2021 Wyndham Championship leaderboard: Russell Henley leads with 62 in Round 1 but drama unfolding behind him

The primary spherical of the ultimate PGA Tour regular-season occasion is almost within the books, and an unsurprising chief emerged on the Wyndham Championship on Thursday. Russell Henley shot an 8-under 62, and leads after play was suspended due to darkness following a prolonged climate delay. A win this week for Henley would cap what has been a stellar 2020-21 marketing campaign for him, however he is joined by a solid of intriguing contenders for this week’s trophy.

He is additionally joined by a number of gamers combating for his or her place within the prime 125 of the FedEx Cup standings and a spot in subsequent week’s Northern Belief, the primary FedEx Cup Playoffs occasion. We’ll check out a couple of of these in addition to a deep dive on Henley’s spherical and what’s at stake for him as he tries to go wire to wire at Sedgefield Nation Membership.

1. Russell Henley (-8): This shouldn’t be a giant shock. Henley has had a pleasant yr and got here into this week ranked No. 4 of anybody on this subject when it comes to strokes gained from tee to inexperienced since June 1. He performed within the last pairing on the U.S. Open and has three prime 20s in his final 4 begins. When flushers like him discover over two strokes in a given spherical with the putter, that is the consequence. Henley was practically good in Spherical 1. He did not make a bogey and performed his final 14 holes in 8 underneath. In the event that they’d performed the opposite 54 holes of the match Thursday, he in all probability would have received. As an alternative, he’ll go into Friday leaning on some sturdy ball-striking (second within the subject from tee to inexperienced in Spherical 1) and because the heavy 9/2 favourite to win for the primary time since 2017.

“My purpose at the beginning of the yr is to make the Tour Championship and win, and I have never carried out both a type of but, however going to maintain making an attempt my finest,” Henley mentioned. “I’ve had a pair tournaments slip away from me a bit of bit that I really feel like … I ought to be nearer to possibly 30 within the FedEx Cup now based mostly on my yr and the way I performed, however that is golf and it is simply arduous and everyone’s good, and I am simply making an attempt to maintain my head down and simply play nicely for me.”

Rick Gehman and Kyle Porter break down and react to Thursday’s first-round motion on the Wyndham Championship. Observe & hearken to The First Lower on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

T2. Sung Kang, Ted Potter Jr., Michael Thompson, Chris Kirk, Hudson Swafford, Adam Hadwin, Scott Piercy (-6): Piercy is possibly the participant who wanted this begin probably the most. He began at 126th within the FedEx Cup standings — and will lose his PGA Tour card if he stays there — however can be 91st if play ended proper now. That may not solely be good for subsequent week however go a great distance towards stepping into the highest 70 that advance to the BMW Championship within the second week of the playoffs. Thompson is in an analogous boat, though his PGA Tour card for subsequent yr is safe due to a win in 2020.

T9. Andrew Landy, Nick Taylor, Kevin Kisner, Jhonattan Vegas, Erik van Rooyen, Michael Gligic, Tyler McCumber, Denny McCarthy, Webb Simpson, Brian Stuard (-5): Simpson is the largest title right here, and he has the second-shortest odds behind Henley. The explanation for that’s due to his historic success right here. Nobody has been better at this event over the last decade. Simpson has loads at stake this weekend, too. He is on the sting proper now on the subject of the U.S. Ryder Cup group (presently No. 13 within the standings) and will just about guarantee himself a spot with a win on Sunday. That may be a pleasant bonus to what might be his eighth PGA Tour win.

T19. Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood (-4): Scott began the week ranked simply inside the highest 125, and after Spherical 1 he is projected at No. 114, which might simply push him into the playoffs. There’s work to do, however he is trying fairly good proper now. Fleetwood and Rose each moved up within the standings however are each nonetheless outdoors the highest 125.

“Clearly the season hasn’t gone how I wished, and I really feel like I am type of taking part in with home cash,” Scott mentioned. “I imply, I am not likely excited about it. I am extra excited by getting my recreation into the form I really feel it ought to be, and it is getting nearer. I want to play nicely this week and get an opportunity to play subsequent week and hold getting my recreation into place. It is arduous to enhance your recreation when you do not have an opportunity to play, so in the intervening time my purpose is to simply hold taking part in week after week.”

T89. Hideki Matsuyama (-1): Matsuyama hit it nicely, particularly popping out of the mid-round climate delay, however he misplaced over 4 strokes (!!) on and across the greens Thursday. Nonetheless, I anticipate him to make a reasonably large transfer over the following 36 holes and ball-strike his method up the leaderboard. If putts fall like they did Sunday in Memphis, he can nonetheless completely contend. He is an intriguing play at 50-1 proper now. | 2021 Wyndham Championship leaderboard: Russell Henley leads with 62 in Spherical 1 however drama unfolding behind him


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