NEWBURGH, Ind. (WEHT)-
NEWBURGH, Indiana – On a day when Hurricane Laura’s outer bands suspended play for over two-and-a-half hours at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance, Seth Reeves and Chris Kirk sat tied atop the leaderboard at 10-under as play was called due to darkness.
Reeves, who finished his opening-round 65 in near darkness on Thursday night, got little rest before starting his second round on the par-5 10th early Friday morning before the rain settled in. Birdies on four of his first eight holes pushed the former Georgia Tech golfer to 11-under and into the outright lead, but a pair of back-nine bogeys on Nos. 3 and 7 moved him back down the leaderboard.
At the par-5 ninth – his last – Reeves hit a delicate wedge from a downhill lie to 4 feet to set up a closing birdie and a 10-under 134 total, good for the clubhouse lead at the time.
“I was at the golf course all day, so it will just be nice to get away for a little bit because we just played golf in the dark and go back, try to fall asleep and play golf again. I told my caddie, or I asked him, I was like, ‘Did we even sleep?’ I just feel like we’ve just been golfing for the last 24 hours,” said Reeves after his round.
With softer conditions on a Victoria National course which traditionally demands perfection in every facet of the game, Reeves – along with the rest of the field – has felt as though he’s had more of a green light this week, and his scoring has showed.
“My game plan has been to play more aggressive off the tees, and there’s plenty of room if you’re okay with hitting it out of the rough with a lob wedge or something or out of some weeds with a lob wedge, I’ll take a lob wedge over a 9-iron out of the fairway,” said Reeves. “That’s been my game plan. Just got to fight through the tough stretches and wait until you kind of get to your flow again.”
Reeves is one month removed from notching the first win of his Korn Ferry Tour career at the Pinnacle Bank Championship in Omaha. He overcame a first-round 74 with a final-round 64 to erase an eight-shot deficit on Sunday for the win, marking the largest come-from-behind victory on Tour since Peter Tomasulo’s win at the 2010 Ford Wayne Gretzky Classic.
Prior to his victory, Reeves had missed six straight cuts and entered the week ranked No. 135 on the points list. With the win, he jumped 117 spots to No. 18 on the points list, entering the week in Evansville at No. 21 with a T18 at the Albertsons Boise Open being his best finish since.
The 31-year-old is trying to make his way back to the PGA TOUR after earning his card through the Korn Ferry Tour in 2018, thanks to a pair of top-five finishes in the Finals that season.
Kirk, a four-time PGA TOUR winner, opened his week with a 5-under 67 and was 5-under through 16 holes in his second round when darkness set in.
The former University of Georgia star is making his third Korn Ferry Tour start of the season and his second since winning The King & Bear Classic in June, where he posted 26-under for his first Tour win since 2010 – a season in which he won twice and finished second on the money list to earn his TOUR card. That year, Kirk won the Fort Smith Classic and Visit Knoxville Open, along with two runner-up finishes in playoff losses, en route to a second-place finish on the money list.
Kirk’s four PGA TOUR titles include the 2011 Sanderson Farms Championship; 2013 RSM Classic; 2014 Deutsche Bank Championship; 2015 Charles Schwab Challenge. He reached a career-best 17th in the Official World Golf Ranking following the Charles Schwab Challenge victory.
Nicholas Lindheim, Taylor Moore and Greyson Sigg are tied for third at 9-under-par.
The 35-year-old Lindheim spent much of the soggy afternoon tied for the lead at 10-under par, but while finishing in the dark after the horn sounded, bogeyed the par-5 ninth to drop a shot on his final hole of the day.
Lindheim took a few years to make it to the Korn Ferry Tour, playing mini-tours and then PGA TOUR Latinoamérica before securing his card in 2014 – which was also the same year he qualified for the U.S. Open, finishing T56 in his major championship debut.
In 2016, Lindheim won the Utah Championship en route to securing his first PGA TOUR card for the 2016-17 season. When he lost his card, he returned to the Korn Ferry Tour Finals and again found paydirt, this time with a victory at the 2017 DAP Championship to secure his spot back on golf’s biggest stage. On his second stint, Lindheim maintained conditional status on TOUR, but lost his card again after making 5 of 17 cuts during the 2018-19 season.
Thus far in 2020, he’s recorded a pair of top-five finishes, including a season-best-tying T4 at the Albertsons Boise Open two weeks ago.
*Friday’s weather: Rain, showers and thunderstorms, with a high of 84. Wind S/SE at 10-15 mph with gusts up to 20 mph. Play was suspended at 2:19 p.m. due to inclement weather and resumed at 5:00 p.m.
* Second-round play was suspended due to darkness at 7:23 p.m. Second-round play will resume at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, with third-round play beginning approximately at 9:50 a.m. in threesomes off of Nos. 1 and 10. There are 54 players who did not finish their rounds on Friday.
* This week’s purse is $1,000,000 with $180,000 going to the champion. The champion will also receive 750 Korn Ferry Tour points.
* Four of the 17 second-round leaders/co-leaders have gone on to win this season. Curtis Luck earned his first Korn Ferry Tour title after holding the 36-hole lead at last week’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship.
* This would mark the first 36-hole lead/co-lead of Reeves’ Korn Ferry Tour career.
* This would mark the first 36-hole lead/co-lead of Kirk’s Korn Ferry Tour career; however, Kirk has held at least a share of the 36-hole lead three times on the PGA TOUR, converting the lead into victory one time at the 2013 RSM Classic.
* Moore entered the week with two consecutive missed cuts and ranked No. 55 on the points list. In two prior starts at Victoria National, he posted T33 and T5 finishes, respectively in 2017 and 2018. The T5 stands as one of five top-five finishes he’s recorded in his Tour career.
* Moore, who starred in college at the University of Arkansas, failed to advance to the 2019 Korn Ferry Tour Championship at Victoria National after missing a number of early-season events following a collapsed lung.
* Sigg, who was tied for the lead late into Friday night, double-bogeyed the par-3 fifth (his 14th) but rallied with a birdie on the par-3 seventh to move back to 9-under with one hole to play. In his first year on Tour, Sigg has impressed quickly, notching three top-10 finishes to sit at No. 23 on the points list. All told, the former University of Georgia golfer has 10 top-25s in 16 starts.
* Trevor Cone recorded an ace on the 212-yard par-3 fifth on Friday. It’s the 13th hole-in-one on Tour this year and the first since the WinCo Foods Portland Open.
*The Korn Ferry Tour Championship serves as the final event of the four-event Korn Ferry Tour Championship Series, which includes elevated purses and points. Five exemptions into the 2020 U.S. Open are also available to the top-five players (not otherwise exempt) in a points list specific to the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco, Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship and Korn Ferry Tour Championship. The top-10 players on the Korn Ferry Tour’s overall point standings following the conclusion of the Korn Ferry Tour Championship will also earn entry into the PGA TOUR’s additional events (also known as opposite-field events) during the 2020-21 season.
* The combined 2020-21 Korn Ferry Tour schedule will conclude with 25 PGA TOUR cards awarded at the 2021 WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by KraftHeinz, with an additional 25 cards awarded at the conclusion of the 2021 Korn Ferry Tour Finals.
(This story was originally published on Aug. 28, 2020)
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