Schauffele grabs halfway lead at BMW

Reuters

Sun, Sep 09, 2018 - Page 10

Xander Schauffele on Friday vaulted to a two-stroke halfway lead at the BMW Championship in Pennsylvania, as Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods slipped back in the second round.

American Schauffele hit 17 greens in regulation and used a hot putter for a six-under-par 64 on the Aronimink course west of Philadelphia.

The British Open runner-up posted a 13-under 127 total, while Englishman Justin Rose shot 63 to roar into second place on 11-under.

McIlroy and Woods, who shared the first-round lead, could not maintain their opening pace.

McIlroy plodded to a 69 to fall four strokes behind, while Woods (70) bogeyed the final two holes to slip five back.

Schauffele knows that nothing less than victory will give him a realistic chance of earning the final spot on the US Ryder Cup team, but two more similar rounds could give captain Jim Furyk a dilemma.

Furyk tomorrow is to make his final pick to complete the team to take on Europe this month. Tony Finau is considered the heavy favorite to get the nod.

Schauffele has not won this year.

“It’s not like I’ve had a bad year,” he said. “I have given myself some good chances and here’s another one.”

Schauffele’s closest threat, the ever-consistent Rose, had a seven-birdie 63.

The top 30 players in the standings after the BMW advance to the season-ending Tour Championship in two weeks.

Bryson DeChambeau, who won the first two playoff events, is assured of starting the Tour Championship as top seed.

Schauffele, ranked 41st, needs a strong weekend to advance.

Taiwan’s C.T. Pan fell four places to land in 24th with six-under 134 overall.

Additional reporting by staff writer