Jon Rahm bounced back from some early struggles Saturday to post a five-under 66 in the second round of the 2017 Dell Technologies Championship, giving him a two-stroke lead at nine under overall at TPC Boston in Norton, Massachusetts.
Paul Casey, Kyle Stanley, Kevin Streelman and Adam Hadwin all hold a share of second place at seven under. The star-studded leaderboard also features Phil Mickelson (-6), Justin Rose (-5) and Jordan Spieth (-5) in the second event of the FedEx Cup playoffs.
Dustin Johnson, the solo leader after Friday's opening round, could only muster a one-over 72 in Round 2, which dropped him into a tie for 15th place.
Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy (+4) and Adam Scott (+4) headlined the group of players who suffered early exits after finishing below the three-over cut line.
Here's a glance at the updated tournament leaderboard following 36 holes:
Rahm has enjoyed a breakout season to put himself in contention for the FedEx Cup title. He's registered eight top-10 finishes in 20 PGA Tour starts, including his first professional victory in January's Farmers Insurance Open. He also won the European Tour's Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in July.
The 22-year-old Spanish rising star, who started on the back nine, was trending the wrong direction early in Round 2, playing his first seven holes in two-over par. He caught fire from there, however, carding an eagle on the 18th and then navigating the front side with five birdies and no bogeys.
PGA TOUR Media noted his work on the greens has been the difference so far:
PGA TOUR Media @PGATOURmedia
10 putts made over 10' for Jon Rahm (Ties @DellTechChamp record thru 36-holes. #ShotLink @PGATOUR https://t.co/LobiLWivTy2017-9-2 18:22:44
Rahm announced the European Tour is helping his success have a larger impact, too:
Jon Rahm Rodriguez @JonRahmpga
Awesome gesture by @EuropeanTour to help #HarveyRelief efforts. They are donating $500 per birdie and $1,000 per eagle I make this week.2017-9-2 19:33:03
The PGA Tour passed along his comments after his red-hot finish to Round 2:
Stanley put together one of the most roller-coaster rounds of the PGA Tour campaign. He racked up eight birdies, five bogeys and five pars as part of a three-under 68. The wild round included a six-hole stretch where he followed a bogey with a birdie three consecutive times.
The 29-year-old journeyman is trying to cap a resurgent 2017 season, led by his first win since 2012 in the Quicken Loans National back in July, with a surprise charge toward the playoff title. His play over the last two days is a promising sign after missing the cut in three of his previous five starts.
Along with a superb scoring day for the leaders, TPC Boston also yielded a couple aces Saturday, including one from Lucas Glover (-2) at No. 16:
PGA TOUR @PGATOUR
Aces all over the place! 🚨HOLE-IN-ONE ALERT🚨 https://t.co/InToHeh44g2017-9-2 16:45:49
PGA TOUR Media provided an interesting note about the timing of holes-in-one by Glover and Grayson Murray:
PGA TOUR Media @PGATOURmedia
According to #ShotLink: 65 seconds separate holes-in-one by @GraysonMurray (12:22:32) on 8 and Lucas Glover (12:23:37) on 16 @PGATOUR2017-9-2 16:37:58
Rahm has built his lead despite lackluster iron play through the first two rounds. If he can improve in that area Sunday, there's a realistic chance he can run away from the field on moving day.
That said, there are a lot of notable names in the chase pack, which includes 20 golfers within five shots of the top spot. An entertaining finish would await if the leader falters in Round 3.