Golf Roundup: Every charges out to Wyndham lead with a 61The Sports Xchange
August 17. 2017 8:58PM
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Matt Every shot a 9-under-par 61 to hold the lead after the first round of the Wyndham Championship on Thursday in steamy conditions at Sedgefield Country Club.
Every posted 29 on the front side before finishing with two birdies on the last four holes as many golfers with morning tee times had strong rounds.
Henrik Stenson made a late-day charge to record a 62 for the second-place slot. It was his best round on the PGA Tour.
Webb Simpson, Vaughn Taylor, Cameron Smith, Tim Wilkinson, Brian Campbell, Harold Varner III and Sam Saunders all posted 63s.
Davis Love III, a three-time winner in Greensboro on the PGA Tour, checked in with 64. He was joined by Rick Lamb and Martin Flores.
Except for Varner, Stenson and Saunders, the top nine players on the leaderboard teed off in the morning.
Every made the cut in only two of his last six tournaments, though he tied for 14th last month in the Canadian Open.
Every drained a shot from the fairway on the first hole, beginning the round with an eagle.
Stenson, with a No. 9 world ranking, is the highest-rated golfer in the field. He closed with a pair of birdies, unable to match Every’s score. Stenson had 63s in tour rounds four times previously.
Stenson has made the cut in only two of his three previous appearances in this event.
Simpson, who began on the back nine, shot 7-under 28 for the first half of his round. He played his final nine holes in even-par, with two birdies and two bogeys.
This is the final tournament prior to the FedEx Cup playoffs, so golfers are jockeying for position in the standings or trying to make it into the top 125 to qualify for the playoff field.
Varner, a former East Carolina golfer, is playing in his home state as he’s from Gastonia. He began the tournament at 138th in the points, so he has plenty at stake. He had two stretches of three consecutive birdies (Nos. 7-9, 13-15).
USA eyes Solheim defense
A roster of some of the best players from the United States and Europe will square off beginning today in the 15th edition of the Solheim Cup, women’s professional golf’s answer to the Ryder Cup, with the American team looking to hold onto the title they forged with a final-day charge in 2015 in Germany.
The event will be held at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in West Des Moines, Iowa, on a composite course pulled from the best holes on the club’s two Pete Dye-designed tracks.
Team USA enters with a chance to win consecutive Solheim Cups for the first time since 2007 and 2009.
The U.S. leads Europe 9-5 all-time in Solheim Cup competition.
“This is all about being a team. It’s not about yourself,” said American Lexi Thompson, who, at No. 2, is the highest ranked player in the Solheim Cup. “It’s about how you come together as a team with your partner, your captain. And you’re not only playing for yourself, you’re playing for your country and your team and that’s what it’s all about. I don’t feel any extra pressure with being No. 2 in the world. That’s not what it’s about. I’m just out here playing the game that I love.”
The United States is a heavy favorite in the event, but something about the Solheim Cup always brings out the best in the European team.
“(Captain) Juli (Inkster) has been on us about playing our games and working hard,” U.S. team mamber Lewis said. “She gave us hard hats to start the week. We’re here to do our work, and that’s kind of the model we took into Germany. And it doesn’t matter who we’re playing against. I don’t care what rankings or anything say.
“That’s the hardest part about match play. Rankings don’t matter,” Lewis added. “It doesn’t matter how many Solheim Cups you’ve played. There’s so many unknowns in this event that you just have to go out there and do your thing. And, as Juli says, ‘just work hard and everything else takes care of itself.’