The Deutsche Bank Championship has had a fair amount of heavyweight bouts in only 10 years. This Labor Day weekend is shaping up as another one, featuring two generations of stars.
Rory McIlroy at times made it look easy on his way to another 6-under 65 at TPC Boston in Norton, Mass., to take the 36-hole lead. Tiger Woods putted poorly and still had a 68, leaving him two shots back. In between was Louis Oosthuizen, a former British Open champion who had four 2s on his card in a round of 65.
Puyallup’s Ryan Moore had a 68 and was tied with Woods at 10-under 132.
McIlroy also steadied himself down the stretch to set an early target. No one could catch him in the afternoon, and the two-time major champion wound up at 12 under.
The TPC Boston is where Woods and Vijay Singh had a memorable battle on Labor Day in 2004, when Singh won to replace Woods at No. 1 in the world. Two years later, Woods closed with a 63 to rally from a three-shot deficit against Singh. And in the first year of the FedEx Cup in 2007, it was Phil Mickelson who played three rounds with Woods and wound up beating him by two shots.
Woods and McIlroy might be the next one.
“I think if you look at the overall list of champions here, they’re all big hitters,” Woods said.
First-round leader Seung-yul Noh (71), Jason Dufner (66) and Masters champion Charl Schwartzel (65) were among those at 9-under 133.
The biggest moment Saturday belonged to Sean O’Hair, who is No. 74 in the FedEx Cup. Only the top 70 advance to the third stage next week at Crooked Stick, and O’Hair figured he was cooked when he three-putted the 17th to fall two shots over the cut line. But he blistered a 4-iron to 3 feet and made eagle, keeping his hopes alive.
Rickie Fowler made a clutch putt on his final hole, a 4-footer for par that gave him a 72. It looked even more significant at the time because it assured he would make the cut, giving him two more days to make an impression on Davis Love III before he announces his four captain’s picks for the Ryder Cup on Tuesday.
Hunter Mahan had a 72 to end his streak of two missed cuts and boost his hopes of getting one of the four picks.
SCOT IN COMMAND
Scotland’s Richie Ramsay thrived in the cold and wet Swiss Alps, shooting a 7-under 64 for an 11-under total and a one-stroke lead over countryman Paul Lawrie (67) and England’s Danny Willett (68) after the third round of the European Masters in Crans-sur-Sierre, Switzerland.