- The Barclays
Vintage McIlroy makes Barclays cut
Rory McIlroy ensured he would return for the weekend action at Ridgewood CC after a brilliant second round of 65 saw the Northern Irishman move safely up the leaderboard at The Barclays.
McIlroy started his Friday round with much work to do if he was to make the cut but the recent US PGA winner produced the form which landed him back-to-back majors this summer.
Six birdies in McIlroy's flawless round was a stark contrast to Thursday's effort and moved him to three-under for the tournament, among three dozen players who are within five shots of Cameron Tringale and Adam Scott's lead of eight-under-par.
"It's a very bunched leaderboard," McIlroy said. "I'm still five shots behind, but there's a lot of players between me and the leaders - obviously, a few quality guys at the top, Adam being one of them. So I'm going to have to shoot a couple of rounds similar to today to maybe win this thing."
McIlroy also put his poor opening-round 74 down to rustiness, after taking a week off to celebrate his big summer, where he has won back-to-back majors and his first World Golf Championship while also reclaiming the world No.1 spot.
"I went to the range yesterday afternoon, worked on a couple of things and just got comfortable with my swing again," McIlroy told Sky Sports.
"After not really touching a club before this week I felt a little bit rusty out there yesterday. It didn't take long, maybe an hour on the range to sort of get things back on track, and I'm glad I did it because i played really well today."
Scott ran off four straight birdies in the middle of his round and finished with a tap-in birdie for a 6-under 65 to share the 36-hole lead with American Tringale. Scott is the defending champion at the first FedEx Cup playoff event. He won last year at Liberty National.
"There's so much to play for, and for me to be satisfied with the year, I need four really great weeks," Scott said.
Phil Mickelson played a shot from the deck of a grandstand into a bunker on a wild day that ended with a birdie to make the cut on the number.
"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.
American trio Kevin Chappell, Brendon Todd and Jim Furyk hit rounds of 67, 69 and 69 respectively to sit one shot behind at 7-under, while Jason Day, Henrik Stenson and Ernie Els are all a further shot behind on six-under, alongside Scotland's Russell Knox.
Paul Casey remains in the hunt at 5-under after his even-par second round, while Graeme McDowell and Justin Rose are one shot ahead of McIlroy on four-under. McDowell rallied with a 68 and Rose continued his solid start with a 70. Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar also remain four-under.
Sergio Garcia is alongside McIlroy on three-under after his second round of 68 and Brian Davis scored a 5-under 66 to make the cut. Jordan Spieth is two-under after his two rounds.
However, Ian Poulter and Luke Donald are two of the big names to miss the cut; Poulter made a second successive 72 while former world No.1 Donald laboured to a three-over 74. Martin Kaymer will not return Saturday after posting a six-over second round of 77.