Battering Rahm fired up on back nine as Johnson slips

NORTON (Massachusetts) • Big-hitting Jon Rahm jump-started his day with an eagle that catapulted him into a two-stroke lead after the second round of golf's Dell Technologies Championship in Massachusetts on Saturday.

The Spaniard sank his eagle putt from 12 feet at the par-five 18th hole, his ninth hole, and then added five birdies on his inward half for a five-under 66 at TPC Boston in Norton.

"It felt like very different, that front nine and back nine," he said after posting a nine-under 133 total in the second of the PGA Tour's four FedExCup play-off events.

"I played a nearly perfect back nine. Felt like I didn't miss a shot. Once that (eagle) happened on No. 18 I felt everything clicked and I just started flushing everything."

Englishman Paul Casey and Canadian Adam Hadwin both shot 65s to jump into a share of second place on seven under with Americans Kevin Streelman (65) and Kyle Stanley (68).

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, the first-round leader, backtracked with a 72 that included two double bogeys, falling five shots off the pace. The American leads the FedExCup standings after winning last week's Northern Trust tournament.

Former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy's disappointing season continued as he shot 74 for four over and missed the cut in a tournament where he was the defending champion. The Northern Irishman has yet to win this year.

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    Birdies by Jon Rahm in his second round of 66 to take the lead at the Dell Technologies Championship

Another former world No. 1, Adam Scott, also bowed out early at four over after the long trip from his native Australia earlier in the week.

He made a late decision to play following the birth of his second child. He can head back home now because he will not be among the 70 players to advance to the penultimate event in the play-off series, the BMW Championship at Conway Farms in Lake Forest, Illinois in less than two weeks.

Rahm will have no such problems advancing. He is fifth in the FedExCup standings in his first full professional season that includes one win on either side of the Atlantic but mediocre performances in the four Majors.

He did not make an auspicious start on Saturday, and a double bogey at his seventh hole, where he took four shots to hole out from just off the green, left him two over for the day. But the eagle steadied the ship, and it was smooth sailing thereafter as he stormed home in 31 strokes.



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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 04, 2017, with the headline 'Battering Rahm fired up on back nine as Johnson slips'. Print Edition | Subscribe