Halfway Hut at The Northern Trust: Can anyone catch Jon Rahm?

A round-up of the best stats, quotes and social after 36 holes at Liberty National where the Spaniard tops the standings on 12-under.

Best bet

Back Koepka, Schauffele and Thomas to win their 3rd Rd 2 Balls at approx 3.62/1

Jon Rahm continues to cut an ominous figure atop the leaderboard after two rounds of The Northern Trust, the opening event of the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

The Spaniard tacked on a 4-under 67 to his opening 63 on Friday to post 12-under and put himself in the ideal spot to go on and take victory.

The World No.1 is oozing confidence after winning the US Open in June and it's no surprise to see him at such short odds to complete the job.

And yet despite Rahm still leading the way and playing the first two rounds without a single bogey, the outlook for the chasing pack isn't perhaps as bad as it might have been.

After 18 holes, Rahm and Justin Thomas held a three-shot lead over the field. There was a fear that both could skip clear and turn this into a two-horse race.

That hasn't materialised.

Although backing up his superb first round with a 67 kept Rahm on track, scoring was much lower at Liberty National on day two and there were numerous low rounds posted.

As a result, Rahm is just one clear of Tony Finau after the American fired a 64 while Olympic champion Xander Schauffele is just two back after a scintillating nine-under 62.

Keith Mitchell posted a 7-under lap to also move to 10-under while Thomas is on that number too although it needed a burst of late scoring to keep him on Rahm's heels.

JT found bunker trouble on his opening nine but played his last five holes in 5-under to pull within two again.

Notables to miss the cut included Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa.

Here are the best stats, quotes and social from Liberty National after 36 holes.

Click here for the leaderboard

Stats and facts

Rahm ranks 1st for Strokes Gained: Tee To Green (8.558), 2nd for Approach (5.568), 5th for Off The Tee (3.247) but 27th for SG: Putting (1.743) so far.

His score of 130 is the second-lowest 36-hole mark of his PGA TOUR career.

Rahm is 0-for-4 when holding a 36-hole lead on the PGA TOUR. That record includes his WD from Memorial when he'd pulled six clear after 54 holes.

Schauffele and Jordan Spieth (-8 overall) both tied the course record on Friday with 9-under 62s.

Spieth recorded back-to-back eagles on the par-4 5th and par-5 6th. Schauffele recorded two eagles in his first eight holes.

Keith Mitchell racked up six straight birdies (holes 12-17). He managed that same feat in round three of the 3M Open.


Here's what some of the leading players said after Friday's play:

Jon Rahm (-12, 67)

"I definitely, believe it or not, hit my fair share of bad shots today. There was two of them. The second on 16 and the second on 3, two shots where I have a wedge in hand and I miss on the green and I'm leaving myself a really tough up-and-down and I was able to make good putts for par.

"Much like yesterday, I was able to save a couple of good ones. Just accepting that I can miss shots, I guess that's the best way to explain it, is what happens here. You get a little too greedy, miss the green, and you can have a tough up-and-down, and I've been able to save those so far.

"Coming into the weekend, I'm definitely going to have to clean a couple of those mistakes up."

Tony Finau (-11, 64)

"I played really nicely. I made some putts. Hit a lot of fairways. So I think if you do that on this golf course, you're going to have a lot of looks because of how receptive the greens are.

"My last couple tournaments, the results haven't shown I've played great, but I've played some really clean golf. I felt like I was really close to putting it all together, and so far this week, after 36 holes, I've kind of done that."

Justin Thomas (-10, 69)

"Nothing really changed. I started hitting better shots. I think, I don't know, I had no clubface control. I started missing it left, missing it right, I missed more left than rights. I didn't feel like I was going to hit bad shots, but every time I looked up, the ball wasn't where I wanted it to be. Had a lot of curve on some shots, and it was frustrating for I felt as good as I felt over it and good as I hit yesterday, I couldn't execute.

"As terrible as I drove it today, to step up on 5 and hit that 3-wood like I did probably gave me confidence, and then making birdie; and I knew I had scoring chances coming in with 6 and 8. Obviously making eagle on 8 and birdieing 7 was a steal, but it was nice to cap off a good day."

Xander Schauffele (-10, 62)

"It's a lot easier today. Wind was down. Yesterday you thought was really hard. I saw two guys shoot 8-under so I was inspired coming out.

"I feel like I was playing pretty decent yesterday. Didn't really get a few putts to fall and today I chipped in and made a really long putt on 10. So just a completely different sort of result."

Keith Mitchell (-10, 64)

(After making six birdies in a row) "They are always good timing. Doesn't matter when they happen.

"This week I have to finish somewhere in the top 10, maybe even top five, and to be able to do it here is great."

Alex Noren (-9, 64)

"I hit some wedges close and made some birdies early and got it going. Overall, I played better than yesterday. I know the wind was a lot less but I played better, hit more greens and hit more fairways and putted good, yeah."

Jordan Spieth (-8, 62)

"I'm still struggling a little bit to really get a nice motion on the swing. I feel it was weird, I didn't hit a lot of great shots today from outside of 150 yards, even to the tee, but then you know, wedged it beautifully, was patient, when I drove it in a couple lips of some fairway bunkers and had to punch out and make par, par save kept me going.

"I didn't have many putts outside of five feet because I didn't play normal golf today. It was just kind of one of those days where you probably won't get away with that throughout the weekend. But just chipped the ball unbelievably well and then it led to at least some short par putts and then took advantage when they were for birdie."

Brooks Koepka (-8, 64)

"It was more of a lineup issue, just lining up a bit right yesterday, so my good shots were always right, look up, and all of a sudden it's like why is it going that way? Just made a little adjustment and happy with the way I hit it."


Thomas fought back superbly in round two and that will give him momentum for Saturday. He can beat Keith Mitchell in their 3rd Rd 2 Ball.

Brooks Koepka found a problem with his alignment and, now corrected, he can take down Tom Hoge.

Finally, Schauffele's 62 seemed a more genuine score than Spieth's who rather did it by smoke and mirrors.

Take gold medal winner Schauffele to beat Kevin Na.

The Thomas, Koepka, Schauffele 3rd Rd 2 Ball pays 3.62/1.

As for the outright market, the 8/5 about Rahm isn't bulletproof. He doesn't sound totally confident and hasn't yet converted a halfway lead on the PGA TOUR.

However, he surely would have at Memorial before his unfortunate WD so it's hard to oppose him. If you don't like Rahm, I think Thomas remains the biggest danger.


Spieth shows his genius, contrasting fortunes for Thomas, English goes close to albatross and Bryson produces a cap doffer

A hole-out from Jordan

More magic from Spieth

Thomas goes barefoot

JT's late charge goes up a gear

Tap-in eagles are sweet

Bryson dunks one

READ MORE: Thomas finds putting secret in Northern Trust opener

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