Greensboro, NC – Ryan Moore didn’t exactly come to the Wyndham Championship with visions of playing his way to the FedExCup playoffs.
He was ranked 183 on the eligibility list after all. Not that he’s done the math – Moore confirms he was “just trying to find a little shape” this week – but just finishing second or better would lift him to the fully-exempt 125 class and send him to qualifying. .
“I’m trying to do everything I can this week,” Moore explained. “I’m just trying to gain some confidence next season, to be honest.”
Mission accomplished, then, at least for the first two rounds.
Moore is tied for the lead as Brandon Wu, Songjae M and Tom Kim enter the Sedgefield Country Club weekend. He is currently projecting number 68 in the FedExCup and could become the third player to win the Wyndham Championship to the top 125.
Third Davis Love was the first to do so when he went from 186 to 76 in winning the championship for the third time in 2015. Jim Hermann also booked a trip to the playoffs with his win in 2020, jumping from 192 to 54.
Moore also won the Sam Snead Cup, capturing the PGA TOUR regular season final in 2009, the first of his five wins. He’s battled a chronically bad back lately, and he’s been particularly impressed this year, missing out on nearly four months of competition.
Doctors finally identified the problem – Moore has a chronic deterioration of the supraspinal rib joint that connects the rib to the spine. It won’t require surgery, but Moore will need to allot six to eight weeks of treatment.
“I basically just keep twisting it over and over, which you can imagine not feeling the twisting and swinging of the golf club as hard as I can,” he said. “I’m just going to try to finish the year and deal with it, and then hopefully I’ll have some time to come here to do that.”
Moore missed many of his cuts this year, but the former NCAA champ and US amateur has yet to score in the top 10. His best is a tie for 24th at the John Deere Classic, a shooter’s track like Sedgefield where Moore tied for second last year.
Moore’s rounds were 65 and 66 studies in contrast. He drove really well on Thursday and had three shots close to his nine second nine that were located within a foot of the hole. Friday, though, was more “bullshit,” but he managed to scramble well and save equality when it counts.
“It could have been a day like today or so; instead, I just kept my momentum and ended up at 4 less than that.
The 39-year-old has never been a big hitter, and he says there are fewer and fewer courses in which he feels competitive. Sedgefield, though, is where he’s in his comfort zone – he scored six top-10s and averaged a score of 68.25.
“This is still like more of a golf course for the bullet makers,” Moore said. “So they’re hard to get into sometimes, and they aren’t holes you can send down as much as you can, so I think that helps me. It’s more than just a golf course and you shouldn’t hit it too far here.”
Max McGreevey came to Greensboro after missing the chops in six of his last seven starts. He has found a comfort zone at Sedgefield, where he once played in an AJGA event.
He put 67 McGreevy who fired in the second round of the Wyndham Championship in a chase in the 5-under. It is also expected to be inside the top 125, moving four places to number 122.
“I know it’s been a stressful week, but I know my game has been in the right direction for the past two weeks.” “…just me, my fiancé and our dog this week. It’s just kind of relaxing a bit, just getting out of here, taking care of the work and coming back and relaxing with them.”
However, McGreevey joked that his future wife probably should have taken his phone from him in the past few days.
“I’m so bad about checking out a lot,” he said. “I actually deleted the PGA TOUR this week and Twitter and all that stuff. Honestly, I’m going to look at it a little bit, but at the same time I can just play my game, and I can’t care what other people are doing.
“If I play like I did today for the next couple of days, I know I’ll be in great shape.”
Notes: Charlie Hoffman’s streak of doing FedExCup qualifiers every year of his existence is still alive – but he faces an uphill battle. He is 4 under after matching rounds of 68 but was expected to finish 146 and likely finish 4th or better to enter 125. … week) are the other two who have played in the playoffs every year since the program began in 2007. Came Scott at the Windham Championship ranked No. 73. … Ricky Fowler hit evenly and would miss the score. While he was exempted for the 2022-23 season, he is at risk of missing out on the playoffs for the second year in a row. He came in at No. 123 and was expected to be 127. …Justin Lower’s 4-under shot into the second nine holes on Friday to keep his playoff hopes alive. Loire, who came to the week at number 128 and projects at 131, shot 66 and lowered the number at 2 lower. He probably needs to finish 37th or better to play in Memphis next week. … Webb Simpson, who won the Wyndham Championship in 2011, pulled out during a weather delay. The recently-appointed assistant captain of the Presidents Cup, who had never missed the playoffs when he qualified, entered the tournament at No. 117 and is expected to be No. 123. … Martin Trainer advanced nine places to No. 126 thanks to his second straight run of 67. It is likely that he needs to end a tie in 18th place to retain his exempt status and make the playoffs.
Playoffs Bubble Clock
These are the players who were expected to be in and out of the top 125 at the end of the first round on Thursday at Sedgefield Country Club.
I expected in
Ryan Moore (No. 183, Project No. 68): Moore made the biggest move of the day with his 66 tour.
Max McGreevy (No. 126, Project No. 122): Rookie jumper Hole 17 of the day to move inside the top 125.
Brian Stuard (#137, Project #124): Stuard now fired back-to-back rounds in the 1960s for the first time since the Valspar Championship.
Ricky Fowler (No. 123, Project No. 127): Fowler stunned three of his first four holes but played 14 on 4 under No. 69. However, he’s a championship level equalizer and would likely miss a cutting opportunity.
Matt Wallace (No. 124, Project No. 128): Wallace had an adventurous back nine, making four sparrows, four ghosts, and just one.
Austin Smotherman (No. 125, predicted No. 129): He was over 4 on the day and 1 under the championship through 16 holes when play was called up due to darkness. The current expected reduction includes 65 players in 2 less or better and 88 players in 1 less or better. Four players can influence the cut on Saturday, including Smotherman, Bo Hoag (3 under 16), Chris Gotterup (2 under 17) and Joshua Creel (even through 17).
Editor’s note: Austin Smutrman, who entered Week 125 in the FedExCup standings, committed a double bogey on the ninth hole, his last hole in the second round, to finish 1st and miss the cut and exit the 125th round.