Friday’s golf roundup: Jackson’s Brian Stuard one shot off lead at Wyndham
Greensboro, N.C. — Heath Slocum needs a strong finish at the Wyndham Championship to earn a spot in the PGA Tour’s postseason.
Scott Langley might not be on the playoff bubble — but he sure knows how his friend is feeling.
Slocum and Langley each shot 5-under 65 for the second straight day Friday to share the lead at 10-under 130.
Brian Stuard (Oakland University), Nick Watney, Martin Laird and Andrew Svoboda were a stroke back.
Stuard shot a 65 on Friday in a round that included five birdies and an eagle.
Ryo Ishikawa had the best round of the day — a 62 that was one stroke off the course record and included six birdies on the back nine.
In what’s become an annual rite of mid-August, the field is littered with players trying to prolong their seasons for at least one more week by cracking the top 125 on the points list and qualifying for the first round of the playoffs, which begin next week at The Barclays in New Jersey.
Langley isn’t one of them.
The second-year pro’s main concern is chasing his first PGA Tour victory.
He isn’t feeling quite as much stress as he did here last year, when he missed the cut yet squeaked into The Barclays at No. 124.
“Last year, so much going through my head as a rookie, not knowing how to handle it,” Langley said. “I was thinking a little too much about things that I really have no control over in terms of keeping my card, what other guys are doing. Lesson learned.”
Langley ran off three straight birdies early in his round and closed with two in a row after putting both of his approach shots less than 6 feet from the stick.
At No. 81 on the points list, his spot next week is safe.
He’s at No. 158 but is well aware that if you can somehow get into the playoffs, anything can happen.
Five years ago, he made the playoffs “by the skin of my teeth” at No. 124 — and then went on to win The Barclays.
“I came into this week trying to create a little bit of momentum for me to whether I could somehow get myself into the playoffs or the (Web.com) finals,” Slocum said.
Doug LaBelle II (Mount Pleasant) followed his 72 on Thursday with a 65 and is 3-under after the second round.
Justin Hicks (Grosse Ile) shot a 69 Friday and is at 2-under, just making the cut to play on the weekend.
Brittany Lincicome opened a three-stroke lead Friday in the wind-swept LPGA Championship, the tour’s fourth major championship of the season. The long-hitting Lincicome followed her opening 67 with a 68 to reach 9 under at Monroe Golf Club. She won the 2009 Kraft Nabisco for her lone major title and has five LPGA Tour victories.
Lexi Thompson, tied for the first-round lead with Meena Lee, dropped into a tie for second with defending champion Inbee Park of South Korea. Thompson had a 72, and Park shot 66.
John Cook birdied the final two holes for a 7-under 65 and a share of the first-round lead with Olin Browne on Friday in the Champions Tour’s Dick’s Sporting Goods Open. Cook had eight birdies and a bogey on the En-Joie course. Browne birdied five of the last seven holes in a bogey-free round.
Michigan Women’s Amateur
Jennifer Elsholz of Grand Rapids birdied the 17th hole Friday to turn back Lindsey McPherson of Flushing, 2 and 1, in the final match of the 98th Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship at the University of Michigan Golf Course.
Elsholz, a senior at the University of Toledo, became just the fifth golfer to win the GAM Championship and the Michigan Women’s Amateur in the same summer.
In the morning, Elsholz fired four birdies across the back nine to battle from 3 down to edge Kimberly Dinh of Midland, 1-up.