GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Halfway through the Wyndham Championship, there is quite a crowd near the top of the leaderboard.
Heath Slocum and Scott Langley share the lead at 10-under 130 through two rounds of the PGA Tour’s final event before the playoffs.
Thirteen other players were two strokes or fewer back, including four – Brian Stuard, Nick Watney, Martin Laird and Andrew Svoboda – who were at 9 under.
Local favorite Carl Pettersson – the 2008 winner here who is one of nine players two strokes back – offered some advice for those playing the course where he serves as a member of the board.
“You’ve got to keep your foot on the gas,” he said.
Since the tournament returned to Sedgefield Country Club in 2008, every two-day leader until now had been at 11 under or better.
In what has 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 65 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 is at No. 158 but is well aware that if you can 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.
Slocum had seven birdies during his 65 and moved atop the leaderboard after a run of four in a row late during his second consecutive 65.
He sank a 20-foot birdie putt on the 13th before twice sticking approach shots within seven feet of the flagstick and converting those short putts.
“It was a good stretch, and obviously at this point, you’re going to need a lot,” Slocum said. “You’re going to have some of that to keep yourself in contention and go for it.”
Indeed, that put him in position to challenge for his fifth PGA Tour victory and first since the McGladrey Classic in 2010.
“I do miss this feeling of being in contention,” Slocum said. “Not being in contention for a while, I’m going to savor it.”
Svoboda briefly joined them at 10 under with a birdie on the 17th, but slipped back after missing a 20-foot par putt on the 18th and closing his 64 with a bogey.
Among those bubble players who came to Sedgefield hoping to play their way into the postseason, No. 125 Paul Casey shot a 69 to move to 6 under and put himself well past the cut line of 2 under.
Others ran into bubble trouble: No. 122 Robert Allenby, No. 127 Charlie Beljan and No. 128 Greg Chalmers were among the borderline players who missed the cut.
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