GREEENSBORO — When the thunder rumbled and the rain came Saturday afternoon, the 83rd Wyndham Championship stopped for the second time to wait out the storm.
But this time the weather wouldn’t relent. This time a steady, soaking farmer’s rain fell until dark.
And that meant Sunday will be a long day for the players left scattered around Sedgefield Country Club’s classic Donald Ross-designed golf course.
Only 12 of the 86 players in the field had finished their third rounds when play was stopped. The rest were all somewhere on their back nines.
Sungjae Im took the solo lead when play resumed Sunday morning, making three birdies and two bogeys among the seven holes he had left in the third round to get to 13-under par.
John Huh was one shot behind, and 23 players were within four shots when the dust settled and the final round began.
So it’s a Sunday shootout, a tradition at the Wyndham Championship.
Saturday ended with storms, and Brandon Wu ended his day with arguably the shot of the day, holing out from the 11th fairway to grab a share of the lead with Im at 12-under par.
“I heard the thunder when we were going to No. 11,” Wu said. “When that shot went in from the fairway, I felt like a basketball player making a buzzer-beater from halfcourt. It was cool.”
Wu’s iron shot from the middle of the fairway landed short of the hole, released and rolled. The ball curled to the left and circled the rim of the cup before falling in for an eagle.
Wu, a 25-year-old Tour rookie and California native who starred at Sanford, started the day 9-under and tied for the lead after rounds of 64 and 67.
He came to Greensboro ranked No. 83 in FedEx Cup points, safely in the playoffs. But a big finish at the Wyndham could put him in the top 25.
“It’s fun being in contention, fun being in the last group today,” Wu said Saturday. “I missed nine of my first 10 cuts to start. … Honestly, it’s been a little bit better the second half of the season. The margins are just so thin out here.”
And so, too, are the margins separating the players on the Wyndham’s leaderboard. When play ended Saturday, there were 22 players within five shots of the lead, some with 18 holes left in the tournament and others with as many as 26 holes remaining.
Im came to Greensboro No. 15 in the FedEx standings, comfortably in the playoffs with a chance to move into the top 10. The 24-year-old South Korean was the 2019 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, and he has played well here.
Im is playing in his fourth consecutive Wyndham Championship, finishing sixth, ninth and 24th in his previous starts. He has scored under par in 14 of 15 competitive rounds here. The outlier was an even-par 70 three years ago.
Wu and first-round leader John Huh joined Im in the final group for Sunday’s final round, with 20-year-old phenom Joohyung “Tom” Kim in the next-to-last group.
The only single shot of the day to compare with Wu’s eagle on No. 11 was Joseph Bramlett’s hole-in-one on No. 16.
Four local charities focused on helping feed families throughout central North Carolina will soon be the recipients of a combined one million Wyndham Rewards® points thanks to PGA TOUR golfer Bramlett and his hole-in-one.
The four charities—Backpack Beginnings, Forsyth Backpacks, Out of the Garden Project and United Way of Greater High Point—are a part of Birdies Fore Backpacks, a key charitable initiative of Wyndham Championship Fore! Good, the signature philanthropic platform of the Wyndham Championship. In addition, Bramlett will also receive one million Wyndham Rewards points. Bramlett used an 8-iron for the 177-yard ace.
“It feels incredible,” Bramlett said. “You know, that’s one of the beautiful things about playing out here is the impact you can have on local communities. To be in a position like I am to hit such a cool shot and have such like a wonderful reaction from it and the trickledown effect like it does just speaks to what Wyndham’s doing with this tournament. For them to really step up and not only reward us when we do cool things, but to really reward the fans and people in the local community is beautiful. I’m humbled and just, I don’t know, just it really hits me hard. It’s a very, very special thing.”
The golfers returned early Sunday morning for a long day’s journey to the end of the Wyndham Championship.
By Jeff Mills. In his career at the News & Record, journalist Jeff Mills won 10 national and 12 state writing awards from the Associated Press Sports Editors, the Society for Features Journalism, and the N.C. Press Association.