With play suspended because of darkness for the second consecutive day, Matt Kuchar relied on steady play and a bogey-free effort to grab the lead at Liberty National Golf Course midway through the second round. Here's how things shape up at The Barclays, where Kuchar holds a one-shot lead and Tiger Woods trails by five shots through 13 holes:
What it means: After Simpson took the early lead thanks to a 5-under 66, Kuchar caught and ultimately passed him thanks to a solid effort Friday that included five birdies and eight pars. The final hole he completed was the par-5 13th, where Kuchar reached the green in two shots and took sole possession of the lead after two-putting for birdie. Woodland's closing birdie in the waning light allowed him to join Simpson at 9 under through 36 holes as a star-studded leaderboard is beginning to formulate in New Jersey.
Round of the day: In need of a solid score to make the 36-hole cut, Bradley went one better, breaking the course record with his 8-under 63 Friday at Liberty National. The former PGA champion failed to drop a shot in his second round, carding four birdies on both the front and back nines in Jersey City. Though he reached just 14 of 18 greens in regulation, Bradley was able to move up 73 spots on the leaderboard and as a result finds himself firmly in contention with two rounds still to play.
Best of the rest: Beginning his second round on the back nine, Fowler got things going in a hurry. Birdies on Nos. 12, 14, 15 and 16 were sandwiched around an impressive eagle at the 13th, a stretch that helped propel Fowler to an outward 5-under 30. The 24-year-old played the front nine in 2 under for a round of 64, climbing 55 spots on the leaderboard in the process. Now at 7-under 135 through two rounds, Fowler finds himself three shots off Kuchar’s overnight lead and in position to contend for what would be his fifth top-10 finish of the year.
Biggest disappointment: One of the more consistent players on Tour last year, Bo Van Pelt has struggled to replicate those results this season. After opening with a 1-under 70, Van Pelt appeared in solid position but struggled Friday to a 5-over 76 in the second round. As a result, the former Oklahoma State product will miss the cut this weekend in New Jersey and, although he entered the week 90th in the FedEx Cup standings, will have to watch the leaderboard Sunday to find out if he will be able to hold on to a spot in the top 100 to advance to next week’s Deutsche Bank Championship.
Main storyline heading into Saturday: With Kuchar among a large group of players that will have to resume their second rounds at 7 a.m. ET Saturday, it remains to be seen exactly how the leaderboard will shape up heading into the third round. One certainty, though, is that there will be no shortage of high-profile contenders, as the group chasing Kuchar includes each of the season’s first two major champions, with Woods still lurking five shots behind after an erratic effort Friday.
Shot of the day: After a 346-yard drive found the fairway, Fowler found himself in prime position at the par-5 13th hole with just 183 yards to the hole. His approach shot carried the lake in front of the green and landed near the pin, settling just 3 feet from the target to set up an easy eagle.
Quote of the day: “This has always been a tournament that I've always really wanted to play well at, and this is the first time I've even remotely come close to shooting under par, so it's nice.” – Bradley, who broke the course record Friday with an 8-under 63.