Gary Woodland sits atop leaderboard after 2nd-round 69 at Wells Fargo Championship

Gary Woodland watches his drive from the 16th tee during the second round of the Wells Fargo Championship golf tournament at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, May 7, 2021. (Jeff Siner/The Charlotte Observer via AP)

On a day when the three players who finished ahead of him in Thursday’s first round struggled, former University of Kansas golf standout Gary Woodland moved up to the top of the leaderboard at the Wells Fargo Championship.

After finishing Round 1 at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte in a tie for fourth place with a 4-under 67 on Thursday, Woodland shot a 2-under 69 on Friday and finished the day in a three-way tie for first place with Matt Wallace and Patrick Rodgers, who shot 4-under and 3-under respectively on Friday.

Woodland fired two birdies and two bogeys in his opening nine holes on Friday and followed that up with two more birdies on his second nine.

In his first 36 holes at the event, Woodland recorded 10 birdies and four bogeys to go along with 22 pars.

First-round leader Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley, who shot one stroke better than Woodland on Thursday, both shot 4-over on Friday to fall down the leaderboard.

The Topeka native and former Jayhawk is looking for his best finish since tying for sixth at the Valero Open in early April.

He had missed the cut in four of his last seven events entering this week, including last week at Innisbrook, which, according to the Associated Press, inspired him to go back to working with his previous coaches, Butch Harmon and Pete Cowen.

The move helped Woodland’s game mentally and physically. He told the AP that his hip was not bothering him this week and his swing feels great.

Had it not been for him playing Nos. 16-18 in 3-over par through the first two rounds, Woodland might be in the lead all by himself. Still, he likes where he’s headed.

“I’ve seen some shots this week that I just haven’t seen in a long time,” he told the AP. “The golf swing feels so much better. Confidence has gone way up, which I did not have really in the last year. … It’s exciting right now.”


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