Rookie Scottie Scheffler shoots 59 as McIlroy squeezes into the weekend

Shane Lowry and Graeme McDowell both miss cut as Dustin Johnson leads in Boston

 Scottie Scheffler   reacts on the 18th green alongside Tony Finau  after shooting a 59 during the second round of The Northern Trust at TPC Boston  in Norton, Massachusetts. Photograph: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Scottie Scheffler reacts on the 18th green alongside Tony Finau after shooting a 59 during the second round of The Northern Trust at TPC Boston in Norton, Massachusetts. Photograph: Rob Carr/Getty Images

 

Dustin Johnson took a two-shot lead in the Northern Trust at TPC Boston with a second round 60, while Rory McIlroy squeezed into the field for the weekend with a one under par 70.

McIlroy finished on three under overall after birdies at the ninth, 13th and 16th. It was an impressive response from the Northern Irishman after dropped shots at the third, fifth, sixth and seventh had left him in real danger of missing the cut.

Fifteen-time major champion Tiger Woods finished his second round at even par, and also made the cut on the three-under-par cutline.

Johnson looked poised to make golf history after a blistering start but had to settle for a second-round 11-under 60 and a two-stroke lead over Scottie Scheffler, who earlier became the newest member of golf’s 59 club.

For the young bucks on tour these days, there is no fear. No fear of going low, for sure; and Scheffler – a 24-year-old in his rookie season on the PGA Tour after graduating from the secondary Korn Ferry circuit last year – showcased his talent, combining big-hitting with an exemplary short game.

Scheffler became the 12th player in the history of the PGA Tour to sign for a sub-60. “I got off to a really good start, made a bunch of birdies on the front nine,” said Scheffler of turning in 30 to set up a 59 watch, before coming home in 29 which featured a hat-trick of birdies from the 14th to the 16th and then a closing birdie on the 18th.

“I had some key up-and-downs at the beginning of the round that kind of kept me rolling, freed me up a little bit. The momentum just kept on going. I never really lost momentum which was nice. A lot of times when you’re playing well you can lose that momentum towards the end of the round or have a hiccup here or there. The momentum stayed the whole time and I made a lot of putts.”

Scheffler, who finished fourth behind Collin Morikawa in the US PGA Championship on his last appearance, actually shot a round of 59 in a social round with friends during the tour’s lockdown but brought his game to the main stage for a far more important one as he chases a maiden tour win.

“I’ve put myself in a good position to play well this weekend and win the tournament, so I’m just going to continue to try to play well and hit good shots and see where it leaves me. I’m not really over-thinking things.”

Johnson was 11-under par though 11 holes and threatened to card the lowest single-round score in PGA Tour history but could only manage pars over his final seven holes to sit two strokes clear of Scheffler and Cameron Davis heading into the weekend of the FedExCup playoffs opener.

The American had chances for 59 or better on his final two holes but his seven-foot birdie putt on 17 rimmed out of the cup and his 23-foot birdie attempt on 18 passed inches left of the hole before he tapped in for 60, the 36-year-old’s career low.

It was the first time in PGA Tour history that two rounds of 60 or lower had been shot on the same day, but Jim Furyk’s 58 in the final round of the 2016 Travelers Championship remains the lowest single round in Tour history.

Meanwhile Shane Lowry failed in his bid to move onwards to the next phase of the FedEx Cup playoffs. A second round 69 for a 36-holes total of 141 saw the Offalyman fail to survive the cut, although he gave it a good run on his back nine – with birdies on the second, fourth and sixth holes – only to hit a speed bump with a bogey on the par-three eighth, his penultimate hole, and then failing to birdie the last.

Lowry plans on taking a few days break with some friends in nearby Rhode Island, before setting his sights on playing in next month’s US Open at Winged Foot in New York before returning home.

Graeme McDowell also missed the cut, after a 72 for a 36-holes total of 149 left him at the tailend of the leaderboard. McDowell also failed in his bid to progress to the next event off the playoffs, next week’s BMW Championship in Chicago.

This week’s tournament, open to the top 125 golfers in the season-long points standings, is the first of three playoff events that culminate with the September 4-7th Tour Championship in Atlanta and the $15 million prize to the FedExCup champion. Only the top 70 in the standings after this week go on to the BMW Championship at Olympia Fields outside Chicago, and from there the top 30 move on to Atlanta.

