Jimmy Walker left the booming, highlight-reel drives to his playing partner. A low score was good enough for him.
Walker shot an 8-under 62 on Friday to take the lead at 12-under 128 after two rounds in the Wyndham Championship.
Defending champion Webb Simpson (63) was one stroke back. First-round leader Carl Pettersson (68), Tim Clark (67), Sergio Garcia (63) and rookie Harris English (64) were at 10 under.
Tim Herron matched the tournament record with a 61, but was still nine strokes back.
Play was halted for 1 hour, 17 minutes late in the day when a system of thunderstorms passed through the central North Carolina Triad.
Walker, who began the day four strokes back, had eight birdies in compiling one of the best two-day scores in event history. Only Pettersson at 125 in 2008 was better than Walker through 36 holes at Sedgefield Country Club.
“I was playing with J.B. (Holmes), and he was bombing the driver everywhere, and I was just kind of bunting the 5-wood around and hitting good approach shots,” Walker said. “It was pretty boring-looking golf — not a lot of drivers, not a lot of 3-woods. There’s a lot of 5-woods and some irons, and it’s just kind of placement around the golf course.”
Walker hopes his strong round proves that he’s getting back to the form from earlier this year, when the winless 33-year-old Texan finished in the top 10 in three of his first six tournaments.
Things went south when he tore his left meniscus, so instead of going to the U.S. Open, he went to the doctor for a cortisone shot to reduce the swelling.
Now that he can bend down and read greens again, he can do some damage with his putter. He used it just 26 times Friday, and didn’t even need it on No. 2 because he chipped in from 50 feet.
Pettersson, who shot a 62 on Thursday while playing in the morning, found his familiar Sedgefield course to play tougher in the afternoon. The Raleigh resident and member of the country club’s board of directors had two bogeys in a three-hole span midway his round, then came on strong with consecutive birdies on Nos. 9-10 and an eagle on the par-5 15th.