Northern Trust 2021: Jon Rahm Cards 2nd-Round 67, Takes 1-Shot Lead into Saturday

Adam WellsAugust 20, 2021

Jon Rahm, of Spain, watches his shot off the 13th tee in the second round at the Northern Trust golf tournament, Friday, Aug. 20, 2021, at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, N.J. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
AP Photo/John Minchillo

Jon Rahm remains in the driver seat through two rounds at the 2021 Northern Trust. 

After opening with a 63 on Thursday, Rahm posted a four-under 67 in the second round. His 36-hole score of 12-under par is one shot clear of Tony Finau for the top spot. 

Finau moved up two spots on the leaderboard today. His 64 tied six other players for the second-lowest score of round two. Keith Mitchell, who also carded a 64, Xander Schauffele and Justin Thomas are all tied for third place at 10-under overall. 

The best performances of the second round belonged to Schauffele and Jordan Spieth. They both catapulted themselves into contention with matching scores of 62. 

2021 Northern Trust Leaderboard - Round Two

1. Jon Rahm (-12)

2. Tony Finau (-11)

T3. Keith Mitchell (-10)

T3. Justin Thomas (-10)

T3. Xander Schauffele (-10)

T6. Kevin Na (-9)

T6. Alex Noren (-9)

T6. Harold Varner III (-9)

T6. Tom Hoge (-9)

T10. Jordan Spieth (-8)

T10. Brooks Koepka (-8)

Full leaderboard via PGATour.com

Rahm's scorecard has been perfect through the first two rounds. He has 12 birdies without a bogey to this point. 


Flawless start for current leader <a href="https://twitter.com/JonRahmpga?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JonRahmPGA</a>.<br><br>His longest bogey-free streak to start an event in the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FedExCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FedExCup</a> Playoffs continues.<br><br>His previous best was 21 consecutive holes. <a href="https://t.co/beK2iWso52">pic.twitter.com/beK2iWso52</a>

Justin Ray @JustinRayGolf

67 today for Jon Rahm. He's bogey-free through 36 holes at Liberty National.<br><br>In his last 17 rounds worldwide, he has a scoring average of 67.3.

Having not played in a tournament since finishing third at the Open Championship five weeks ago, Rahm isn't showing any rust. The Arizona State alum hit 12 of 14 fairways off the tee, with an average drive of 311.3 yards. 


31 straight holes without a bogey.<br><br>Co-leader <a href="https://twitter.com/JonRahmpga?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JonRahmPGA</a> is racking up the birdies <a href="https://twitter.com/TheNTGolf?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TheNTGolf</a>. <a href="https://t.co/HAeByVblDR">pic.twitter.com/HAeByVblDR</a>

It's hard to argue anyone else is playing better golf than Rahm right now. In addition to his success so far at Liberty National, the 26-year-old won the U.S. Open and finished third at the Open Championship in his previous two tournaments. 

Rahm was also leading the Memorial Tournament after three rounds by six shots but was forced to withdraw due to a positive COVID-19 test. 

So far this week, Rahm has kept up his high level of play. However, Justin Ray of Twenty-First Group did note being in the lead after 36 holes hasn't been a good position for most players this season:

Justin Ray @JustinRayGolf

Long way to go at Liberty National: only 17% of PGA Tour events this season have been won by players who held the 36-hole lead or co-lead.<br><br>That is the lowest percentage in a PGA Tour season since 1987 (13.6%).

This is good news for the many players within striking distance of Rahm, especially for Finau, who is in second place. He had a chance to end the day tied for the lead, but a bogey on No. 18 moved him down a spot. 

Despite the bitter ending on the final hole, Finau can take some comfort in knowing that he matched the best 36-hole start to a tournament in his career. 


Finding another gear <a href="https://twitter.com/TheNTGolf?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TheNTGolf</a>. 💪<a href="https://twitter.com/tonyfinaugolf?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TonyFinauGolf</a> ties his career low opening 36-hole score on TOUR. <a href="https://t.co/SpBX6f5mdV">pic.twitter.com/SpBX6f5mdV</a>

Meanwhile, Thomas had one of the most unusual rounds of the entire tournament to this point. He looked to be in real trouble through his first nine holes with a three-over 38.  

After making four consecutive pars to start his second nine holes of the day, Thomas found his rhythm down the final stretch. The Kentucky native made three straight birdies and an eagle before making par on his final hole. 


The last 4 holes for <a href="https://twitter.com/JustinThomas34?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JustinThomas34</a>:<br><br>Birdie<br>Birdie<br>Birdie<br>EAGLE<br><br>His late rally continues <a href="https://twitter.com/TheNTGolf?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TheNTGolf</a>. <a href="https://t.co/9vMO1bkoRZ">pic.twitter.com/9vMO1bkoRZ</a>

The big mover of the day was Spieth, who bounced back in a big way with a 62. He began the second round tied for 72nd place after a disappointing one-over 72 on Thursday.

Spieth did open the round with a bogey on No. 1, but that was quickly erased with a birdie on No. 3 and back-to-back eagles on holes five and six. 


It's just getting ridiculous now. 🤯 <a href="https://t.co/IyLemB21kc">pic.twitter.com/IyLemB21kc</a>

Spieth has been playing well of late, with five straight top-20 finishes coming into the Northern Trust. He still has more work to do to get to the top of the leaderboard, but this is an excellent step in his quest to get back in the winner's circle for the first time since the Texas Open in April. 

While there were several low scores on Friday, things could get more complicated over the weekend due to the potential impact of Tropical Storm Henri in New Jersey. 

The PGA Tour announced that the third round will continue as scheduled since there is no indication at this point that the weather will affect playing conditions, but a plan for the final round is expected to be issued "by late afternoon Saturday."