Dustin Johnson has missed nine birdie chances from 10 feet or closer at Liberty National, which ordinarily might annoy him.
He's hitting it so well that he still leads The Northern Trust Open.
Johnson birdied three of his last six holes Friday, finishing with an approach to 8 feet on the 489-yard closing hole, for a 4-under 67 that gave him a one-shot lead over Jordan Spieth (64) going into the weekend.
Johnson has won this FedEx Cup playoffs opener twice at other courses. He was at 12-under 130.
"I've got a lot of control with the golf ball and hitting a lot of really nice shots and rolled in a couple putts today which is nice, but still feel like I left quite a few out there," Johnson said. "I'm in a good position heading into the weekend, and if I can keep swinging the way I am, I think it's going to be a good weekend."
The weekend does not include Masters champion Tiger Woods, and neither did Friday.
Woods, who opened with a 75, withdrew a few hours before his second round was to begin because of what he described as a mild strain to the oblique that Woods says was causing pain and stiffness. It's the first time he withdrew in the middle of a tournament since February 2017, two months before fusion surgery on his lower back. He said he was hopeful to play next week at Medinah.
Spieth might be finding some form at just the right time. Winless in more than two years, the 2013 and 2015 John Deere Classic champ started the PGA Tour's postseason at No. 69 in the FedEx Cup with no assurance of staying among the top 70 who advance to next week at Medinah.
He might be one round away from thinking more about winning. Spieth was on the same score (131) that he was going into the weekend last week at the Wyndham Championship, where he followed with a 77 and missed the 54-hole cut. His shots have been tighter, his misses not that severe and he even got some good fortune on his final hole that led to a birdie and a spot in the last group.
Johnson and Spieth have played together at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am each of the last five years.
The opening playoff event had a strong cast of contenders, with Jon Rahm and Patrick Reed two shots behind, and Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy among those another shot back. McIlroy was just happy he wasn't farther behind.
He walked off the par-3 14th with a double bogey because of a two-shot penalty from the bunker. McIlroy went to remove a small stone next to his ball, but realized when he touched it and it disintegrated that it was a clump of wet sand from a brief storm delay. The original ruling was a penalty. The PGA Tour reviewed it as McIlroy played the last four holes, spoke to him after the round and determined that was no intent to improve his lie. His 70 became a 68.
"The reason I called someone over is I don't want anything on my conscience, either," McIlroy said. "I feel like I play the game with integrity and I'm comfortable saying that I didn't improve anything. I thought it was a rock. It wasn't. I moved my hand away, and then I was like, 'I don't know if I've done anything wrong here.'
"It came down to me and they said, 'OK, are you comfortable telling us you didn't improve your lie?' And for me, I am comfortable saying that."
Missing the cut meant the end of the season for at least two dozen players who would not be among the top 70, which includes Bubba Watson. Sergio Garcia would appear to be a casualty having started at No. 65 and not making it to the weekend.
The first step for Spieth was to make sure he stayed in the top 70. Now it's about contending.
"The important thing for me is not to get ahead of myself," Spieth said. "Historically, I'm a very consistent player. I've lost a bit of that. I still have the firepower but that consistency is what I'm trying to get back, and there's certainly going to be times where I'm out of position over the weekend. It's about limiting mistakes. One bogey over 36 holes is somewhat unrealistic week to week. But if I can hold it close to that for the next 36, again, that firepower is still there. And it would certainly shoot my confidence up."
Johnson's year has been quiet since winning a World Golf Championship in Mexico City for his 20th career victory. Another year passed without winning a major. He was runner-up in the first two majors, but he hasn't finish better than 20th since the PGA Championship.
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He feels the consistency in his swing is returning. And while he's not making everything, he's making enough and likes the way he's rolling it.
"I feel like I'm stroking it well right now," he said. "I worked on the stroke a lot the last couple weeks and feel good and I have confidence in it."
Hur leads weather-delayed Ladies Scottish Open: Mi Jung Hur surged into a two-shot lead Friday in the rain-delayed second round of the Ladies Scottish Open, getting the best of the draw and finishing in the early evening with a 9-under 62.
Players with morning tee times dealt with heavy wind and rain at The Renaissance Club, and play was suspended in the early afternoon, delaying the start times for half of the field and giving them a huge advantage as the sun came out and the wind died. The second round could not be completed Friday because of darkness.
Hur, who started on No. 10, made only one par over her first 12 holes. The South Korean began with two birdies and then holed a 25-yard pitch-and-run from the rough for eagle on the par-5 12th. She made six more birdies, along with two bogeys, over her next nine, and added one more birdie to post a two-day total of 14-under 128.
"I got a really lucky draw for this week. I had the morning yesterday and afternoon today," Hur said. "I know it was really tough this morning, but sometimes I need luck for those things."
None of the players who started in the morning was inside the top 20. Only two of the 78 players with morning tee times broke 70.
Moriya Jutanugarn was 12 under after a 66. Sharing third at 10 under were U.S. Women's Open champion Jeongeun Lee6 (65) and Anne van Dam, who followed her opening-round 63 with a 69.
"I think if we get decent weather, low scores are out there," van Dam said. "If it will get rainy and more windy, maybe two rounds around par will be fine. So I have no clue."
Muni He was 9 under with three holes to play, the best score among those who did not finish.
Former U.S. Women's Open champion Na Yeon Choi, who has struggled with back injuries for the past four years, was 6 under after a 64. She tied for third in her previous tournament, the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, her best finish since 2016.
Laura Davies matched the best round of the morning wave with a 68. The 55-year-old Hall of Famer aced the 152-yard fifth hole, her 12th career hole-in-one.
"Lovely wedge, never left the pin," Davies said. "It seemed to roll for ages and just dropped in."
"It's probably the second-best round I've probably ever shot because obviously needed to have a good round to make the cut," said Davies, who opened with a 72 and was 2 under. "I had a 6-under 66 in Canada years ago in similar conditions, but that's as close as I can get to it. It was horrific out there. ... I hit two 1-irons into the fourth, 1-iron off the tee and 1-iron into the green. I've never done that before."
It was Davies' first made cut in 11 LPGA Tour starts this year. She has been working part-time as a TV commentator and joined the Sky Sports broadcast booth after her round on Friday.
"People say, 'Oh, should you give up and commentate, you're a rubbish golfer now,' but I still know I can hit shots and play like that," Davies said. "I've just got to do it and prove it, and that's the only thing. But you can only prove to yourself if you hit the good shots."