JERSEY CITY, N.J. – Matt Kuchar was just hoping for a two-putt.
When the horn sounded as darkness fell on Liberty National late in Friday’s second round, Kuchar had a 28-foot birdie putt from the fringe on the 14th hole. He went to sleep thinking he’d be more than happy with a good lag and tap-in par, ensuring his lead would remain.
But it didn’t happen. He made it instead.
Kuchar poured in that birdie putt and followed with two more on 16 and 17 in the continuation of the second round on Saturday morning. Despite bogeys on 15 and 18, it was still good enough for a 6-under 65 to put him at 11 under for the tournament, two strokes clear of Webb Simpson and Gary Woodland at the midway point of The Barclays.
Two strokes further behind Simpson and Woodland is the formidable foursome of Charl Schwartzel, Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott and Keegan Bradley, the latter of whom set the course record with a 63 on Friday afternoon.
Nine players are one stroke further back at 6 under, including Tiger Woods, who opened with rounds of 67-69 to get into contention for a sixth PGA Tour title of the season.
The third round will be contested in threesomes off split tees beginning at 10:43 a.m. and continuing until the final group of Kuchar, Simpson and Woodland at 12:55 p.m.