PARAMUS, N.J. — Now that the majors are over, Adam Scott is going after the only big prize left this year — a shot at the $10 million FedEx Cup title.
Scott ran off four straight birdies in the middle of his round Friday, and then closed with an approach that settled a foot from the cup for a tap-in birdie and a 6-under-par 65. That gave him a share of the 36-hole lead with Cameron Tringale at The Barclays.
Three dozen players were within five shots of the lead, a group that includes British Open and PGA champion Rory McIlroy. The world’s No. 1 player, going after his fourth straight victory, shook off some rust on the range and was nine shots better than his opening round with a 65.
Scott won The Barclays a year ago at Liberty National, and it felt like a bonus in a year in which he won his first major at the Masters. He never had a serious chance at any of the majors this year, and he is looking at the FedEx Cup playoffs differently.
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“There’s so much to play for, and for me to be satisfied with the year, I need four really great weeks,” Scott said.
Scott and Tringale were at 8-under 134. Kevin Chappell (67), Brendon Todd (69) and Jim Furyk (69) were one shot behind. The group two shots back included Henrik Stenson (64), Jason Day (64) and Ernie Els, who is playing his sixth straight tournament and shot a 68.
Some scorecards needed more than just numbers, starting with Phil Mickelson.
Lefty took a bogey on the “five-and-dime” fifth hole, thusly named because Byron Nelson always used a 5-iron and a wedge. Mickelson, like so many other players, tried to drive the green and took a wild detour. His shot bounced into the grandstand, behind a row of seats on the thin carpet of the hospitality area. Instead of dropping into deep grass, he chose to play it out of the bleachers, right next to a half-filled glass of beer on a table.
It went too long, over the green and into a bunker, though it gave the crowd a thrill.
“It wasn’t hard to make contact. It was hard to hit it on that skinny little green and get it to stop,” Mickelson said.
He compared it with trying to hit a shot off the cart path, except the carpet “doesn’t scrape up your club as much.”
Mickelson birdied his last hole for a 72 to make the cut on the number.
McIlroy, from Northern Ireland, took a week away from golf to celebrate his big summer and paid for it with an opening 74. But the range session Thursday afternoon did wonders, and he went from below the cut line to within five shots of the lead.
Michael Putnam (74) from University Place and Ryan Moore (76) of Puyallup missed the cut.
• So Yeon Ryu used a second straight bogey-free round to pull away at the Canadian Women’s Open in London, Ontario. Ryu shot a 6-under 66 to get to 15 under, the best two-round start in the tournament’s history. She was five strokes ahead of fellow South Korean Na Yeon Choi, playing partner Anna Nordqvist and Danielle Kang.
• Jamie Donaldson of Wales shot a 3-under 69 to retain a one-stroke lead after the second round of the Czech Masters in Vysoky Ujezd and keep alive his hopes of a spot on Europe’s Ryder Cup team.