The Associated Press JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — Dustin Johnson has missed nine birdie chances from 10 feet or closer at Liberty National, which ordinarily might annoy him.
He’s hitting it so well that he still leads The Northern Trust.
Johnson birdied three of his last six holes Friday for a 4-under 67 that gave him a one-shot lead over Jordan Spieth (64) going into the weekend.
Johnson, who has won this FedEx Cup playoffs opener twice at other courses, was at 12-under 130.
“I’ve got a lot of control with the golf ball and hitting a lot of really nice shots and rolled in a couple putts today which is nice, but still feel like I left quite a few out there,” Johnson said. “I’m in a good position heading into the weekend, and if I can keep swinging the way I am, I think it’s going to be a good weekend.”
The weekend does not include Masters champion Tiger Woods, and neither did Friday.
Woods, who opened with a 75, withdrew a few hours before his second round was to begin because of what he described as a mild strain to the oblique that Woods says was causing pain and stiffness. It’s the first time he withdrew in the middle of a tournament since February 2017, two months before fusion surgery on his lower back. He said he was hopeful to play next week at Medinah.
Spieth might be finding some form at just the right time. Winless in more than two years, he started the PGA Tour’s postseason at No. 69 in the FedEx Cup with no assurance of staying among the top 70 who advance to next week at Medinah.
He might be one round away from thinking more about winning. Spieth was on the same score (131) that he was going into the weekend last week at the Wyndham Championship, where he followed with a 77 and missed the 54-hole cut.
The opening playoff event had a strong cast of contenders, with Jon Rahm and Patrick Reed two shots behind, and Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy among those another shot back.
Hur leads in rainy Scotland
NORTH BERWICK, Scotland (AP) — Hur Mi Jung surged into a two-shot lead Friday in the rain-delayed second round of the Ladies Scottish Open, getting the best of the draw and finishing in the early evening with a 9-under 62.
Players with morning tee times dealt with heavy wind and rain at The Renaissance Club, and play was suspended in the early afternoon, delaying the start times for half of the field and giving them a huge advantage as the sun came out and the wind died. The second round could not be completed Friday because of darkness.
Hur holed a 25-yard pitch-and-run from the rough for eagle on the par-5 12th and posted a two-day total of 14-under 128.
None of the players who started in the morning was inside the top 20.