GREENSBORO – South Korea’s Byeong Hun An continued his strong play with a round of 5-under-par 65 on Friday, giving him a one-stroke lead through 36 holes at the Wyndham Championship in Carolina.
An, who shared the first-round lead after shooting 62 on Thursday, has a two-round total of 13-under 127 at Sedgefield Country Club, the site of the final PGA Tour event before the FedEx Cup playoffs.
Alone in second is Brice Garnett, who shot 64 for the second straight day, in front of a logjam of six players at 11 under. That cluster includes Webb Simpson (who shot 65), South Korea’s Sungjae Im — who shot 67 after equaling An’s 62 in Round 1 — and Canada’s Adam Svensson, who fired the low round of the tournament thus far with a 9-under 61.
Three players, including England’s Paul Casey (65 on Friday), are at 10 under, with Jordan Spieth (67) among a group of seven players at 9 under. Of the 155 players in the field, 118 were in red figures through two rounds, with the cut line at 4 under.
An was bogey-free for the second straight day. He opened on the back nine and had back-to-back birdies at Nos. 14 and 15, two-putting from 11 feet at the par-5 15th. After making the turn, he stuck his approach inside a foot at the par-3 third, starting a string of three straight birdies that also included a 30-foot putt at No. 4 to seize the lead.
In his 94th PGA Tour start, An has three runner-up finishes, though he is still seeking his first title.
Garnett also started on the back nine and had a bogey-free day, scattering three birdies on each side of his card. His approach at No. 8 nearly holed out for eagle, stopping just inches shy for a tap-in birdie.
Im, who is seeking his first career win but has four top-four finishes this season, roared out of the gates to take the lead with four straight birdies from Nos. 2-5. He cooled off from there, playing 1 over the rest of the way. He made back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 10 and 11 before a birdie at the 12th and six pars to finish.
“I had a lot of opportunities this year for a win, and I was in contention a lot,” Im told PGATour.com afterward through a translator. “I’ll definitely use those experiences to help me this week.”
Svensson eviscerated the front nine with a 7-under 28, birdieing every non-par-3. After back-to-back birdies at Nos. 12 and 13, he had a realistic shot at 59. But he parred the final five holes, including a par at 15 after he missed a five-foot birdie putt.
“Got a little nervous,” Svensson said, via PGATour.com “But I was happy with the way I played.”
He still became the first player this year and just the seventh since 1983 with multiple rounds of 61 or better in a season, having also shot that score at the Sony Open.
Simpson, the top-ranked player in the field (No. 17) and 2011 winner of the event, was 4 under through five holes after an eagle at the par-5 fifth, but he managed just two birdies and one bogey the rest of the way.
Defending champion Brandt Snedeker shot 70 and slipped 31 spots into a tie for 38th at 6 under.
–Field Level Media