2022 Tour Championship leaderboard breakdown: Scottie Scheffler fends off Xander Schauffele for Round 2 lead

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The second day of the 2022 Tour Championship was very similar to the first. World No. 1 and FedEx Cup leader Scottie Scheffler carded a round of 4-under 66 and continued to set East Lake Golf Club on fire. Halfway through, however, is 19 under, but Scheffler’s lead is anything but safe. Despite looking after his own business, Scheffler saw his lead narrowed to two, with playing competitor Xander Schauffele improving his bet by three strokes on Friday.

While Scheffler has kept the two-stroke margin he started the week with, the composition of the standings behind him has produced a handful of new chasers. Schauffele is the biggest challenger – just as he was after round 1 – but he is now 17 under after playing his last three holes in 4 under. Jon Rahm has also put his name in the hat thanks to an impressive 7-under 63 and is 13 under after starting week seven of the pace. Both Rahm and Schauffele have had strong shows in East Lake in the past, and this experience has helped them pursue the top name in the game thus far.

The same goes for Rory McIlroy, who has recovered from his tumultuous start on Thursday. The two-time FedEx Cup winner, who will sign for another round of 3-under67, is nine strokes ahead of Scheffler, but is solo in seventh. Despite the many names on the first page of the standings, a likely two-horse race has developed on the outskirts of Atlanta.

The leader

1. Scottie Scheffler (-19): While there were moments of discomfort – his tee shot on the par-3 15th barely made it over the water, for example – the world No. 1 remains at the top of the standings. He is 9 under on the week, which is only two strokes worse than Schauffele. I can’t imagine the imperturbable Scheffler worrying too much about his performance thus far.

As comfortable as Scheffler is, the putter must improve if he is to successfully fend off Schauffele and others. After finishing fifth in strokes on Thursday, he fell back hard on Friday and came in 26th on the greens. His tee-to-green game got him into the second round, but Scheffler won’t have the luxury of his B-game taking him to victory, given the way Schauffele – and even Rahm – are playing right now.

other contenders

2. Xander Schauffele (-17)

3. Jon Rahm (-13)

T4. Sungjae Im, Patrick Cantlay (-12)

6. Joaquin Niemann (-11)

7. Rory McIlroy (-10)

Schauffele changed the complexion of this entire championship with a back nine of 29. The man who has simply ridiculed his entire career around East Lake has continued to flash his affinity for the real estate this week. The 2017 Tour Championship winner has done everything right to 36 holes and if he can continue to perform like this, he has a realistic chance of turning a weekend four-stroke deficit into a FedEx Cup win.

Rahm in a known position

The man who claimed the low total of 72 holes a year ago is ready to do it again. In the context of Rahm’s season, which has seen just one win against a less than fantastic field at the Mexico Open, a close call to the season finale would certainly go hand in hand with the theme of disappointment.

The former world No. 1 was fantastic during the first two weeks of the post season, connecting with consecutive top-10 finishes and eventually finding a level of comfort with the putter in hand. While the week’s lowest score may not earn a trophy, it can provide momentum, much like it did in 2021 when he took his East Lake form to a dominant performance at the Ryder Cup.

“It is better to do, but he is” [Scheffler’s] good golf, okay, and we’ll have to keep going and play good golf too,” said Rahm, who is currently second in the field in putts won. “It’s going to be a really strong weekend from me and hopefully not a strong one from Scottie. That’s kind of what we’re looking for. I think tomorrow could be a good day. If I can put in another good round tomorrow and he doesn’t shoot low, then we’re in position.”

Take a bow, Max Homa

This season’s two-time winner went into the week at 2 under, and after a poor first round around East Lake on Thursday, bounced back in a big way on Friday. Homa signed for an 8-under 62, entered 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 be in first place. I come over, hit a great drive, a great 9-iron to 10 feet and think, I gotta make this, ” said Homa. “You’ve just done two great things. Why don’t you just watch what happens and trust that you’ve done the job.”

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

Checking in only seven names under 200-1 and even that can be too much. For my money, so far there are only three players who have the chance to raise the FedEx Cup trophy, and Scheffler remains the best bet, even if Schauffele is breathing down his neck. The world number 1 didn’t have his best gear in the second round, but remains a fair price at -140.

On the week, Scheffler takes first place in strokes won from tee to green. He also finds his name in the top five shots from the tee, shots on approach and shots around the green. If the putter cooperates as he did on round one, he will extend his lead over Schauffele on Saturday and cruise to the title on Sunday.


The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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