Tom Hoge maintained a share of the lead Friday at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C., this time alongside Si Woo Kim, Talor Gooch and Billy Horschel.
Hoge, tied for the first-round lead with Harold Varner III and Roger Sloan, kept in front with a steady 2-under 68 to get to 10-under par.
Hoge, whose best-ever tour finish was a second at The Greenbrier this season, was asked what it would take for his first PGA Tour win.
“There's a lot to that question,” he said.
The answer could be as simple as regaining his first-round form when he had seven birdies, an eagle and one par. This time, Hoge was more up and down with five birdies and three bogeys.
Kim, whose first tour victory came here in 2016 and made history a year later as the youngest-ever winner of The Players Championship, shot a 65 to move up.
Kim got it going on the front nine (his final nine) after starting with nine consecutive pars. He had six bogeys coming in, including the final two holes to move on top.
Kim's approach shots down the stretch were on target — his final five birdie putts were all from 12 feet or closer.
He said the rough at Sedgefield Country Club was “more sticky and deep” this year.
“It helps more to hit fairway, that's really important,” Kim said. “That's why I hit it more, try to focus on ,,, the fairway.”
Like Hoge, the 28-year-old Gooch is seeking his first tour victory. Like Kim, Gooch shot 65 to get into the foursome on top.
It was the first time on tour Gooch, who opened with a 65, had multiple rounds that low in the same event. He had six birdies, including two of his final three holes, to move up.
“Anytime you shoot 65, it does't matter who, what, when, where, why, you've done some good,” he said.
Horschel shot 64 and had birdies on four of last six holes, including a tricky 7-footer on his final one, the ninth, to join the lead group. Horschel won the 2014 FedEx Cup and said this time of year charges him up.
“I like it when the pressure's on and everyone's looking at you and you need to step up and doing something special,” he said.
The four were a stroke ahead of Harris English (67) , Varner (69), Andrew Landry (65), Doc Redman (64) and British Open champ Shane Lowry, who shot a 63 to tie for Friday's low round with Jason Kokrak.
Lowry did not get to defend his major when the tournament was cancelled due to the global pandemic. He also entered the week at 131 in FedEx Cup points, outside of the upcoming playoffs.
After a bogey on his second hole, Lowry had six birdies and an eagle to move into contention.
“Obviously, I'm outside the FedEx Cup number and out of Boston next week, so I need to keep playing some good golf and try and polish off a good week,” he said.
Kokrak was in a group of seven one shot further back along with past Wyndham champ Webb Simpson, who shot his second straight 66.
Those three strokes back included Patrick Reed (68), Paul Casey (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (64).
A pair of major champions in the thick of last week's PGA Championship in Brooks Koepka and Justin Rose did not make the cut.
Koepka had a 70, including a triple-bogey 7 on the 10th hole, to finish at 2-over, 12 shots behind. Rose rallied to a 67 after an opening 73, but his even-par was not enough to continue.
“Not physically tired, more mentally,” said Koepka, who’s played in sixth straight tournaments with the playoffs ahead. “But I’ve got the weekend off.”
Champions — Jerry Kelly was the only player at par or better after two days on Firestone’s difficult South Course in the Bridgestone Senior Players Championship in Akron, Ohio, the PGA Tour Champions’ first major of the season.
“You get out of position here, you’re in deep trouble, and that’s what it’s like in a major,” Kelly said. “That’s why I haven’t done that well in that many majors. It’s definitely harder to get back in position.”
Kelly shot an even-par 70 on Friday in tricky wind conditions to remain 2 under, three strokes ahead of fellow Madison, Wisconsin, player Steve Stricker, Colin Montgomerie, Rod Pampling and Robert Karlsson.
“The first day I turned a 64 into a 68 and today I turned an 80 into a 70,” Kelly said. “I didn’t strike it very well today. I didn’t hit fairways like I normally do, so I think if I get back to hitting the fairways, it’s a very playable golf course. But it seemed weird the way the holes were shaped and the way the wind was blowing.”
LPGA — American golfer Stacy Lewis shot a 5-under 66 for the lowest round of the week at the Ladies Scottish Open in North Berwick, Scotland, to take a share of the lead with Azahara Munoz after the second round.
Lewis, a former top-ranked player and a 12-time LPGA Tour champion, birdied the final four holes to bounce back from her only dropped shot — at the 12th — at the Renaissance Club in North Berwick.
The two-time major winner is looking for her first win in nearly three years — since when she has given birth to her first child, Chesnee — to take into next week’s Women’s British Open, which she won in 2013.
European — Sam Horsfield kept up his excellent form since the resumption of the European Tour by shooting 7-under 64 to take a one-stroke lead after the second round of the Celtic Classic in Newport, Wales.
The Englishman has been one of the leading players on the so-called U.K. Swing over the past month, having won the Hero Open for his first professional title and earning a top-10 finish in the British Masters.
With an eagle at the par-5 18th hole, Horsfield moved to 11 under par for the tournament being held at Celtic Manor, the venue for the 2010 Ryder Cup.
US Amateur — Wellesley’s Michael Thorbjornsen lost to Oklahoma State’s Aman Gupta 1-up in their quarterfinal match at windy Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Ore.
Gupta, from Concord, N.C., will face Georgia Tech’s Tyler Strafaci. Strafaci broke a tie with a par on par-4 17th in a 1-up victory over 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Stewart Hagestad.
Gupta tied Thorbjornsen, the 2018 US Junior champion and a Stanford recruit, with a birdie on the par-4 14th and took the lead with a par win on the par-3 15th. Thorbjornsen pulled even with a birdie on the par-4 16th, Gupta won the par-4 17th with a par, and they halved the par-5 18th to end the match.
Matthew Sharpsten and SMU’s Charles Osborne advanced in the lower half of the bracket.