GREENSBORO, N.C. — From advancing through make-or-break qualifying in order to crack the Wyndham Championship field to reaching the weekend, Blake McShea has turned his first PGA Tour event into a rewarding if not unexpected ride.
The former UNCW standout delivered a 5-under 65 during the second round Friday at Sedgefield Country Club and moved to 6 under for the tournament, within three shots of leaders Joohyung Kim, Ryan Moore and Brandon Wu.
McShea has not only made the cut ahead of notable casualties such as Webb Simpson, Rickie Fowler, Harold Varner III, Kevin Kisner and Davis Love III — who were below the cut line when play was suspended at 5:36 p.m. due to storms — he’s in position to challenge for the Sam Snead Cup, the trophy given to the Wyndham winner.
“Pretty excited, pretty pumped up,” McShea said. “(Thursday) teeing off I was a little bit nervous, but after the first tee ball, it’s just like any other competition. You play well, you’re going to do well and if you don’t, then you won’t.”
McShea, 24, carded a clean second round Friday with five birdies and no bogeys, after weathering two bogeys and a double bogey on the par-4 14th hole to shoot 1-under 69 during the first round.
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He said he’s trying to “keep it light, have some fun out there,” while a number of family members and friends root for him among the Sedgefield spectators, including his kindergarten teacher.
“There’s so many people out here, I haven’t even seen all the (familiar) faces,” he said, “but couldn’t be more grateful for it.”
McShea claimed CAA Player of the Year honors in 2021 as a fifth-year college senior at UNCW, where he holds the second-lowest career scoring average (72.32 strokes) in men’s golf program history.
He earned a spot in Monday’s qualifier by shooting 2-under 69 at Bermuda Run Country Club in Clemmons. Then, as one of 23 players competing for four available spots in the Wyndham, he finished eagle-birdie on the final two holes to produce a 6-under 65, good enough to secure the qualifying breakthrough.
Three days later, McShea teed it up here as a first-time PGA Tour participant.
“Sometimes you get breaks, sometimes you don’t,” he said. “I just try to take it one shot at a time, don’t get ahead of myself.”
Story originally appeared on GolfWeek