Tom Hoge isn’t in Tiger Woods’ shadow this week at Wyndham


GREENSBORO, N.C. — Maybe it’s time for Tom Hoge to shed Tiger Woods’ shadow at the Wyndham Championship.

Hoge, who has held a place in the footnotes of this event’s history since his weekend pairing with Woods five years ago, maintained his footing among the frontrunners Friday at Sedgefield Country Club.

His 2-under-par 68 put him at 10-under for the tournament, and tied for the second-round lead with Si Woo Kim and Talor Gooch by mid-afternoon here.

“I had a few birdie opportunities I kind of let slip by, some close putts on the last few holes that I’d like to have back,” Hoge said, “but all in all a good day. We’re moving forward. Just know I’ve got to make a lot of birdies the next two days.”

He piled up seven birdies and an eagle during Thursday’s opening round that had him flirting with breaking 60, before settling for 62 after finishing par-bogey on Nos. 17 and 18, the dropped stroke on the last hole leaving him muttering as he walked off the green.

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Back-to-back birdies on the 18th hole and first hole Friday – his group played the back side of the course first, then made the turn to the front nine – climbed Hoge to 11-under midway through the second round. He had two bogeys against one birdie the rest of the way.

It marked the second day in a row that Hoge, who was born in Statesville and has yet to win on the PGA Tour, hit 14 greens in regulation. The two rounds, though, became different in composition.

“A little more work for sure,” he said of Friday. “I was in the rough a little more often and a little out of position where I got above the hole on a few of the pins coming in, had some fast putts and a little more work. Hopefully, kind of got that out of my system.

“I was surprised that the golf course was as dry as it was with as much rain as we got overnight. But I was in the rough quite a bit there early on and it was pretty thick and wet this morning, so a lot of shots you’re just trying to get to the front of the green just coming from that thick rough. So just tried to manage it. Fortunate to be a few under.”

Harris English and reigning British Open champion Shane Lowry were one back of the lead pack at 9-under on Friday afternoon. Roger Sloan, C.T. Pan, Mark Hubbard, Rob Oppenheim and Harold Varner III were knotted together at 8-under for the tournament.

Then a Tour rookie, Hoge played alongside the iconic Woods in the final group of the third round at the 2015 Wyndham tournament.

“Yeah, it was a zoo on Saturday,” Hoge said, recalling the Sedgefield scene from five years ago. “All the people kind of crammed in here, but just a lot of fun. It’s a shame we can’t have the same crowds here this year because the people really support this event well and it’s always fun to come back to.

“But for me, it was a big week trying to get into those FedEx Cup Playoffs that year. Nice to be a little more comfortable this week where I’m not having to worry about that bubble coming into the week.”

Hoge shared the second-round lead with Woods in 2015, one shot ahead of Wyndham fan-favorite Davis Love III. When Woods was asked by reporters that day about his upcoming pairing with Hoge, the answer proved memorable for those in the room.

“Don’t know him, never seen him, don’t know anything about him,” Woods said, smiling then. “There are so many guys out here I don’t know. I’ve been hurt. I haven’t played that much.”



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