Plenty of movement took place on the FedEx Cup front in Thursday's first round of the Wyndham Championship. John Huh is your leader and if he goes on to win this weekend he would leap from outside the top 110 to inside the top 140 heading into the FedEx St. Jude Invitational next week at TPC Southwind.
That's not the most important jump though as a few golfers moved from outside the ever-important top 125 to inside of it, which means two more -- including a former Ryder Cup participant -- could fall outside of the top 125 and miss out on next week's first playoff event.
We'll take a look at all of that as well as who's challenging the lead and who is best positioned on the odds board to make a move over the next 54 holes of play at Sedgefield Country Club.
T1. John Huh (-9): Huh shot one of the great rounds of his life Thursday. Not only was he three strokes better than everybody except Sungjae Im, but he also finished in the top 10 in this field in approach shots, from tee to green and with his putter. He hit 17 of 18 greens in regulation, gave himself nine birdie looks inside of 12 feet (and made a 38-foot eagle putt), made seven birdies and that eagle and now stands to check off what would be just his second top 10 on the PGA Tour since 2018 (Huh also finished in the top 10 at the Honda Classic earlier this season). Afterward, he actually didn't sound too confident about where he was heading into Round 2.
"I'm actually surprised I'm at the top of the leaderboard, yeah, to be quite honest with you," Huh said. "I didn't really feel my game was there, but it's one of those days where I took advantage of some good shots and good breaks, I think."
2. Sungjae Im (-7)
T3. Brandon Wu, Peter Malnati (-6)
T5. Austin Smotherman, Cameron Percy, Brian Stuard, Ryan Moore, Alex Smalley, Aaron Wise, Ben Kohles, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Michael Gligic (-5)
Im rolled in after a T2 at the 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities a few weeks ago, and he put on a show in all facets. Incredibly, Im made just four birdies but still shot 63, which cannot have happened very many times in PGA Tour history. That's because he eagled both par 5s en route to his 7-under number. Im is gaining momentum at the right time with the playoffs on deck. As it stands right now, he would be No. 8 in the FedEx Cup rankings going to Memphis, and a win could put him just behind Rory McIlroy at No. 7. He's not had the greatest summer so it's been easy to forget how solid he's been throughout the season, but he can become a legit threat to win the FedEx Cup with another high finish this weekend.
A rarity on Tour
Tom Kim pulled off something that hasn't happened in three years when he made a quad at the first and finished his day under par. Kim made seven birdies (three on the front and four on the back) to shoot the 3-under 67, and now he's suddenly T21 and just three back of third place.
"I was laughing," Kim said of the situation. "There was like nothing I could do. It was just the first hole and gosh, I just got a really bad lie and then didn't really have another good lie and didn't really have another good lie, didn't really have another good lie. It turned out not bad."
Joohyung Kim made a quadruple bogey on his first hole (No. 1) and went on to shoot a 3-under 67.— PGA TOUR Communications (@PGATOURComms) August 4, 2022
Kim is the third player in the ShotLink era (est. 2003) to make a quadruple bogey or worse on the first hole of a round and go on to card an under-par score.
Biggest FedEx Cup movers from Thursday
Patrick McDonald started this look last week at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, and I wanted to continue it this week at Sedgefield as we see who moved up the increasingly important FedEx Cup rankings and who is in danger of dropping out of the top 125.
|Name||Official FedEx Cup Rank||Projected FedEx Cup Rank|
Fowler missed a par putt on his last hole that would have put him in a nice position to make the cut. As it stands he's T107 after 18 holes and has some real work to do Friday to make it to next weekend and not miss his second consecutive FedEx Cup Playoffs.
2022 Wyndham Championship updated odds and picks
- Sungjae Im: 17/5
- John Huh: 17/2
- Aaron Wise: 14-1
- Billy Horschel: 20-1
- Russell Henley: 22-1
- Alex Smalley: 25-1
- Christiaan Bezuidenhout: 25-1
- J.T. Poston: 28-1
- Brandon Wu: 28-1
- Tom Kim: 30-1
Horschel sits where he began the tournament at 20-1 after shooting 3-under 67 on Thursday in the first round. Im is a worthy favorite given how nicely he played in Minnesota and his level of talent in this field. If I had to make a pick here, I'd probably go further down the board to Austin Smotherman at 50-1. He hit the ball better than anyone in the tournament on Thursday, didn't putt at all and still shot 65. He's made four cuts in a row worldwide, and he's on a nice number way down the board at 50-1. If not Smotherman, I'd probably go with Henley at 22-1 after his 3-under 67.