By Kevin J. Stone/@kstone06
It’s been a pretty wild first two days for The Northern Trust at TPC Boston.
After seemingly everyone in the field went low on Thursday, the birdie barrage continued on Friday with two guys in particular setting the pace.
If you haven’t kept up with the action, here’s what you need to know about the first two days of the first PGA Tour Fed-Ex Cup playoff event of this odd 2020 season:
THREE-WAY TIE ATOP THE LEADERBOARD AFTER DAY ONE
Harris English, Kevin Streelman, Cam Davis and Russ Henley all posted a score of -7 on Thursday. English has been a factor in most of the tournaments he’s played this season and it felt like this might be his week early on. English entered this weekend with a pretty ridiculous five straight Top 25 finishes.
Tiger Woods went -3 on Thursday and it could’ve been much lower had he made a few more putts. Dustin Johnson (we’ll hear more from him in a bit) was tied for 20th after Thursday (-4) while Justin Thomas joined Tiger with an early score of 68.
DOUBLE 59 WATCH FRIDAY, DJ LEADS AT -15
Scottie Scheffler and DJ were the biggest stories on Friday. Scheffler became just the 12th player in PGA Tour history to post a score below 60. Scheffler, along with Cam Davis, posted a 59 to move to -13 and a share of the lead.
“Yeah, today was obviously a good day on the course,” Scheffler told the media following his record-setting round. “I got off to a really good start. Made a bunch of birdies on the front nine. Had some key up-and-downs at the beginning of the round that kind of got me rolling and freed me up a little bit. So the momentum just kind of kept 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.”
Just a short time later it was DJ’s turn to put on a show. Johnson started out at one of the most mind-boggling paces you’ll ever see. The big-time hitter was -11 though 11 holes, putting everyone on another 59 watch. Unfortunately, DJ closed his round with all pars for a ho-hum 60. Johnson enters Saturday as the leader at -15.
“I mean, everything went well today,” DJ said following his round. “I was striking it really well, just giving myself some really good looks, and obviously I was rolling the putter nicely. Any time you’re that many under through 11 holes you’re putting well. I made some nice putts but I also hit some really good shots.”
TIGER BARELY MAKES THE CUT
It’s also worth noting that Tiger Woods needed a two-putt par on his final hole Saturday to make the cut at -3. In total there were 69 players who were playing the weekend in Norton.
‘Well, I was close to snapping a couple of clubs today, but I didn’t, so that’s a positive. Just keep fighting and grinding it out,” Woods said following his round on Friday.
“If I did miss, the majority of the day I missed on the correct sides, so I had angles. The only really bad miss I had was I had a sand wedge in my hand on 10 and hit it in the right bunker. Most of the time, I missed the correct sides, even though I didn’t really have it. It was hard to get the ball into the correct spot, especially the way I was feeling with my shot shape, and on a day like that, as I said, that most of the guys are going low, I didn’t have it to go that low and at least this, I have the weekend to keep building and keep playing.”
MOVING DAY SHOULD BE FASCINATING
Saturday should be one hell of a day of golf.
“Moving Day,” as it’s known, is going to be critical for guys trying to make it into next weekend’s second leg of the Fed-Ex Cup playoffs.
DJ is teeing off with Scheffler in the final group on Saturday at 1:50. There are currently 11 players between -10 and -15 with plenty of other players out there with some pretty impressive red numbers.
For interesting pairings on Saturday, the headliner will surely have to be Rory Mcllroy (-3) and Tiger playing together at 8:30 a.m. in what is as close to must-see TV as there is in the golfing world.
If DJ can keep up even a quarter of his pace from Friday, it’s his tournament to lose now. There’s just too much distance off the tee from DJ for most guys to compete with, especially if he’s also hitting his irons and wedges well enough to give himself easy looks at birdie.
If you haven’t been able to watch the action yet, don’t worry, there should be plenty of red numbers to go around on Saturday.