Brooks Koepka showed some muscle and unleashed a monstrous finish Friday to share the lead in The Northern Trust.
Tiger Woods missed yet another putt and was relieved to still be playing.
Koepka spent most of the second round trading birdies and bogeys, going nowhere. One swing changed everything on the 631-yard 13th hole at Ridgewood Country Club. From just under 310 yards, he swung 3-wood as hard as he could and saw the tight draw that had been missing all day. It stopped 20 feet from the hole, Koepka made it for eagle and then closed with three straight birdies for a 6-under 65.
He tied Jamie Lovemark, who shot a 66.
“I wasn’t happy the first 11 holes the way I hit it,” Koepka said. “When I hit that 3-wood, it all clicked. I felt like I was finally able to release the golf club. Just tried to hit as hard as I could, big draw. Aimed at the tree on the right and tried to draw it back to the flag. When I did that, everything started to click.”
The U.S. Open and PGA champion took it from there.
Lovemark, winless in 135 starts as a pro, made five birdies in a six-hole stretch around the turn and was the first to reach 10-under 132.
Before long, a list of contenders lined up behind them in an entertaining start to the FedEx Cup playoffs.
Adam Scott, building on his confidence from playing in the final group at the PGA Championship, had a 64 for the low round of the tournament and was one shot behind. Another shot back was Dustin Johnson, the world No. 1, who had another 67 that for the second straight day featured a triple bogey on his card. At least he got this one out of the way early, taking five shots from a mangled lie in deep rough behind the first green.
“That was not a fun start,” Johnson said. “There was nothing to do but laugh at that point.”
Bryson DeChambeau had a 66 and joined Johnson at 134. The group at 7-under 135 included Sean O’Hair, who is No. 112 in the FedEx Cup and needs to get to No. 70 by the third playoff event at the BMW Championship being played this year at Aronimink, his home club outside Philadelphia. He already is planning to play the member-guest a few weeks later, but O’Hair would love to play Aronimink for a $9 million purse.
Woods was not part of the action, even though he hit the ball beautifully. Woods had a birdie putt on every hole until the par-3 15th, when his tee shot rolled just off the green against the collar. All he had to show for it was two birdies, giving him four birdies in 36 holes.
He finished with a three-putt bogey from just inside 30 feet, giving him another 71. He made the cut on the number, leaving him 10 shots behind.
Yang leads CP Women’s Open; Henderson shot back
Any Yang shot a 7-under 65 on Friday to take the second-round lead in the CP Women’s Open, a stroke ahead of Canadian star Brooke Henderson and Angel Yin at Wascana Country Club.
Yang, the three-time LPGA Tour winner from South Korea, birdied four of the first five holes and finished with nine birdies and two bogeys. She had a 13-under 131 total.
The 20-year-old Henderson, from Smiths Falls, Ontario, had her second straight 66.
Jocelyne Bourassa is the only Canadian to win the national championship, accomplishing the feat in the inaugural 1973 La Canadienne at Montreal Municipal. Henderson won the LOTTE Championship in April in Hawaii for her sixth tour title.
Yin shot 67. She eagled the par-5 12th and closed with three straight birdies on Nos. 7-9.
Daly fades as Green takes sole lead at Czech Masters
Gavin Green boosted his chances of becoming the first Malaysian to win on the European Tour after the second round of the Czech Masters on Friday, while John Daly followed his opening 64 with a poor 3-over 75.
Five bogeys in his round meant that former British Open and U.S. PGA Championship winner Daly slipped to a tie for 36th place on 5-under 139 after the 52-year-old American had started the day in a share of the lead with Green, Callum Tarren and Thomas Pieters.
Green took first place outright after seven birdies, one bogey and a double bogey gave him a 4-under 68 and a one-stroke advantage over Jeff Winther of Denmark, who also returned a 68 at the Albatross Golf Resort near Prague.
“It was an up and down day,” Green said. “I had a couple of really good holes, good birdies, and made some putts, but I had a couple of bad decisions that led to a double.
“It’s fun to be leader and it’s been a while since I’ve been in this position so I’m going to enjoy it — my dad’s on the bag so we’re going to have a nice dinner maybe and a good sleep and continue tomorrow.”
Sharing third position on 134, two shots off the pace, were Pieters (70), Padraig Harrington (68), Andrea Pavan (69) and Tapio Pulkkanen (69). Eddie Pepperell of England, who is hoping to climb into an automatic qualifying slot in the penultimate counting event for Europe’s Ryder Cup team, was on 137 after a 71.
Jones, Parel, Pernice share Boeing Classic lead
Scott Parel, Tom Pernice Jr. and Kent Jones shot 7-under 65 on Friday to share the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions’ Boeing Classic.
The 53-year-old Parel closed with a bogey on the par-5 18th after birdieing the previous four holes. He’s also winless as a senior tour.
“It was a lot of fun until the last three shots,” Parel said. “When you hit a tee shot like that on 18 and you make a bogey, dinner’s not going to taste too good tonight. It’s the first day, so being the leader today doesn’t really mean anything. The leader after Sunday is what counts.”
The 58-year-old Pernice finished on the front nine, making birdies on Nos. 7 and 8. He has five Champions victories after winning twice on the PGA Tour.
“It was a nice day to play golf,” Pernice said. “Not much wind and the course is very receptive.”
The 51-year-old Jones birdied four of his last five holes, playing in the last group of the day off the first tee. He’s winless on the senior tour.
Scott McCarron, Steve Pate and Ken Tanigawa were a stroke back. Kent Jones. Miguel Angel Jimenez was at 67 with Bob Estes, Billy Andrade and Mike Grob.
Darren Clarke and Chris DiMarco made their debuts on the 50-and-over tour in a group with hometown star Fred Couples. Clarke had a 68, Couples shot 71, and DiMarco 74.
“I love playing up here, I like the course,” Couples said. “I just need to clean up some bad swings. The best players aren’t doing that, they’re getting it around.”
Bernard Langer shot 68 for his 10th straight under-par round at Snoqualmie Ridge. The German star won the event in 2010 and 2016. Defending champion Jerry Kelly also opened with a 68.