Schauffele grabs lead as Woods, McIlroy retreat
Xander Schauffele lines up a putt on the first green during the second round of the BMW Championship in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania - McIlroy plodded to a 69 to fall four strokes behind, while Woods (70) bogeyed the final two holes
Xander Schauffele vaulted to a two-stroke halfway lead at the BMW Championship in Pennsylvania on Friday 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 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 this week will give him a realistic chance of earning the final spot on the American Ryder Cup team.
But two more similar rounds could give captain Jim Furyk a dilemma. Furyk on Monday will make his final pick to complete the team to take on Europe this month. Tony Finau is considered the heavy favourite to get the nod.
Schauffele has not won this year. "It's not like I've had a bad year," he said after a round that included a 40-foot birdie at the 11th hole.
"I have given myself some good chances and here's another one."
As Schauffele took command, Woods went in the other direction as the old putter that he put back in the bag and wielded so well on Thursday refused to co-operate.
"It was just one of those days," he said after taking 33 putts. "I hit it just as good and felt like I putted just as good. Just nothing went in. "That's the way it goes. That round was easily six or seven under par, and I turned into even par, which is not what I needed to do."