GREENSBORO, N.C. — John Huh didn’t expect the lowest round of his PGA Tour career Thursday in the Wyndham Championship, and he had no complaints about the score or the timing.
Huh made seven of his eight birdie attempts from 10 feet or closer and holed a 40-foot eagle putt on the par-5 15th hole at Sedgefield Country Club for a 9-under 61, giving him a two-shot lead over Sungjae Im in the final tournament before the FedEx Cup playoffs begin.
“It’s kind of strange because I wasn’t really feeling great with my game. To shoot my career low, it’s kind of weird,” Huh said. “Sort of mixed feelings, but I’ll take this any day.”
Huh needed a round like this. He entered the week at No. 120 in the FedEx Cup standings, with only the top 125 advancing to the lucrative postseason next week and having assurance of a full PGA Tour card for next season.
“I know what’s on the line. I knew how important this tournament would be,” Huh said. “At the same time, you’ve just got to go and play. I think I did that really well today.”
Im had two eagles in his round of 63. At No. 15 in the FedEx Cup standings, he is set for the postseason. A good week at Sedgefield could go a long way toward sewing up his spot in the finale at East Lake.
Peter Malnati and Brandon Wu were one shot behind after rounds of 64.
Far more relevant was the group at 65 that included Austin Smotherman, who is at No. 135 in the FedEx Cup standings. He missed only two greens and kept bogeys off his card. Three others at 65 — Ben Kohles, Cameron Percy and Brian Stuard — also were outside the top 125.
Also at 65 was Aaron Wise, who is at No. 34 in the standings and is looking to improve his ranking going into the playoffs. Wise had a five-hole stretch on the back nine that he played in 5 under, including a 30-foot eagle putt on the 15th, before missing the fairway and failing to save par from beyond the green at the 18th.
Will Zalatoris, the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 14 in the world ranking, was hopeful of moving into the top 10 in the FedEx Cup standings and collecting bonus money from the regular season. A two-time runner-up in majors this year, he opened with a 71 and now has to worry about making the cut.
Rickie Fowler also had a 71 playing in the afternoon. He likely needs to make the cut to avoid missing the playoffs for the second straight season.
Huh now has three rounds at 62 or lower on the PGA Tour. He had a 62 at Sedgefield in 2013 and a 62 in Las Vegas in 2016, and he made this one look easy.
He ran off five straight birdies on the front nine, the longest one from 10 feet. After his long eagle putt, he holed a 4-foot putt for birdie on the 17th.
“I hit it close enough and gave myself a chance,” Huh said. “The longest putt I made was for eagle. But other than that, I put it pretty much inside 10 feet and made all that.”