Rahm holds the lead, PGA size pans

JERSEY CITY, NJ – Jon Rahm is young enough at 26 that the FedEx Cup has been a big part of the PGA Tour since chasing his dreams, and winning the trophy would mean a lot to him.

He just doesn’t like the way it works, and building a one-shot lead on Friday in The Northern Trust was just a reminder that good golf doesn’t mean much without a great finish.

“I don’t like it. I don’t think it’s fair,” Rahm said on Friday after another bogey-less lap at Liberty National, this one 4 under 67 for a one-stroke lead over Tony Finau.

What never made sense to him was someone who could win all the playoffs and finish with a miss in the Tour Championship, and “you can end up with a really bad finish”.

The PGA Tour was trying to create drama among more than a few players at the final event. It’s about the playoffs, and the oft-cited example is the New England Patriots who went undefeated until they lost in the Super Bowl over a decade ago.

Rahm also had an answer to that.

“They still finished second,” he said.

For now, Rahm can only worry about the tournament going on, and while he’s produced a mix of great shots and great saves to reach 12-under-130, he still has his hands full.

“Believe it or not, I got my fair share of bad shots today,” Rahm said. “A little like [Thursday], I was able to save some good ones. As the weekend approaches, I will certainly have to correct a few of these mistakes. “

Finau had a 64 with a bogey on the last hole as he tried to secure another spot among the 30 that qualified for the season-ending Tour Championship, while bolstering his candidacy to make his way through another Ryder Cup team.

Olympic gold medalist Xander ScHotele tied his personal best on the PGA Tour and course record at Liberty National with a 62 and was in the group at 10 under 132 with Justin Thomas (69) and Keith Mitchell (64).

Thomas, who shared the 18-hole lead with Rahm, couldn’t figure out which direction the ball was going as he made four bogeys in eight holes, only to play his last five holes in 5-under – including an eagle at par . 5 eighth – to stay in the mix.

Mitchell did his job early in his round by netting six straight birdies, a streak that ended on the 18th hole as he made the turn. He fired two shots out of a longer bunker and landed a double bogey on No.7, to finish with two birdies.

More is at stake for Mitchell, who is No.101 in the FedEx Cup and needs a high finish to be in the top 70 to advance to next week’s BMW Championship.

Jordan Spieth returned to the game with back-to-back Eagles – he pierced the fairway at the fifth par 4 and punched a waterside chip hole at the sixth par 5 – and tied the course record itself at 62 That left him four behind, with Brooks Koepka (64).

Spieth started the day worried about making the cut, especially after a buggy on the opening hole. He finished it tied for 10th place and thinks he led the field of luck with those eagles.

“When things start out well you go running, don’t you? You get momentum and the ball finds the cup and when it doesn’t go well it bounces the wrong way,” he said. -he declares. “I feel like I’m on the right side of some momentum right now and I just need to keep it going.”

For others, their season is over.

Adam Scott, who missed a 4-foot putt in a playoff that would have won the Wyndham Championship last week, called an opener of 67 with a 75 to miss the cup all at once. He was among 28 players outside the FedEx Cup top 70 who missed the cup.

Rahm isn’t the only player who dislikes the playoff model.

The new system that debuted in 2019 gives a two-stroke lead to the Tour Championship’s No.1 seed who starts at 10 under par.

“At the end of the day, you could win 15 events – including the two playoff events – and you have a two-stroke lead,” Rahm said. “I understand it’s for the TV and for the excitement and just to make it more of a win-win and they gave you a two-shot advantage. But over four days it can be gone in two holes, no ? “

There isn’t much Rahm can do right now, and the world No.1 player is doing it well.

Jon Rahm of Spain drives his putt on the 14th green as the Manhattan skyline looms in the distance in the second round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament on Friday August 20, 2021 at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Tony Finau watches his shot from the seventh tee in the second round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament, Friday August 20, 2021, at the Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Tony Finau watches his shot from the seventh tee in the second round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament, Friday August 20, 2021, at the Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Tony Finau putt on the 17th green in the second round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament, Friday August 20, 2021, at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Tony Finau putt on the 17th green in the second round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament, Friday August 20, 2021, at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Justin Thomas hits the rough on the 17th hole in the second round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament, Friday August 20, 2021, at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Justin Thomas hits the rough on the 17th hole in the second round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament, Friday August 20, 2021, at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Justin Thomas reads the 12th green before moving on to the second round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament on Friday August 20, 2021 at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Justin Thomas reads the 12th green before moving on to the second round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament on Friday August 20, 2021 at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Jordan Spieth took eagles from the rough on the sixth green to complete his second straight eagle for the day in the second round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament on Friday August 20, 2021 at the Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Jordan Spieth took eagles from the rough on the sixth green to complete his second straight eagle for the day in the second round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament on Friday August 20, 2021 at the Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Jordan Spieth smiles after hopping out of the rough on the sixth green to complete his second straight eagle for the day in the second round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament on Friday August 20, 2021 at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Jordan Spieth smiles after hopping out of the rough on the sixth green to complete his second straight eagle for the day in the second round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament on Friday August 20, 2021 at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Brooks Koepka watches his shot from the sixth tee in the second round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament on Friday August 20, 2021 at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Brooks Koepka watches his shot from the sixth tee in the second round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament on Friday August 20, 2021 at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Bubba Watson hits a sand trap on the 13th green in the second round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament, Friday August 20, 2021, at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Bubba Watson hits a sand trap on the 13th green in the second round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament, Friday August 20, 2021, at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

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