Paramus: Jim Furyk shot a two-under-par 69 for a share of the clubhouse lead at The Barclays, while Sweden’s Henrik Stenson surged into contention with a sizzling 64 midway through the second round on Friday.
Furyk was joined on seven-under-par 135 by fellow Americans Kevin Chappell (67) and Brendon Todd (69) on an overcast day at Ridgewood Country Club in the opening tournament of the PGA Tour’s season-ending, four-event FedExCup playoffs.
Stenson, who failed to make a single birdie in his opening round 72, had eight of them on Friday against a lone bogey to reach the halfway mark at 136 along with Ernie Els (68) and overnight leader Bo Van Pelt (71).
Furyk used a string of three birdies in a row from the 15th to hit the top of the leaderboard, and overcame two bogeys with four birdies overall on the day.
Chappell posted four birdies in a bogey-free round, while Todd overcame a double-bogey six at the seventh, his 16th hole of the day, with a birdie at the last.
Alone in the clubhouse at five-under 137 was England's Paul Casey, who birdied his last hole for an even-par 71.
Earlier on Thursday, Bo Van Pelt chipped in for eagle at the par-five 17th hole for a 65 that pushed him past a crowd of eight players and into the first-round lead, when Rory McIlroy played poorly.
The Northern Irishman, winner in his last three starts including the British Open and PGA Championship, shot a three-over-par 74 and trailed Van Pelt by nine strokes.
The 25-year-old McIlroy blamed his poor play on a lack of preparation and not on fatigue, despite taking time to celebrate his blistering run and attending to added business commitments.
“I think it’s more to do with just not putting the adequate time into my game over the past week for obvious reasons,” he said after his first over-par round in competition since the final round of the US Open in June.