Daily Wrap-up: Wyndham Championship, Round 2August 17, 2012
Staff and wire reports
GREENSBORO, North Carolina -- Jimmy Walker played what he called boring but extremely effective golf to shoot an 8-under 62 on Friday and moved to the top of the leaderboard at 12 under in the Wyndham Championship.
Tim Herron matched the tournament record with a 61, but was still seven strokes back.
Play was halted for 1 hour, 17 minutes late in the day by thunderstorms.
Walker, who began the day four strokes back, had eight birdies in compiling one of the best two-day scores in event history. Only Pettersson at 125 in 2008 was better than Walker through 36 holes at Sedgefield Country Club.
"I was playing with J.B. (Holmes), and he was bombing the driver everywhere, and I was just kind of bunting the 5-wood around and hitting good approach shots," Walker said. "It was pretty boring-looking golf -- not a lot of drivers, not a lot of 3-woods. There's a lot of 5-woods and some irons, and it's just kind of placement around the golf course."
Walker hopes his strong round proves that he's getting back to the form from earlier this year, when the winless 33-year-old Texan finished in the top 10 in three of his first six tournaments.
Things went south when he tore his left meniscus, so instead of going to the U.S. Open, he went to the doctor for a cortisone shot to reduce the swelling.
Round 1 notebook The cut has been made at Sedgefield and the FedExCup Playoffs picture is starting to become more clear. Notes | Projected points
Now that he can bend down and read greens again, he can do some damage with his putter. He used it just 26 times Friday, and didn't even need it on No. 2 because he chipped in from 50 feet.
"If it wouldn't have gone in, it probably would have rolled over the back of the green," he said.
Pettersson, who shot a 62 on Thursday while playing in the morning, found his familiar Sedgefield course to play tougher in the afternoon. The local resident and member of the country club's board of directors had two bogeys in a three-hole span midway his round, then came on strong with consecutive birdies on Nos. 9-10 and an eagle on the par-5 15th.
The Swede-turned-American broke his driver on the next-to-last hole of the first round, used his backup driver Friday and will stick with it the rest of the weekend.
"I struggled today," Pettersson said. "Didn't have much today, but I thought it was a good comeback. ... Two-under par was OK for the game that I had, and hopefully I can hit the ball better on the weekend and have a chance."
Simpson, a native North Carolinian and U.S. Open champ who's defending a title for the first time in his career, got hot on the back nine with birdies on four of his final five holes to rocket up the leaderboard.
Shot of the Day: Pettersson
Carl Pettersson hits an approach shot close from 242 yards and putts for eagle on the par-5 15th hole.
"To play a round on a golf course this tricky without a bogey is always a good thing," Simpson said.
Herron rebounded from a first-round 76. He became the fourth player in five years here to shoot a 61.
"I didn't really have anything to lose," Herron said. "I kind of zoned in a little bit today and just kind of kept rolling and making putts."
It might have been just the strong round he needed to secure himself a spot in the FedExCup Playoffs. Herron arrived at No. 139 on the points list and has to crack the top 125 to qualify for The Barclays next week.
The field is littered with players trying to prolong their seasons for at least one more week. Among those on the borderline who made it to the weekend were No. 122 Trevor Immelman, No. 129 Y.E. Yang and No. 133 Chez Reavie.
No. 126 Brendan Steele appeared to be in trouble before a run of four straight birdies pushed him to 3 under.
Sedgefield CC: Round 2 EASIEST HOLE TOUGHEST HOLE The par-5 fifth hole was the easiest with a Friday scoring average of 4.296.
EAGLES: 11 BIRDIES: 90 PARS: 47 BOGEYS: 3 OTHER: 1
The par-4 18th hole was the toughest with a Friday scoring average of 4.388.
EAGLES: 0 BIRDIES: 12 PARS: 81
BOGEYS: 49 OTHERS: 10
About the leader: Jimmy Walker • All three of Walker's top-10 finishes this season came in his first six starts. • Walker is looking for his first win in his 158th start on TOUR. His best finish is T3 at the 2010 Valero Texas Open. • Walker's only other second-round lead/co-lead on TOUR was at that 2010 Valero Texas Open. • Walker entered the week at No. 55 in the FedExCup standings. He finished T21 last week at the PGA Championship. • Walker is the only player in the field bogey-free after the first two rounds. • Walker's 128 is tied for the second lowest score in tournament history after 36 holes. Carl Pettersson holds the record with a 125 in 2008. Tommy Gainey also had a 128 in 2011 after 36 holes.