Collated second round scores and totals (USA unless stated, par 71):

127 Dustin Johnson 67 60

129 Scottie Scheffler 70 59, Cameron Davis (Aus) 64 65

130 Danny Lee (Nzl) 66 64, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 65 65, Harris English 64 66

131 Russell Henley 64 67, Kevin Kisner 65 66

132 Daniel Berger 66 66, Matthew Wolff 65 67, Si Woo Kim (Kor) 68 64

133 Emiliano Grillo (Arg) 69 64, Charley Hoffman 65 68, Harry Higgs 67 66, Ian Poulter (Eng) 66 67, Brian Harman 67 66, Bubba Watson 65 68

134 Ryan Palmer 67 67, Webb Simpson 70 64

135 Kyoung-hoon Lee (Kor) 67 68, Scott Piercy 65 70, Kevin Streelman 64 71, Keegan Bradley 68 67, Brendan Steele 68 67, Justin Thomas 68 67, Tommy Fleetwood (Eng) 66 69, Adam Long 68 67, Scott Harrington 68 67

136 Adam Schenk 70 66, Jason Kokrak 68 68, Adam Scott (Aus) 66 70, Lanto Griffin 68 68, Charles Howell III 66 70, Kevin Na 71 65, Richy Werenski 69 67, Jon Rahm (Spa) 69 67, Brendon Todd 70 66, Mackenzie Hughes (Can) 68 68, Sebastian Munoz (Col) 65 71

137 Cameron Smith (Aus) 69 68, Denny McCarthy 69 68, Alex Noren (Swe) 69 68, Robby Shelton 66 71, Keith Mitchell 69 68, Rickie Fowler 67 70, Corey Conners (Can) 72 65

138 JT Poston 71 67, Zach Johnson 69 69, Mark Hubbard 67 71, Viktor Hovland (Nor) 68 70, Matt Kuchar 69 69, Chez Reavie 68 70, Maverick McNealy 67 71, Talor Gooch 66 72, Tyrrell Hatton (Eng) 67 71, Patrick Rodgers 71 67, Tyler Duncan 69 69

139 Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) 70 69, Tiger Woods 68 71, Matt Jones (Aus) 68 71, Xander Schauffele 68 71, Beau Hossler 73 66, Andrew Landry 69 70, Wyndham Clark 68 71, Rory McIlroy (Irl) 69 70, Justin Rose (Eng) 69 70, Paul Casey (Eng) 70 69, Troy Merritt 72 67, Cameron Tringale 67 72, Patrick Reed 68 71

140 Joel Dahmen 70 70, Max Homa 69 71, Harold Varner III 71 69, Cameron Champ 72 68, Jordan Spieth 69 71

141 Brian Stuard 72 69, Tony Finau 72 69, Scott Brown 68 73, Matthew NeSmith 70 71, Shane Lowry (Irl) 72 69, Nick Taylor (Can) 68 73, Tom Hoge 71 70

142 Henrik Norlander (Swe) 71 71, Scott Stallings 72 70, Gary Woodland 69 73, Patrick Cantlay 69 73, Adam Hadwin (Can) 70 72, Phil Mickelson 74 68, Joaquin Niemann (Chi) 68 74, Carlos Oritz (Mex) 69 73, Bryson DeChambeau 71 71, Sungjae Im (Kor) 75 67, Brice Garnett 74 68

143 Luke List 68 75, Bud Cauley 71 72, Rory Sabbatini (Svk) 73 70, Sam Ryder 74 69, Sepp Straka (Aut) 73 70, Abraham Ancer (Mex) 72 71, Xinjun Zhang (Chn) 71 72, Sam Burns 68 75, Collin Morikawa 71 72, Billy Horschel 73 70, Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng) 77 66

144 Nate Lashley 70 74, Tom Lewis (Eng) 75 69, Dylan Frittelli (Rsa) 69 75, Bol Hoag 68 76

145 Jason Day (Aus) 70 75, Sung Kang (Kor) 70 75, Lucas Glover 70 75, Jim Herman 75 70, Brandt Snedeker 73 72

146 Doc Redman 73 73, Michael Thompson 71 75, Brian Gay 71 75

147 Marc Leishman (Aus) 75 72

148 Zac Blair 68 80

149 Graeme McDowell (Irl) 77 72

150 Byeong-Hun An (Kor) 77 73

151 Ryan Armour 74 77

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