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Groove stays good for leader

GREENSBORO, N.C. — If any member's bounces went Carl Pettersson's way Thursday at Sedgefield Country Club, there was a good reason.

"That's right. I am a member," Pettersson said, laughing. "I forgot."

Pettersson shot 8-under 62 to take the first-round lead in the Wyndham Championship, the final event before the FedEx Cup playoffs.

David Mathis and Tim Clark were a stroke back, and Tom Gillis, Scott Stallings and Troy Matteson shot 64. Tampa resident Ryuji Imada shot 67.

The top of the leaderboard had a local flavor. Pettersson went to high school in Greensboro and lives in Raleigh, and he and Clark played at North Carolina State. Mathis grew up in Winston-Salem, played collegiately at Campbell and lives in Wake Forest.

Pettersson, a Swede who became an American citizen during the offseason, had the best first round of his PGA Tour career and his best round at this event since 2008, when he set the tournament record with a second-round 61 and went on to win.

Starting on the back nine, he reeled off consecutive birdies on Nos. 5-8 to move to 8 under. He had a chance to match his record on No. 9 but pushed his 30-foot birdie putt roughly a foot to the right of the hole.

It was another strong round for Pettersson, who won the RBC Heritage in April and has five top-10 finishes this year. That includes a tie for third Sunday at the PGA Championship, which would have been a second-place finish had he not been assessed a two-stroke penalty in the final round for grazing a leaf with his backswing while hitting out of a lateral water hazard.

"I think this game is very streaky," Pettersson said. "It seems like when you're playing well, you never think you're going to play bad. When you're playing bad, you never think you're going to play well."

ryder cup: European captain Jose Maria Olazabal announced three of his four vice captains: Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley and Thomas Bjorn. The Ryder Cup is Sept. 28-30 at the Medinah Country Club in Chicago.

u.s. amateur: Bobby Wyatt, who entered match play as the top seed in the 64-player field after tying the tournament record by shooting 9-under 132 in the two-day, 36-hole qualifying rounds, beat Taylor Hancock of Clearwater 4-and-2 at Cherry Hills Village, Colo. Wyatt, 20, plays at Alabama.

Groove stays good for leader 08/16/12 [Last modified: Thursday, August 16, 2012 9:25pm]

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