Rahm leads after Northern Trust second round

Rahm's 4-under 67 on Friday was enough to get him to 12 under, one stroke ahead of Tony Finau, who posted a second-round, 7-under 64.

Rahm started on the back nine Friday and made one early birdie at No. 13 before heating up with birdies at Nos. 4, 6 and 7.   -  AP

World No. 1 Jon Rahm of Spain remained bogey-free through 36 holes and will carry a one-shot lead into the weekend in the Northern Trust at Liberty National in Jersey City, N.J.

Rahm's 4-under 67 on Friday was enough to get him to 12 under, one stroke ahead of Tony Finau, who posted a second-round, 7-under 64.

Xander Schauffele shot the low round of the day, a 9-under 62, to join first-round co-leader Justin Thomas (69) and Keith Mitchell (64) in a tie for third at 10 under. Jordan Spieth also shot 62 to roar up the leaderboard and get to 8 under and a tie for 10th place with Brooks Koepka (64).

The low numbers set up some weekend dramatics at the first leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs. Only the top 70 in Cup points following this tournament will qualify for next week's BMW Championship.

Rahm said he was happy to keep his composure, admitting he hits his share of bad shots Friday.

"It might actually be the first time (I've gone) 36 holes bogey-free," Rahm said. "The goal is to win the tournament and to put yourself in the best position."

Rahm's only win this season was at the U.S. Open, his first career major victory, but he entered the week No. 5 in the FedEx Cup points standings and a viable candidate for PGA Tour player of the year.

He started on the back nine Friday and made one early birdie at No. 13 before heating up with birdies at Nos. 4, 6 and 7.

Finau racked up eight birdies and only one bogey to move into second place. Though the No. 22-ranked golfer in the world and No. 23 in the FedEx Cup race, Finau hasn't won since 2016.

"You never know on any given week when it's gonna click," Finau said. "I feel like I've played some nice golf. My last couple tournaments, the results haven't shown that I've played great, but I've played some really clean golf. I felt like I was really close to putting it all together, and so far this week, after 36 holes, I've kind of done that.

"I've played some clean golf and more putts have dropped, so you kind of find yourself at the top of the leaderboard when that happens."

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Schauffele, not a month removed from winning an Olympic golf medal in Tokyo, made eagles at Nos. 6 and 8 to rocket up the board. He drained a 22-foot putt at No. 6 and holed out from the greenside rough at No. 8. A 53-foot birdie putt at No. 10 also helped the cause.

Not to be outdone, Spieth managed to hole out from the fairway for eagle at No. 5 and from the greenside rough for another eagle at No. 6.

"When things start to go well, you go on runs, right?" Spieth said. "You get momentum and the ball finds the cup. And when it's not going well, it seems it bounces the wrong way. I feel like I'm on the right side of some momentum right now and I've just got to keep it going."

Kevin Na (66), Harold Varner III (67), Tom Hoge (64) and Sweden's Alex Noren (64) are tied for sixth at 9 under.

The top 65 and ties made the cut at 1 under. Australia's Adam Scott shot a second-round, 4-over 75 to miss the cut by one stroke. Scott will not advance to the BMW Championship as a result.

Dustin Johnson (72 Friday) also missed the cut at even par, but is not in danger of missing the next leg of the playoffs. Nor is Collin Morikawa (70 Friday), who at 2 over won't advance at the Northern Trust. The FedEx Cup points leader entering the week, Morikawa is projected to fall to seventh place in the overall standings.

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