Albany Times Union

Henley holds halfway lead

First-round leader cards 6-under 64 to build 4-stroke edge


Russell Henley shot a 6-under 64 on Friday to open a fourstroke lead halfway through the Wyndham Championsh­ip.

Henley was at 14-under 126, tying Stewart Cink at the RBC Heritage in April for the lowest 36-hole score this season in a tournament Cink went on to win.

Olympic silver medalist Rory Sabbatini was tied for second with past champion Webb Simpson and playoff bubble man Scott Piercy.

Sabbatini shot a 64, Simpson 65 and Piercy 66.

Former Fedex Cup champion Justin Rose, outside the playoffs at the start of the week, continued his surge toward the postseason with a 65 that left him at 9 under in a group with Tyler Duncan and Brian Stuard.

Duncan had the lowest score of the round at 62. Stuard shot 66.

When Henley teed off, the first-round leader had already been passed by Sabbatini, Piercy and Simpson. Henley, who opened on the back nine, got going with four straight birdies on Nos. Nos. 14-17 to regain the lead.

Henley added three more birdies on his final nine. It was a couple of months ago that Henley shared the halfway lead at the U.S. Open. He was among three leaders after 54 holes until falling off with final-round 76.

Henley hopes he can keep the same drive and mentality on the weekend. After all, this is not the U.S. Open and pars here will probably lead you out of contention.

“You have to do everything right,” Henley said. “So it’s kind of the same way except for I’m just mainly trying to keep committing to every shot off the tee and put myself in the fairway” where he can stay aggressive.

It was a good day for Sabbatini, Piercy and Rose, all who began the week outside the 125-man postseason cutoff, but have played themselves into next week’s Northern Trust with 36 holes to go.

Sabbatini, buoyed by his Tokyo experience, has moved from 141st in the Fedex standings to a projected 95th. He tied his career low 36-hole score of 130, last accomplish­ed in 2003 at the Shriner’s Children’s Open.

Piercy started this week as first man out at No. 126. His 64-66 start has him projected at 80th for the playoffs.

Rose, who won the 2018 Fedex Cup, was also outside at No. 138 when he teed off Thursday.

He’s inside the playoffs at 117th after shooting 66-65.

LPGA: Ariya Jutanugarn had five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine and shot a 6-under 66 to take the second-round lead in the windy and rainy Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open. Jutanugarn was at 9-under 135 total, three strokes ahead of fellow Thai player Atthaya Thitikul (70), England’s Charley Hull (69) and Denmark’s Emily Kristine Pedersen (69).

USGA: Nick Grabelcik played 38 holes to win three matches Friday, sending the North Florida sophomore into the semifinals of the U.S. Amateur at Oakmont. He’ll play James Piot of Michigan State. The other semifinal matches features Travis Vick against Austin Greaser.

Champions: Billy Mayfair shot an 8-under 62 at Canyon Meadows to take a one-stroke lead over Canadian star Mike Weir after the first round of the Shaw Charity Classic.

 ?? Jared C. Tilton / Getty Images ?? Russell Henley putts on the 18th green during the second round of the Wyndham Championsh­ip. He is 14 under after two rounds.
Jared C. Tilton / Getty Images Russell Henley putts on the 18th green during the second round of the Wyndham Championsh­ip. He is 14 under after two rounds.

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