Henley enters week-end with four-stroke lead at Wyndham Championship

By Sports Desk August 13, 2021

Russell Henley carded his first bogey of the tournament but still managed to double his lead at the Wyndham Championship on Friday. 

Seeking his first PGA Tour win in four years, Henley shot 64 in the second round and sits at 14 under par for the tournament. 

That left him four strokes up on Rory Sabbatini (64), Webb Simpson (65) and Scott Piercy (66) heading into the weekend in Greensboro, North Carolina. 

Starting on the back nine at the Sedgefield Country Club, Henley bogeyed number 12, his third hole of the day, before reeling off four consecutive birdies from 14 through 17.

Three more birdies coming home after the turn solidified his edge as he eyes his first win since the 2017 Houston Open. 

Henley's 126 matches the lowest 36-hole score posted on tour this season along with Stewart Cink at the RBC Heritage. 

Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Sabbatini had a bogey-free day to match Henley's round, while Simpson remained near the top of the leaderboard thanks in part to an eagle at the fifth. 

Simpson's success is no surprise, as he has finished in the top three at the Wyndham the last four years after winning it in 2011. 

Tyler Duncan had the best round of the day with a 62 that left him five shots back at nine under along with Justin Rose (65) and Brian Stuard (66). 

Among other notables, Bubba Watson (69) and Adam Scott are 10 strokes back at four under, one shot better than the cut line. 

Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama (69) missed the cut by a stroke, while former world number one Luke Donald (67) finished at one under and two-time major winner Zach Johnson fell short at even par along with defending tournament champion Jim Herman. 

Also finished for the week-end are Padraig Harrington (76) at two over, Rickie Fowler (72) at three over and Charl Schwartzel (73) at seven over. 

Fowler's missed cut means his season is over, as he will not make the FedEx Cup playoffs for the first time in his career. 

Two players who were tied for second after Thursday's opening round, Michael Thompson and Ted Potter Jr., also missed the cut after slumping to 74 and 77, respectively. 

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    "It's tough, you know, to finish like that," he said. "A really good week, but I didn't play really well today.

    "I just needed to do a couple more birdies, and hit it a little bit better to win.

    "I'm just happy with how the week turned out – on Monday I just wanted to make the cut, and on Sunday I wanted to win. I'll take this and learn for the future."

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    "It was a bizarre day," he said. "I have definitely crossed one off the list – I have never won a tournament shanking a ball on Sunday, so that was the first, and I would really like it to be the last.

    "Bones [caddie Jim 'Bones' Mackay] did an unbelievable job of just keeping me in the moment and I just tried to play the golf course for what it is.

    "This place is so tough. It was funny – I was asked earlier in the week about what lead is safe and I said 'no lead' because this place is so tough. But if you hit the fairways you can make birdies, and I stayed so patient. 

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    "It is very, very special," he said. "Anytime you win is obviously great, but getting it done different ways teaches you a lot. 

    "This golf course is tough. Winning tournaments is tough. Winning a major is tough.

    "I just tried to stay patient, and I felt when I somehow got myself in the play-off it was time to get after it and get it done.

    "I did not look at the leaderboard today – Bones did an unbelievable job of just keeping me in the moment. We were just out playing Southern Hills on a beautiful day, on a Sunday.

    "I could kind of feel through the energy in the crowd that I had a chance, and I know that all the players up ahead of me are great players, but had not won a major, and it is a big moment. 

    "I know I am very nervous, so I know they are very nervous, and I just tried to tell myself that all I can do is control what I can and if it's good enough, great, if not, so be it.

    "It is awesome. it is so nice to hear two-time [champion] instead of one-time."

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