Korean star Sungjae Im earned a share of the lead with American Brandon Wu on Saturday as weather disruptions hit the third round of the Wyndham Championship, with compatriot Joohyung “Tom” Kim lying one back and India’s Anirban Lahiri and Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand staying in title contention.
Smooth-swinging Im, who is chasing a third PGA TOUR win and second of the season, made four birdies through 11 holes for a tournament total of 12-under as two weather breaks ensured 74 players resuming their rounds on Sunday, 7.30am.
Entering the week at No. 15 in the FedExCup; the 24-year-old Im needs a two-way tie for second or better to have a chance of finishing in the Comcast Business TOUR TOP 10, which pays US$1 million to the 10th ranked player. Scottie Scheffler has already clinched top spot and will earn US$4 million.
Kim, 20, continued to produce some wonderful golf as he birdied Hole No. 5 and 6 to stay in the running for a dream victory, a week after securing enough FedExCup points to earn his PGA TOUR card for next season. A win will earn him immediate membership with the PGA TOUR and a spot in the FedExCup Playoffs.
Lahiri stood at 3-under through 11 holes and 10-under for the tournament, and was one of those who welcomed the suspension of play as he had made bogey on the 11th hole, which spoilt his card after pencilling birdies on Hole No. 5, 7, 8 and 9.
Making his 300th round on TOUR, big-hitting Kiradech snuck in a career low 63 as he gave himself a final chance to salvage his season and retain his TOUR card. Hitting 17 greens in regulation, he charged up to tied fifth and will enjoy the luxury of a sleep-in on Sunday having completed his third round.
He is currently ranked a lowly 197th on the FedExCup Playoffs and Eligibility List and needs a solo second or better to have a chance of breaking into the top-125 to keep his card and qualify for the first of three Playoffs events in Memphis next week.
A solo fourth or better on Sunday could push Kiradech into the top-150, which offers limited starts for the 2022-23 season. He has also been bogey-free in his last 36 holes, having carded a fine 65 to make the halfway cut on Friday, and it marks only the second time in his PGA TOUR career he has multiple bogey-free rounds in a tournament.
PARTIAL Third-Round Notes – Saturday, August 6, 2022
Weather: Cloudy with afternoon thunderstorms. High of 89. Wind WSW 5-10 mph. The third round was suspended due to dangerous weather situations at 12:20 p.m. (resumed at 1:25 p.m.) and 4:15 p.m. The 74 players who have yet to complete the third round will resume Sunday at 7:30 a.m. Final round tee times will consist of threesomes off split tees from approximately 10:15 a.m. – 12:35 p.m.
Sungjae Im 63-69 (-12 thru 11 holes)
Brandon Wu 64-67 (-12 thru 11 holes)
John Huh 61-71 (-11 thru 11 holes)
Joohyung Kim 67-64 (-11 thru 10 holes)