Jimmy Walker shoots 8-under 62 to lead Wyndham

A 66 lands huim atop Wyndham

Jimmy Walker had eight birdies on his way to compiling one of the best two-round scores (128) in Wyndham history.
Jimmy Walker had eight birdies on his way to compiling one of the best two-round scores (128) in Wyndham history. –hunter martin/getty images

Jimmy Walker shot an 8-under-par 62 Friday to top the leaderboard at 12-under 128 in the Wyndham Championship at Greensboro, N.C.

Defending champion Webb Simpson was a stroke back after a 63, and first-round leader Carl Pettersson (68), Tim Clark (67), Sergio Garcia (63), and rookie Harris English (64) were at 10 under.

Tim Herron matched the tournament record with a 61, but was seven strokes back.

It might have been just the strong round he needed to secure himself a spot in the FedEx Cup playoffs. Herron arrived at No. 133 on the points list and has to crack the top 125 to qualify for The Barclays next week.

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Play was halted for 1 hour 17 minutes late in the day when a system of thunderstorms passed through central North Carolina.

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.’’

The field is littered with players trying to secure a spot in the playoffs. 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.

For others, there was bubble trouble. No. 121 Boo Weekley and No. 125 Jhonattan Vegas missed the cut of 1 under.

US Amateur — Steven Fox took advantage of a strong start to hold off Chris Williams, the world’s top-ranked amateur, in the quarterfinals at Cherry Hills in Cherry Hills Village, Colo.

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The 21-year-old Fox, from Hendersonville, Tenn., beat the 21-year-old Williams, from Moscow, Idaho, 4 and 2. A senior at the Tennessee-Chattanooga, Fox will play Brandon Hagy of Westlake Village, Calif., in the semifinals Saturday.

The 21-year-old Hagy, one of two golfers from the University of California to reach the semifinals, beat Cheng-Tsung Pan of Taiwan, 4 and 3.

Michael Weaver of Fresno, Calif., who also a member of Cal’s golf team, beat Ricardo Gouveia of Portugal, 4 and 3. He’ll meet Alabama’s Justin Thomas of Goshen, Ky., in the other semifinal. Thomas edged Australian Oliver Goss, 2 up.

LPGA — Mika Miyazato and rookie Sydnee Michaels shot 7-under 65s in 100-degree heat to share the first-round lead in the Safeway Classic at Pumpkin Ridge’s Ghost Creek Course in North Plains, Ore.

Cristie Kerr, Inbee Parkm and Pornanong Phatlum were a stroke back. So Yeon Ryu, the Toledo Classic winner last week, was two shots behind at 67 along with Brittany Lincicome, Alison Walshe of Westford, Mass., and Jee Young Lee.

Michelle Wie opened with a 69, top-ranked Yani Tseng had a 70, defending champion Suzann Pettersen shot 71, and Stacy Lewis had a 73.

Champions — Bernhard Langer was at 7 under and looking at an 8-foot putt on No. 16 when play was suspended because of rain in the first round of the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open in Endicott, N.Y.

The round was called with 69 players on the course. Once the second round begins, players will remain in the same groupings.

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