Tiger Woods falls off pace, Xander Schauffele seizes BMW lead in Round 2

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Tiger Woods falls off pace, Xander Schauffele seizes BMW lead in Round 2

PGA Tour

Tiger Woods falls off pace, Xander Schauffele seizes BMW lead in Round 2

NEWTON SQUARE, Pa. – Tiger Woods fell off pace and Xander Schauffele made his move Friday in Round 2 of the BMW Championship.

The plan was for another leisurely late-morning start due to the small field, but players were on the tee bright and early due to projected storms in the afternoon. That made for an early finish, and overnight rain made for another low-scoring day at Aronimink Golf Club.

Woods couldn’t take advantage and finished bogey-bogey for an even-par 70, eight shots higher than an electric opening-round 62 that gave him a share of the lead with Rory McIlroy.

The game looked pretty similar but his putting declined significantly, and he’s now five shots back of Schaufelle going into the weekend.

“That round today was easily six, seven under par,” Woods said. “It turned into even par, which is not what I needed to do today. Everyone is going low and birdies should be had.”

Schauffele started the day two shots off the lead and quickly made up ground. The reigning Rookie of the Year shot 6-under 64 and holds a two-shot lead over Justin Rose going into the weekend.

Rose continued his stellar run with a 7-under 63 to move into solo second as he tries to win for the third time this season.

“Good day’s work,” Rose said.

Schauffele has been considered one of the odd men out in the Ryder Cup discussion, with captain Jim Furyk expected to pick Tony Finau when he announces the 12th and final spot Monday morning.

Finau finished solo second at the Northern Trust and T-4 at last week’s Dell Technologies Championship. He’s in great shape again in Philadelphia, where he’s currently T-12 at 8 under.

“I’m sort of in a position where I feel like a win is the only way I’d even be in consideration,” Schauffele said. “I mean, Tony obviously is the guy right now. He just shot 64 (today) as well. He’s not making it easy on anyone else trying to get on that team. So, you know, hats off to him for playing well.”

Schauffele won the Tour Championship as a rookie last season but hasn’t done so in the 12 months since. He began the week  41st in the FedEx Cup Standings and now has a great chance to move into the top 30 and get back to East Lake.

Jordan Spieth is moving the opposite direction after another disappointing day. He appears to be fighting his swing and seems hesitant over the ball, a little more fidgety than usual before pulling the trigger off the tee. He shot 1-over 71 and fell to 32nd in the FedEx Cup standings, so he needs to put a move together quickly in order to avoid missing out on the Tour Championship.

As for Woods, he’s still looking like a safe bet to make it to East Lake. He was just hoping for a lot more than he got from his round less than 24 hours after he looked prepared to make a serious run at victory.

“I have to make birdies and try and keep pace,” Woods said. “This golf course is playing soft and gettable and tomorrow will be the same thing.”

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