Jon Rahm accomplished so much so quickly that he began to wonder what else was left for him to achieve in his first full year on the PGA Tour.
He now has 10 million reasons to play his best golf.
Already very much in the hunt for the FedEx Cup and its $10 million bonus, Rahm took another step Saturday when he made an eagle and five birdies over his last 10 holes for a five-under-par 66 and a two-shot lead at the halfway point of the Dell Technologies Championship.
Rahm already has a short history of strong finishes in his first trip to the TPC Boston in Norton, Mass.
One day after he birdied four of his last five holes, he made a 12-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th and then shot 31 on the front nine to reach nine-under 133.
No one could catch him in the afternoon, least of all Dustin Johnson.
Johnson, the world’s No. 1 player who had a one-shot lead going into the second round, had a pair of double bogeys after a quick start and needed a birdie on the 18th hole to keep from falling further behind. Johnson shot a 72 and was five shots behind.
It’s already been an amazing year for Rahm. The 22-year-old Spaniard was No. 137 at the start of the year. Now he’s at No. 5. His two main goals were to get to East Lake for the Tour Championship and win a tournament.
But after a runner-up at Colonial, he has missed the cut twice and finished out of the top 25 in three other PGA Tour starts.
“It’s probably because I got to the point where I had accomplished so much more than I had set myself to in the beginning of the year that I felt like there was nothing else to do,” he said. “It made me complacent of what I had accomplished all year. I didn’t play with the same intensity. I really didn’t have a goal.
“It’s taken me two months to realize what I’ve done, and hopefully I can keep surprising myself.”
Paul Casey, who played in the final group last year until Rory McIlroy ran him down, had a 65 and was two shots off the lead along with Adam Hadwin (65), Kevin Streelman (65) and Kyle Stanley (68). Streelman is at No. 90 in the FedEx Cup, and only the top 70 after the Labor Day finish advance to the third playoff event in two weeks outside Chicago.
Rahm was only part of a cool, calm day that left a large crowd entertained, and at times surprised.
Lucas Glover (No. 16) and Grayson Murray (No. 8) each made a hole-in-one that the PGA Tour estimated were 65 seconds apart. Phil Mickelson dropped only one shot on his way to a 67. He was just three shots off the lead at 6-under 136, his best 36-hole score since the FedEx St. Jude Classic in June. Jordan Spieth also turned around his fortunes. Despite missing a pair of birdies inside 7 feet, Spieth still shot a 65 and was in the group four shots behind.
Spieth attributed his slow start in the opening round Friday to waking up on the wrong side of the bed.
“For me, it was just a matter of just stop being cranky,” Spieth said. “I don’t know what to tell you. I was getting more made at bad breaks than you should. It was a bad day at the office yesterday and a really good one today. I’m going to need two really good ones again. But to be within four shots after yesterday’s round is a tremendous accomplishment.”
McIlroy, meanwhile, was headed home after missing the cut as the defending champion for only the second time in his career. McIlroy also missed the cut as defending champion in the 2012 U.S. Open.
McIlroy will still advance to the BMW Championship, though he will need a top finish to get to East Lake for the Tour Championship.
Lewis opens big lead in Portland
Stacy Lewis took a three-stroke lead Saturday in the Cambia Portland Classic in her bid make a big donation to hurricane relief in her hometown and end a long winless streak.
From The Woodlands in the Houston area, Lewis has pledged to give her earnings — first place is worth $195,000 — to the relief efforts. The 11-time LPGA Tour champion also is trying to win for the first time since June 2014.
Tied for the second-round lead with two-time defending champion Brooke Henderson and In Gee Chun, Lewis had eight birdies during a round of seven-under 65 to reach 17 under at tree-lined Columbia Edgewater in Oregon. She opened with rounds of 70 and 64.
Moriya Jutanugarn was second after a 66. Chun was another stroke back after a 69.
Henderson had a 74 to drop into a tie for 13th at eight under. Ai Miyazato also was at eight under after a 72 in her final start in the United States. The Japanese star plans to retire after The Evian Championship in two weeks in France.
McCarron finishes strong to lead Champions event
Scott McCarron eagled the par-five 18th for a six-under 64 and a two-stroke lead in the PGA Tour Champions’ Shaw Charity Classic.
McCarron also eagled the closing hole Friday at Canyon Meadows in Calgary in an opening 63.
First-round leader Kevin Sutherland, McCarron’s childhood rival in Sacramento, Calif., was tied for second with Miguel Angel Jimenez. Sutherland followed his opening 62 with a 67, and Jimenez shot 65.
McCarron has three victories this year and five in the last two seasons on the 50-and-over tour. The three-time PGA Tour winner won the Allianz Championship in February, the major Senior Players Championship in July and the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open two weeks ago.
Scott Dunlap and Todd Hamilton were three strokes back at 10 under after 66s. Nick Faldo had a 64 to join Jerry Kelly and Bob Estes at nine under. Kelly, coming off his first senior title last week in the Boeing Classic in Washington, and Estes each shot 65.