2022 Tour Championship leaderboard breakdown: Scottie Scheffler edges out Xander Schauffele for Round 2 lead – CBS Sports

2022 Tour Championship leaderboard breakdown: Scottie Scheffler edges out Xander Schauffele for Round 2 lead - CBS Sports

The second day of the 2022 Tour Championship looked eerily similar to the first. World No. 1 and FedEx Cup leader Scottie Scheffler carded a round of 4-under 66 and continued to burn East Lake Golf Club. Standing at 19 under at the halfway point, however, Scheffler’s lead is anything but secure. Despite minding his own business, Scheffler saw his lead cut to two, with player competitor Xander Schauffele besting his effort by three strokes on Friday.

Although Scheffler maintained the two-stroke margin he started the week with, the makeup of the leaderboard behind him brought a handful of new pursuers. Schauffele is the closest challenger — just as he was after Round 1 — but he now stands at 17 under after playing his last three holes in 4 under. Jon Rahm also put his name in the hat thanks to an impressive 7-under 63 and is 13 under after starting the week seven off the pace. Both Rahm and Schauffele have enjoyed strong showings at East Lake in the past, and this experience has helped them thus far in their pursuit of the top name in the game.

The same goes for Rory McIlroy, who recovered from his tumultuous start on Thursday. Signing for yet another round of 3-under 67, the two-time FedEx Cup winner is a full nine strokes off Scheffler’s lead but finds himself in solo seventh. Despite the array of names on the front page of the leaderboard, there’s likely a two-horse race unfolding on the outskirts of Atlanta.

the boss

1. Scottie Scheffler (-19): Although there were moments of discomfort — his tee shot on the par-3 15th barely cleared the water, for example — the world No. 1 remains on the leaderboard. He is 9 under on the week, which is just two strokes worse than Schauffele. I can’t imagine the steadfast Scheffler is too worried about his performance up to this point.

As comfortable as Scheffler may be, however, the putter must improve if he is to successfully fend off Schauffele and others. After ranking fifth in strokes gained putting on Thursday, he regressed strongly on Friday and came in at 26th on the greens. His tee-to-green play carried him into the second round, but Scheffler won’t have the luxury of his B-game carrying him to victory considering how Schauffele — and even Rahm — are playing these days.

Other contenders

2. Xander Schauffele (-17)

3. Jon Rahm (-13)

T4. Sungjae Im, Patrick Cantlay (-12)

6. Joaquin Nieman (-11)

7. Rory McIlroy (-10)

Schauffele changed the face of this entire championship with a back nine 29. The man who has been simply ridiculous around East Lake throughout his career continued to flash his affinity for the property this week. The 2017 Tour Championship winner has done everything right through 36 holes, and if he can continue to perform in this fashion, he will have a realistic chance of turning a four-stroke deficit into a FedEx Cup victory over the weekend.

Rahm in a familiar position

The man who claimed the low 72-hole total a year ago is ready to do it again. In the context of Rahm’s season, which features just one win against a less-than-stellar field at the Mexican Open, a close call at the season finale would surely come with the theme of disappointment.

The former world No. 1 has been fantastic through the first two weeks of the postseason, stringing together back-to-back top-10 finishes and finally finding a comfortable level with the putter in hand. While the week’s lowest score may not produce a trophy, it can provide momentum just as it did in 2021 when he carried his East Lake form into a dominant performance at the Ryder Cup.

“It’s more doable, but he is [Scheffler’s] playing good golf, right, and we’re going to have to continue and play good golf as well,” said Rahm, who is currently second in the field in strokes gained putting. “It’s going to take a really strong weekend. from me and hopefully not strong from Scottie. That’s what we’re looking for. I think tomorrow could be a good day. If I can post another good round tomorrow and he doesn’t shoot low, we’ll be in position.”

Note, Max Human

The two-time winner this season entered the week at 2 under, and after a poor first go around East Lake on Thursday, bounced back in a big way on Friday. Signing for an 8-under 62, Homa moved inside the top 10 and positioned himself to collect another seven-figure check at the end of the Tour Championship.

“I felt like I deserved to play well, and I didn’t even let myself down in the first place. I’m going over, hitting a great drive, a great 9-iron to 10 feet and thinking, I’ve got to do this,” Homa said. “You just did two great things. Why don’t you just see what happens and trust that you put in the work.”

2022 Tour Championship updated odds and picks

  • Scottie Scheffler: 5/7
  • Xander Schauffele: 7/4
  • Jon Rahm: 11-1
  • Patrick Cantlay: 22-1
  • Sungjae Im: 35-1
  • Rory McIlroy: 40-1
  • Joaquin Niemann: 75-1

Only seven names register under 200-1 and even that may be too many. For my money, there are only three players who have a chance to lift the FedEx Cup trophy as of now, and Scheffler remains the best bet even though Schauffele is breathing down his neck. The world number 1 was not at his best in the second round but remains fairly priced at -140.

In the week, Scheffler ranks first in strokes gained tee to green. He also finds his name within the top five of strokes gained off the tee, strokes gained approach and strokes gained around the green. If the putter cooperates as it did in the first round, he will extend his lead over Schauffele on Saturday and cruise to the title come Sunday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.