Washington – Brandt Snedeker, struggling in his bid to back up a first-round 59, came alive late on Friday to stay atop the Wyndham Championship leaderboard with a two-stroke lead over D.A. Points.
Snedeker knew it would be hard to follow his Thursday performance, when he became just the ninth golfer to post a sub-60 round on the US PGA Tour.
Unable to build any momentum early, Snedeker was one-over through nine holes at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina.
But he regained the lead when he rolled in a 30-foot eagle putt at the par-five 15th and gave himself more breathing room with a 34-foot birdie putt at the par-three 16th as he posted three-under par 67 for a 14-under par total of 126 – his career low for 36 holes on tour.
“It was huge,” Snedeker said of his strong finish. “I played a really sloppy front nine, didn’t play particularly well, drove it poorly.
“Then on the back nine, which typically is the harder nine here, I finally hit the ball in the fairway off the tee and hit some quality iron shots and had a few holes where I missed some makeable putts.
“To see one finally go in was good, got some momentum going those last few holes.
“Obviously it’s tough to back up what I did yesterday,” he added. “I knew it was going to be tough today — didn’t anticipate it was going to be this tough.”
Snedeker, who won his first PGA Tour title in the Wyndham back in 2007, will be seeking a ninth career title over the weekend.
Snedeker had a two-shot lead over American D.A. Points, who had an eagle and four birdies in his second straight six-under 64 for 128.
Taiwan’s C.T. Pan was alone in third, a birdie-birdie finish capping a 64 that left him on 11-under 129.
Spain’s Sergio Garcia, who needs a top-20 finish to qualify for the US PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs, fired a five-under par 65 and headed a group sharing fourth on 131.
Points, a three-time PGA Tour winner, who missed 15 of 16 cuts before tying for 40th at the Barbasol Championship in July, said he’d benefitted from a new set of irons — and from playing without any expectation of making it to the FedEx Cup playoffs coming up.
“I have nothing to lose, like, literally, nothing to lose,” he said. “I can just go and play and if I win, wow, what a super blessing. But if I don’t it’ll just be a nice way to finish off a tough year and start working on things toward next year,” he said.
126 – Brandt Snedeker 59-67
128 – D.A. Points 64-64
129 – C.T. Pan (TPE) 65-64
131 – David Hearn (CAN) 64-67, Peter Malnati 66-65, Keith Mitchell 65-66, Sergio Garcia (ESP) 66-65, Harris English 66-65, Brett Stegmaier 64-67
132 – Jonathan Byrd 64-68, Nick Taylor (CAN) 65-67, Aaron Baddeley (AUS) 65-67, Trey Mullinax 67-65, Doug Ghim 68-64