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Tiger stumbles, Xander Schauffele leads at BMW Championship

Photos: Rob Simmons

Tiger Woods failed to repeat his first round success as he posted an even par 70 while 2018 British Open runner-up Xander Schauffele took his share of the lead into the weekend at the BMW Championship at Aronimink Golf Club on Friday.

Tiger had a rough go of things after his 8-under 62 that led the field after day one. After an even par 70 performance, Woods slipped to T-12 at -8.

“That round was easily 6, 7 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.”

Like much of the 2018 season, it was the putter that let Woods down, sinking no putts longer than a mere 6 feet.

The 14 time Major champion is leading the field in strokes lost while putting at an astonishing 3.67 strokes per 18 holes.

While a putter change was made this week, moving away from Taylormade to Scotty Cameron, Woods wasn’t ready to place blame on the short stick: “I hit it just as good and putt it just as good (today). Nothing went in. That’s the way it goes.”

Woods’ struggles with his putting continued.

With Woods faltering, 24 year old Xander Schauffele stole the show following up an opening round 62 with an equally impressive 64 in round two. Schauffele became just the ninth player on tour this season to card consecutive sub 64 rounds.

With just one Ryder Cup slot open for USA Captain Jim Furyk to fill, the California native is making the decision that much harder. Seeing that the competition for the final spot is stiff, Schauffele sees his chances as do or die: “I’m sort of in a position where I feel like a win is the only way I’d even be in consideration.”

Sitting at -13, Schauffele stands alone at the top of the leaderboard by two strokes with 36 holes to be played. Hot on his tail, however, is Englishman Justin Rose, whom is no stranger to Philadelphia area golf courses.

”It must be the cheesesteaks” joked Rose when asked about previous successes at Marion Golf Club as well as this weekend’s course, Aronimink Golf Club.

Justin Rose sits two strokes back heading into Saturday.

Rose won his first and only major back in 2013 at the US Open at Marion, edging the field by two strokes. In 2010 he won the AT&T National when Aronimink last hosted the tournament.

“I won here in 2010 and I have great memories to feed off. That was a very good round today” Rose said of his second round performance.

For Rose, there’s more at stake this weekend than a share of the $9 million purse.

After a runner-up finish at TPC Boston in the first leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, a win on Sunday would propel Rose to #1 in the world rankings for the first time in his career.

He would become the 4th Englishman to achieve that feat.

Notable Saturday tee times

9:33 AM: Ian Poulter/Dustin Johnson

11:00 AM: Zach Johnson/Brooks Koepka

12:40 PM: Tiger Woods/Ryan Armour

1:30 PM: Rory McIlroy/Justin Thomas

2:00 PM: Xander Schauffele/Justin Rose

 

 

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