Adam Scott leads after Round 2

Adam Scott, the 2013 Masters champion, shot a two-under 69 on Saturday (AEST) to take a one-shot lead after Friday’s second round of the BMW US PGA Championship.

The 42-year-old Australian, chasing his 15th career PGA win, was eight under 134 after 36 holes at Wilmington (Delaware) Country Club.

It’s the first time in more than three years that he’s held the 36-hole lead, putting him in prime position to catapult the FedEx Cup standings and the Tour Championship.

Making it to the Tour Championship guarantees a player at least $500,000 (A$728,000) and a chance to win the winner’s check for $18 million (A$26.2 million).

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A total of $75 million (A$109.1 million) in bonuses are handed out after the FedEx Cup final.

Incredibly, Scott would have to jump 42 positions in the FedEx Cup standings to third place, if he wins the BMW Championship, which is worth four times the points of a regular season event.

Cameron Smith, who misses the tournament with a hip complaint, is expected to slip three places to sixth.

The FedEx Cup leader starts the Tour Championship under 10, two strokes ahead of second place and three strokes ahead of third.

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Adam Scott, the 2013 Masters champion, shot a two-under 69 on Saturday.Source: Getty Images

“I’m playing well,” Scott said. “I am in great shape before the weekend. I don’t even know when was the last time I ran a tournament.

World number one Scottie Scheffler, the defending Masters champion, and fellow Americans Cameron Young and Jordan Spieth shared second place out of 135 with Canadian Corey Conners.

Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy contributed for a 31ft birdie in the 18th to shoot 68 and stand on 136 with American Scott Stallings and Aussie Cam Davis – who shot four under for the day defending the champion the FedEx Cup Patrick Cantlay and Tokyo Olympic champion Xander Schauffele.

The event is the second of three FedEx Cup playoff tournaments with the season’s best 30 points after Sunday qualifying for next week’s season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta.

Scott has qualified for all 16 playoff editions, but hasn’t reached the final in Atlanta since 2019.

“Even if I want to qualify for the Tour Championship, I would like to win the BMW Championship first,” he said.

The Aussie sank a birdie putt on the opening hole just inside nine feet and added 22-foot birdie putts on the fourth and sixth holes.

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Scott, whose last PGA triumph came in 2020 at Riviera, added a birdie putt just outside five feet at the par-5 12th, but his tee shot at 17 landed behind a tree. He exploded into the nearby rough and then missed the green on his way to a double bogey.

“A bad shot at 17 was quite costly,” Scott said. “It’s a good reminder for the weekend that I really have to stay in control.

“But I kept it in place really well all day, got so many great looks and cruised there for a while.”

Spieth tied Scott with an 18-foot biride putt on the 17th before missing the 18th green and closing with his only bogey to shoot 67.

“I did really well on the golf course,” Spieth said. “Two bogeys for both laps allows me to settle in and not feel like I have to force anything.”

Scheffler started with three birdies, all on putts within five feet, en route to a 67.

“I got off to a very good start. After that it was pretty poor,” Scheffler said. “Overall, I’m happy with the round.”

Young had seven birdies and four bogeys to shoot 68.

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“It was a little messy,” Young said. “There was a lot of potential to shoot something much lower, but it was just a little clunky around the greens.”

Conners responded to his only bogey at 16 with a nine-foot birdie putt to shoot 67.

“I hit the ball well,” Conners said. “I feel good about the game before the weekend.”

– McIlroy’s revenge at 15 –

McIlroy dropped his tee shot within four feet of the cup to set up a birdie at the par-3 15th, the same hole where he suffered a nightmarish triple bogey on Thursday.

“Coming off the golf course much happier than I was last night. Really happy with the way I played. I bounced back nicely,” McIlroy said.

“It was good to do two there (at 15). The chip in the last one was really nice too. American Keegan Bradley, the 18-hole leader and 2018 BMW winner, shot a 74 to stand on 138.

Cup points leader Will Zalatoris, a runner-up in this year’s PGA Championship and US Open, was at 139 after a 69.

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