Wyndham Championship 2020: Harold Varner III Among Leaders After Thursday

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 13, 2020

Harold Varner III watches his shot on the 18th hole during the first round of the Wyndham Championship golf tournament at Sedgefield Country Club on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020, in Greensboro, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Chris Carlson/Associated Press

Three golfers opened with a 62 at the 2020 Wyndham Championship, with Harold Varner III, Tom Hoge and Roger Sloan each sharing the lead after Round 1.

These men took different paths to eight under Thursday, but it showed the low scores that are needed to compete this week at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina. There were 87 players in the red before play was suspended due to weather. Most of the field was already in the clubhouse before the rain began.

With notable golfers like Webb Simpson, Patrick Reed and Paul Casey still in contention with 54 holes to play, this will be a competitive event over the next three days.

      

Round 1 Leaderboard

T1. Harold Varner III (-8)

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T1. Tom Hoge (-8)

T1. Roger Sloan (-8)

4. Harris English (-6)

T5. Wesley Bryan (-5)

T5. Brian Harman (-5)

T5. Si Woo Kim (-5)

T5. Patrick Reed (-5)

T5. Chesson Hadley (-5)

T5. Talor Gooch (-5) Thru 16

T5. Hank Lebioda (-5) Thru 16

T5. Ryan Brehm (-5) Thru 14

Full leaderboard and stats available at PGATour.com.

    

Varner was on the course early and put up the mark to beat by cruising to a 62, finishing with eight birdies and zero bogeys.

It matched the best round of his PGA career, although he said afterwards he should have aimed for a 59 on the final few holes.

"I wish I would have thought about it, just to get some more goosebumps," Varner said, per Ryan Lavner of Golf Channel.

The East Carolina University product grew up nearby this course in Gastonia, North Carolina, so he has some home advantage even without fans in attendance. The challenge will be keeping the momentum for three more days in this tournament.

Tom Hoge was even better at times, with his eagle-birdie combo on No. 15 and 16 putting him into the solo lead:

A bogey on No. 18 ruined his flawless day, but it was still an impressive start for the American.

Meanwhile, his pairing partner Roger Sloan matched him every step of the way and got to eight-under thanks to nine birdies and a bogey.

The two took different routes, but were equally impressive:

Though each player is off to a strong start, Webb Simpson remains one of the players to beat even four strokes back thanks to his previous success at this event:

Other big names didn't fare too well, including the superstar grouping of Brooks Koepka, Justin Rose and Jordan Spieth.

Koepka (+2) and Rose (+3) each finished over par, while Spieth was the best of the pairing with an even 70 and some rare bright spots:

All three of them have the talent to climb back up the leaderboard in Round 2 but will first have to ensure they reach the weekend.

Round 2 begins at 7:30 a.m. ET with players likely aiming for a pretty low cut line.