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Tour Championship: Xander Schauffele moves within two of Scottie Scheffler in FedExCup finale

Jon Rahm six strokes back in third and reigning FedExCup champion Patrick Cantlay tied-fourth with Sungjae Im; Rory McIlroy on 10 under after second successive 67 – watch the Tour Championship live on Saturday from 5.30pm on Sky Sports Golf

Last Updated: 26/08/22 11:34pm


Xander Schauffele played his last three holes in four under to move within two of Scottie Scheffler

Xander Schauffele produced a brilliant finish to drastically reduce Scottie Scheffler’s FedExCup advantage heading into the weekend at the season-ending Tour Championship.

Scheffler held a five-shot lead after the opening day and moved as far as seven clear during an eventful Friday at East Lake, only for Schauffele to close the gap with an impressive finish to his second round.

The Olympic champion followed back-to-back birdies at the 16th and 17th with a brilliant eagle at the par-five last to close a seven-under 63, taking him to 17 under and within two strokes of Scheffler.

Scheffler and Schauffele were paired together during the second round

Scheffler and Schauffele were paired together during the second round

Scheffler remains the man to catch after a bogey-free 66, while Jon Rahm is six strokes back in third after matching Schauffele’s 63 and defending FedExCup champion Patrick Cantlay is tied-fourth with Sungjae Im.

How Schauffele battled back

Scheffler extended his overnight advantage by making a three-foot birdie at the second and holing from close range to make another at the next, which Schauffele bogeyed after finding a fairway bunker off the tee.

Scheffler started the week on 10 under and moved to 19 under with a second-round 65

Scheffler started the week on 10 under and moved to 19 under with a second-round 65

Rahm – several groups ahead – temporarily moved solo second when he followed three consecutive birdies from the second by taking advantage of the par-five sixth, only for Schauffele to roll in from 13 feet at the fourth to move back to 10 under.

Scheffler missed an eight-foot birdie chance at the fourth but got up and down from short of the green to match Schauffele’s birdie at the sixth, with the world No 1 then settling for par at the par-three ninth despite hitting the flag off the tee.

FedExCup leader Scheffler goes close to a hole-in-one during the second round of the Tour Championship, rattling the flag with his tee shot at the par-three ninth

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FedExCup leader Scheffler goes close to a hole-in-one during the second round of the Tour Championship, rattling the flag with his tee shot at the par-three ninth

FedExCup leader Scheffler goes close to a hole-in-one during the second round of the Tour Championship, rattling the flag with his tee shot at the par-three ninth

Rahm added birdies at the eighth and 12th to go six under for his round, as Schauffele began his back nine by converting from eight feet and then matching Scheffler’s birdie at the 12th to reclaim solo second and stay within six of the lead.

Scheffler scrambled to save pars over his next three holes and continue his bogey-free round, while Rahm birdied the 16th and cancelled out a bogey at the next by taking advantage of the par-five last to move to 13 under.

Jon Rahm played alongside Sepp Straka, who carded a second successive 68

Jon Rahm played alongside Sepp Straka, who carded a second successive 68

Schauffele made the most of Scheffler’s missed birdie attempt at the 16th by holing from a similar distance, with the Olympic gold medallist making another from four feet at the next to cut the gap to four.

Scheffler was forced to lay-up after a wayward tee shot at the 18th and failed to convert his 12-foot birdie attempt, as Schauffele fired an incredible approach to within six feet and holed the eagle putt to reduce his fellow American’s advantage to the lead he started the week with.

Rory McIlroy sits in seventh place after a bogey-free 67, while Max Homa heads into the weekend on nine under and in the group tied-eighth after a round-of-the-day 62. US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick dropped to a share of 11th after a one-over 71.

What the players said

Scottie Scheffler: “I’m happy only making one bogey. That was a one-putt bogey, so really at the end of the day it was a pretty good bogey. I feel like I’ve given myself a lot of looks; I’ve kept the ball in position for the most part. Had a couple bad swings off the tee today, but other than that given myself a lot of looks and playing good.”

Schauffele discusses posting a brilliant second-round 63 and moving within two strokes of the halfway lead at the season-ending Tour Championship

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Schauffele discusses posting a brilliant second-round 63 and moving within two strokes of the halfway lead at the season-ending Tour Championship

Schauffele discusses posting a brilliant second-round 63 and moving within two strokes of the halfway lead at the season-ending Tour Championship

Xander Schauffele: “There’s a lot of golf to be played on this property. I got off to kind of a bad start and saw a bunch of 62s and 63s on the board, so I just tucked my head and got to work.”

Jon Rahm: “It’s going to take 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 post another good round again tomorrow and he doesn’t shoot a low one, we’ll be in position.”

Who will win the FedExCup? Watch the Tour Championship throughout the weekend live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues Saturday from 5.30pm on Sky Sports Golf.

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