NEW YORK (AFP) - Patrick Reed edged into a two-shot lead at The Barclays Championship on Friday, firing a three-under 68 to take a slender advantage into the weekend action.
The American world No. 14 had looked to be on course to take a bigger lead over the chasing pack but two bogeys in the final three holes at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale jolted his momentum.
He was left ruing what could be costly dropped shots over the closing stages of a mostly polished round.
"(Those) are my two mental mistakes where I went away from my game plan, cost me two shots," Reed said. "I just need to get back to playing on the game plan. I did it perfectly for 18 holes yesterday."
Reed leads Emiliano Grillo of Argentina and Rickie Fowler by two.
Grillo followed up his opening 67 with a 69, a round that could have looked a lot better had it not been for a bogey on the ninth and a double-bogey on the 10th.
Fowler meanwhile fired a bogey-free two-under 69 - with two birdies and 16 pars - putting him at six under for the tournament.
One back was Ryan Moore, who shot a three-under 68 comprised of five birdies and two bogeys following his opening 69.
Australia's world No. 1 Jason Day and Jordan Spieth were in a group of five players tied for fifth on four under.
Day shot a one-under 70 while Spieth, disappointed with an even-par 71 on Thursday, shot four birdies and an eagle to get back on track. A double bogey on the 10th limited his advance, however.
Scotland's Martin Laird, who had shared the lead with Reed after the first round, drifted off the pace with a one-over 72.
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy will need to produce a major charge over the weekend after a round which had threatened to leave him within striking distance.
McIlroy finished the day at two under, with consecutive bogeys on the 15th and 16th thwarting his charge as he finished with a two-under 69.
Meanwhile, PGA Championship winner Jimmy Walker was among the 41 players who missed the three-over cut, finishing at 147.