By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Jeff Quinney and Lee Janzen played together on Thursday during the first round of the Wyndham Championship. They had rounds that were almost mirror images of each other, too.
Quinney got hot on the back nine, which was their first of the day, and made five straight birdies, starting at the 12th hole. Janzen, on the other hand, got on a roll on the front and he drained five consecutive birdie putts beginning at No. 3.
"We kind of had opposite hot nines," Quinney acknowledged. "...
We were both 6 going into the last hole. He ended up three-putting.
I ended up birdieing it. Our group saw a lot of putts go in the
hole. ... You could see a positive shot down the middle every time.
Sometimes we need to see that.
"When you see somebody in front of you hit a good shot it's easy to follow that. We had a good group and good time chatting out there and fed off one another."
Quinney, who ranks 215th in the FedExCup, owns the lead at 7 under while Janzen is among a big group tied for second at 5 under. The third member of their group, Charles Warren, ended up shooting a 67, as well.
Janzen said players come to Sedgefield knowing they need to shoot low scores to survive. Seeing Quinney get on a roll might have helped the veteran get untracked on the front nine, as well.
"I don't know if that had anything to do with it or not but, you know, even making some birdies and going along and, you know, over the last few years we know there's going to be some low scores," said Janzen, who stands 173rd in the FedExCup.
"Not much wind, the greens are soft. The speed of the greens you can be aggressive once you're on them. I decided to stay patient and hit good shots and hit good putts and hopefully a few were going to fall in and it just happened to be that I had five in a row."
Here’s proof that every shot counts, at least for Charles Warren: At 157th on the money list, Warren obviously needs a good week to get inside the top 125, or at least the conditional top 150. He was trending that way, too, playing his first 15 holes in 7 under Saturday. At one point, that had Warren in second -- place -- until he bogeyed the 16th hole, where he failed to get up and down from left of the green, and double-bogeyed the 17th, where he drove it in the water.
As a result, Warren dropped into a tie for 10th on the leaderboard. Fortunately for him, though, he’s still projected to finish 116th on the money list -- if the leaderboard doesn’t change. A bad round on Sunday, however, would obviously drop him even further and potentially out of the top 125.
It’s looking right now like Roland Thatcher will have a very good chance at being “Cinderella",” as he called it earlier this week. At 179th on the money list at the start of the week, Thatcher needed at least a solo second to secure his PGA TOUR card for 2011. Through nine holes today, Thatcher is 2 under on the round and now five shots clear of his closest competitors, Charles Warren and Brett Wetterich.
Warren, by the way, could be writing his own fairy tale of sorts this week. He only got into the field after Jonathan Byrd withdrew. At 157th on the money list coming into Disney, Warren is now projected to move up to 146th. That would at least give him conditional status on TOUR next year. Obviously if he wins, he’ll be exempt for two years.
One other note on Warren. He’s ninth on TOUR in driving distance and eighth in greens in regulation. So what’s the problem? He’s 157th in putting average. -- Brian Wacker
Besides the four birdies over his final five holes, how good was Charles Warren’s second-round 68?
”Probably one of the best ball striking days I think I've ever had,” said Warren, who hit 13 of 14 fairways and hit all 18 greens in regulation Friday. “I've played decent lately and played okay in Boise, Idaho, in the Nationwide event. I feel like my game is really good. I think it's just a matter of getting a few putts to fall and getting confidence with the putter.”
That was about the only thing that wasn’t working very well for Warren on Friday as he took 33 putts.
It’s also been an up-and-down season for the 35-year-old South Carolinian. He has just one top-10 and has missed more cuts (nine) than he’s made (7). Warren entered this week 180th on the money list and will need a good month to avoid finishing outside the top 125 for a second straight year.