Train] thing, I had the lunchbox, I had the toys, yeah,” – carded rounds of 67-64 to head into the weekend at 9-under 131.
He’s 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 nothing I could do. It was just the first hole and gosh, I just got a really bad lie and then didn’t really have another good lie and didn’t really have another good lie, didn’t really have another good lie. It turned out not bad.”
Kim, 20, rallied with seven birdies to shoot 3-under 67.
“I just stayed really patient out there. I knew there were birdies out there. Once I got momentum, I kept pushing and I think that’s how like seven birdies came out there,” he said. “It was one bad hole and I just told myself, you know what, I can still get this, I can still shoot under par today and somehow I did.”
On Friday, Kim made seven more birdies and just one bogey en route to shooting 64. When he drove into the bunker at the first hole – his 10th of the day – he thought to himself, “Well, here we go, just don’t make a quad.”
He made par. “So most improved on hole No. 1,” he cracked.
Kim has been putting out of his mind this week. He has made 301 feet, 1 inch of putts, marking the most in the first two rounds since the Wyndham Championship moved to Sedgefield Country Club in 2008. He’s gained 9.2 strokes on the greens, the most SG: Putting in consecutive rounds (in the same event) this season.
“If you would have told me after the first hole yesterday where I’d be after two days, I definitely would have taken it, so pretty happy,” Kim said.
Henley in the hunt
Russell Henley hits 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 54-hole leader last year and needed a birdie to win the title. Instead, he made a bogey and missed out on the six-man playoffs.
Henley may have a second bite at the apple as he shot 5-under 65 at Sedgefield Country Club to improve to 8-under 132 and tied for fourth, one stroke off the lead at the midway point.
“Around here I feel great about my ball-striking, but this course, a lot of times I’ve felt comfortable,” Henley said. “I’ve felt like I can hit the fairway and I can attack the pins and I know where to miss it. Yeah, and also 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 in between the PGA Championship, US Open and British Open as his family welcomed baby No. 3, daughter Jane, who is nine weeks old.
“Didn’t get to play nearly as much as I wanted and had to miss some events that I normally would play,” he said. “This is our first event with the 9-week-old. She’s actually a great baby, so it’s been pretty great, but I also have an incredible wife.”
The streak 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 has been the Tour’s iron man this season. The 39-year-old journeyman is making his 34th start of the regular season, three more than any other player. Unfortunately, he’s missed the cut 21 times, including 11 straight entering 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 tee time on the weekend since the Mexico Open, which ended on May 1.
Stuard also is positioned to notch his second Tour title. He’s tied for seventh, just two strokes off the 36-hole lead. Stuard’s round of 68 included a chip-in birdie at No. 7, his 16th holes of the day. Stuard entered the week at No. 137 in the FedEx Cup standings but is projected No. 123.
Monday qualifier magic
Blake McShea reacts to his putt on the first green during the second round of the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club on August 05, 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 at a pre-qualifier last Thursday just to get into the Monday qualifier. Then he 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. The highlight on Friday may have been McShea draining a twisting 43-foot birdie putt at the par-3 12th.
“Probably going off the green if it didn’t hit the hole,” he said.
McShea has plenty of local support, including his kindergarten teacher in his gallery.
“There’s so many people out here, I haven’t even seen all the faces, but couldn’t be more grateful for it,” he said.
Story originally appeared on GolfWeek