Golf roundup: Brandt Snedeker’s lead at Wyndham Championship shrinks

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Brandt Snedeker couldn’t completely block out the buzz that had surrounded his 11-under-par 59 in the first round of the Wyndham Championship, but he refocused just in time to reclaim the lead.

Snedeker followed his historic opening score with a 67 on Friday to take a two-stroke lead into the weekend at Sedgefield Country Club.

A day after becoming the 10th player in PGA Tour history to break 60, Snedeker moved to 14-under 126 halfway through the tour’s final event before the FedEx Cup playoffs.

“You hear people telling you every two seconds, ‘Mr. 59,’ or saying how cool it was to watch it,” Snedeker said. “So, yes, totally on your mind.”

D.A. Points shot a 64 to reach 12 under — one stroke ahead of C.T. Pan, who also had a 64.

There were six golfers tied for fourth at 9 under, including former Baylor School standouts Harris English (65) and Keith Mitchell (66). English had four birdies and made an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole while dropping just one stroke during the round. Mitchell offset a trio of bogeys with seven birdies, including consecutive birdies on Nos. 1-5.

Another former Red Raiders star, Stephan Jaeger (68), was tied for 34th at 5 under.

The group in fourth also included Sergio Garcia (65), David Hearn (67), Peter Malnati (65) and Brett Stegmaier (67).

Snedeker, the 2012 FedEx Cup champion, won this tournament in 2007 at Forest Oaks Country Club before it moved across town to the par-70 course at Sedgefield.

He obviously got off to a great start in the first round this year, but that was also a tough act to follow. Of the nine previous players who have broken 60 on the PGA Tour, six had to play the next day and only one has shot better than 65 in that round: Justin Thomas, who had a 64 in the second round of last year’s Sony Open.

“You can’t ignore it, you can’t try to forget about it,” Snedeker said. “Hardest thing is trying to get back into a rhythm. Now I’m better equipped for the next time I shoot 59 and play the next day.”

By the time Snedeker teed off Friday afternoon, that low score had held up for a one-stroke lead. It temporarily slipped away when he had three bogeys on the front nine.

He reclaimed the lead late in his round with some nifty putting. He sank two putts longer than 30 feet, one for eagle on the par-5 15th and another for birdie on the par-4 16th, and wrapped up with the best two-round score at this tournament since Carl Pettersson’s 125 a decade ago.

“When I finally convinced myself to hit a few putts, they started going in,” Snedeker said. “Over 72 holes, you’re going to have stretches where balls don’t go in the hole. You’ve got to be able to kind of overcome, be patient, wait for the long ones to fall, and luckily I made a couple coming down the stretch.”

Points, who has made only one cut since January and failed to reach the weekend in 19 of his 24 tournaments this season, had a strong front nine with three birdies and an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole, where he sank a 40-foot putt. He has finished in the top 20 at this tournament twice since 2014, and after starting far off the bubble at No. 214 on the points list, he could fight his way into the 125-man playoffs that start next week.

“Basically, I know this is possibly my last event of the year, so I haven’t been grinding really hard,” Points said. “It seems to be paying off.”

Park goes low

INDIANAPOLIS — Sung Hyun Park shot a 9-under 63 for a share of the lead with Lizette Salas during the suspended second round of the Indy Women in Tech Championship.

Salas, the LPGA Tour event’s first-round leader after a 62, had a 69 to match Park at 13-under 131 at Brickyard Crossing Golf Club. Nasa Hataoka (69) and Danielle Kang (68) were two shots back.

The saturated greens became even softer after overnight and afternoon rain. The storms forced a suspension of nearly four hours, with nearly half the field unable to finish before dark. Amy Yang and Angel Yin were the top players unable to finish, tied at 10 under with each having eight holes to play.

Park has two majors and four overall victories in the past two years, winning the U.S. Women’s Open and CP Women’s Open last year and the Volunteers of America LPGA Texas Classic and KPMG Women’s PGA Championship this season.

Garwood on top

ENDICOTT, N.Y. — Doug Garwood birdied his final three holes for an 8-under 64 and the first-round lead at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open.

The 55-year-old Garwood had nine birdies and a bogey, playing his final nine holes — the front nine at En-Joie Golf Club — in 6-under 31. He won the 2016 SAS Championship for his lone PGA Tour Champions title.

Michael Bradley and Marco Dawson were tied for second at 65, with Woody Austin and Clark Dennis fourth at 66 and Bob Estes and Tom Gillis fifth at 67 in the senior circuit event.

Two share lead

GOTHENBURG, Sweden — England’s Paul Waring birdied four of his last seven holes in the second round for a 7-under 63 and a share of the Nordea Masters lead with Scotland’s Scott Jamison.

Jamison birdied his last three holes for a 65 to match Waring at 11-under 129 halfway through the European Tour event at Hills Golf Club.

South Africa’s Thomas Aiken was two strokes back after a 65. Tied for fourth at 7 under were Bradley Neil (66), Lee Slattery (69) and Hunter Stewart (68).

Seven players were tied for seventh, including two-time major winner Martin Kaymer (67).

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