Henley Posts 62, Leads Svensson, An by One Stroke in Wyndham Championship

Russell Henley doesn’t want a repeat performance.

Henley shot  a bogey-free, eight-under-par 62 and holds a one-stroke lead over Adam Svensson of Canada and Byeong Hun An of South Korea after the first round of the 83rd Wyndham Championship in drizzly conditions at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C.

However, Henley has been in the position before in the Wyndham, opening with a 62-64-69 in 2021 and leading most of the way before struggling to a 71 in the final round and sliding all the way to a tie for seventh.

“I think about it a lot,” Henley said about 2021, in which he finished a stroke out of the six-man playoff that was won by Kevin Kisner. “I was leading by three going in the final round a couple years ago, and was leading the tournament by a few going into No. 11 on the last day and didn’t get it done. That’s a good learning experience, and feel like I’ve gotten better.

“This time, I was just kind of hoping (the rain) would slow down a little bit. And it did on the back nine, so we were fortunate. I hit a lot of fairways and felt like from there I could attack the golf course.

“The forecast (for Friday), I’ve heard is for rain, but I’ve heard no rain, so I’ve heard a lot of different things. If we wake up and it’s pouring rain, I would we’ve just got to see how the weather is.”

Henley, who has finished in the top 10 three straight years in the Wyndham and has four of his seven pro victories on the PGA Tour, made three birdies on each nine and sank six-foot eagle putt after a brilliant 224-yard approach shot on the 15th hole in his 62.

While most players in the field are battling to improve their places in the FedEx standings, with only the top 70 advancing to the playoffs next week in the FedEx St. Jude Championship, Henley was already in solid shape a No. 34 and a high finish at Sedgefield would put him near the top.

The top 50 after the FedEx St. Jude Championship advance to the BMW Championship, the second playoff  event, while after that only the top 30 will reach the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.

Svensson collected five of his seven birdies on the last seven holes in a bogey-free 63, while An made a bogey on the first hole before making four birdies on each nine in his own 63.

Andrew Novak, whose only pro victory came in the 2020 LECOM Suncoast Classic on the Korn Ferry Tour, had four of his seven birdies on the last seven holes against one bogey in a 65 and is solo fourth, while Adam Scott of Australia, the 2013 Masters champion, made seven birdies in a 65 and is tied for fifth with J.T. Poston, runner-up in the 3M Open last week, who sank a 23-yard eagle putt on the fifth hole and added six birdies in his 65.

Lucas Glover, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, birdied the last hole for a 66 and is in a big tie for sixth with Martin Laird of Scotland, who birdied four of the last five holes; Thomas Detry of Belgium, who collected five birdies while finishing on the front nine; Ludvig Aberg of Sweden, who made five birdies on the back nine; Austin Smotherman, who sank a 14-foot eagle putt at No. 5 and added four birdies; Vincent Norrman, who had four of his six birdies on the front nine; Peter Kuest, who had five birdies against a single bogey, and Kyle Westmoreland, who also had five birdies and only one bogey.

Two-time PGA champion Justin Thomas, the 2017 FedEx Cup champion who started No. 59 in the FedEx Cup standings and needs a solid week to make the playoffs, made two birdies and two birdies in a 70 to tie for 68th and still has work to do.

For complete results, second-round tee times and the FedEx Cup standings, visit https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard

Related Articles

Stay Connected


Latest Articles