Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press
Hideki Matsuyamaleads the field after two rounds at the 2019 BMW Championship after shooting a course-record 63 Friday.
The Japanese star was in good shape after his Round 1 score of 69, but he was on fire on Day 2 at Medinah Country Club to end up 12 strokes under par. Tony Finau and Patrick Cantlay are tied for second place at just one stroke back, while Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele are among those still in contention.
There is no cut going into the weekend with only 69 golfers in the field, but every stroke matters as players try to get one of the 30 spots in the Tour Championship next week.
Round 2 Leaderboard
1. Hideki Matsuyama (-12)
T-2. Patrick Cantlay (-11)
T-2. Tony Finau (-11)
4. Justin Thomas (-10)
T-5. Adam Hadwin (-9)
T-5. Lucas Glover (-9)
T-5. Chez Reavie (-9)
T-5. Rory Sabbatini (-9)
T-5. Xander Schauffele (-9)
T-5. Corey Conners (-9)
Full leaderboard and stats available at PGATour.com.
Matsuyama was easily the most impressive player on the course Friday, shooting up the leaderboard from 25th to first with his course-record 63.
He avoided bogeys and tallied nine birdies in an incredible round that featured elite putting:
Right on the money. Hideki Matsuyama takes to outright lead at 11-under. #LiveUnderPar https://t.co/poVEHozEcY
What a finish. Hideki Matsuyama just made his ninth birdie of the day. He leads by two. #LiveUnderPar https://t.co/AyzqHpLPZq
He gained 5.243 strokes in putting in a nearly flawless performance on the green.
“I wish I knew why I putted so well today,” Matsuyama said, per Will Gray of Golf Channel. “But I was happy that a lot of them went in. As they went in, you start gaining more confidence, and as your confidence builds, more putts go in too.”
Cantlay had a similarly solid round, totaling five birdies in a bogey-free day.
Once again, the putting is what separated him from the field.
Just one back. Patrick Cantlay poured this one in. #QuickHits https://t.co/duMacaS6l0
Finau used a different approach to shoot 66, averaging 332.5 yards per drive while getting 85.7 percent in the fairway.
Justin Thomas slipped three spots on the leaderboard after beginning the day in first place, but he got back in the hunt with three birdies in his final five holes. The 26-year-old has zero wins this year after earning three victories in 2018, but he remains in good shape to get his first of 2019.
Beyond the leaderboard, the tournament is filled with players trying to get into the top 30 of the FedEx Cup standings.
This includesTiger Woods, who shot 71 for the second straight day to move up two spots to tie for 48th. There were a lot of positives to take from his performance, including his quality driving (78.6 percent accuracy) and smooth approach shots:
Doesn’t get much better than that. @TigerWoods hits his approach to two feet, setting up his third 🐦 of the day. #LiveUnderPar https://t.co/S7cHp2Idsd
This helped him card five birdies, although his inconsistency, especially with his putting, led to four bogeys and a disappointing round. After coming into the week in 38th place in the FedEx Cup, he will need a much better showing the next two days.
Jordan Spieth is also on the bubble but didn’t help his cause with a 71 that dropped him four spots on the leaderboard. The 26-year-old finished with five birdies on the back nine but recorded two bogeys and a double bogey.
Jason Kokrak is projected to be right on the bubble at No. 30 in theFedEx standings if the leaderboard holds and is tied for 21st in the tournament.
There are two more days of action in Illinois, with everyone trying to climb as far up the leaderboard as possible.