Korea's Sungjae Im stayed firmly in contention at the BMW Championship following a 7-under 65 on a day American muscleman Bryson DeChambeau blitzed the Caves Valley Golf Club with a stunning 12-under 60 for the solo second round lead on Friday.
Im made eight birdies against a lone bogey to end the weather-disrupted day on 12-under 132 in tied fourth place, four shots back of DeChambeau who missed a 6-foot, 3-inch birdie putt on the final hole for a magical 59 as he posted his career-low score.
Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama of Japan made an eagle and four birdies but his charge was slowed down considerably with three bogeys, including on the last hole as he signed for a 69 to lie in tied 15th place on 8-under.
Chasing his second PGA TOUR victory in what is the penultimate FedExCup Playoffs event, Im started strongly with three close range birdies on Hole Nos. 1, 2 and 4 which set the tone for his day. "I made eight birdies. On this course, it is very important to start with momentum early in the round. This is the key for the good round. I made three birdies in my first five holes, and got this momentum and kept it until the back nine where I made another four birdies," said Im, who entered the week in 25th place on the FedExCup standings and projected to rise to 14th.
Im's ball striking was immaculate once again as he hit 11 fairways and 14 greens in regulation. With the exception of a 40-foot birdie conversion on the eighth, his other birdies were from inside of nine feet. "The slopes on the course is little bit severe, so it was a bit physically challenging. And the hot weather also bothered me. I need to keep my focus and control my condition," said Im.
Korea's K.H. Lee carded his second 69 for a share of 23rd place following a round of four birdies and one bogey. Currently 37th on the FedExCup standings, he needs a projected ninth place finish or better to have a chance of progressing into next week's Season Finale, the TOUR Championship in Atlanta which is exclusive to the top-30 players who will battle for the FedExCup.
Another Korean, Si Woo Kim, was even par through 14 holes but following a 74 on Thursday, he lies in tied 67th place and in danger of concluding his season this week. He requires a projected 15th place to advance to East Lake Golf Club next week.
DeChambeau, an eight-time PGA TOUR winner, equalled the season's lowest score and was attempting to post the 13th sub-60 score in PGA TOUR history. He also equalled his low 36-hole score on TOUR (128/2019 3M Open).
"A lot of putts went in. A lot of things went right. We got a lot of great numbers out of the rough today, and I played my butt off and never thought too much about anything until the last few holes, and I striped a 9-iron on 17, striped a drive, striped a wedge on 18 and just wasn't able to clutch those putts up. But I stroked it pretty well today, and going to go work on that a little bit and make sure I'm hitting it down my lines for this weekend so I have myself a chance to win this weekend," he said.
"I thought I hit it on the line (on 18). Just misread it. We played it two and a half, three inches out, and it clearly didn't break that much, but I had good speed on it and I'll go look afterwards and see if I pulled it or not and work on ways to mitigate that."
Partial Second-Round Notes – Friday, August 27, 2021
Weather: Partly cloudy. High of 82. Wind S 5-10 mph. Play was suspended due to a dangerous weather situation at 4:32 p.m. and resumed at 6:18 p.m. (1 hour, 46 minutes). Play was suspended due to darkness at 7:40 p.m., with 15 players yet to complete their round. The second round will resume at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, with the third round consisting of threesomes off split tees from approximately 10:40 a.m. – 12:50 p.m.
Bryson DeChambeau 68-60—128 (-16)
Patrick Cantlay 66-63—129 (-15)
Jon Rahm 64- (-15 thru 15 holes)
Sungjae Im 67-65—132 (-12)
Sergio Garcia 65-67—132 (-12)
Things to Know
Bryson DeChambeau missed a 6-foot, 3-inch birdie putt on the final hole for a 59; posted a career-low 12-under 60
Currently at +11.135 when play was suspended, Patrick Cantlay would set the record for lowest Strokes Gained: Putting through the first two rounds of a PGA TOUR event in the ShotLink era (2003-present)
Sergio Garcia, who entered the week No. 44 in the FedExCup, is bogey-free through two rounds for the third time in his PGA TOUR career
Preferred lies utilized the first two rounds
Second-Round Lead Notes
7 Second-round leaders/co-leaders since 2000 at the BMW Championship to go on to win (most recent: Marc Leishman/2017)
Second-round leaders/co-leaders to win on PGA TOUR in 2020-21 (most recent: Phil Mickelson/PGA Championship)b
Bryson DeChambeau (1st/-16)
Made par at the 18th hole during the second round, missing a 6-foot, 3-inch birdie putt and carding a 12-under 60
Prior to missing the putt on No. 18, was 13-for-13 inside 10 feet (including 3-for-3 from 4-8 feet) during the round
60 marks his career-low score on TOUR (previous: 62, twice; most recent: R1/2020 Shriners Children's Open)
Equals season's lowest score (60: James Hahn/R3/Barbasol Championship, Cameron Smith/R3/THE NORTHERN TRUST)
Was attempting to post the 13th sub-60 score in PGA TOUR history (11 59s, one 58); records the 42nd 60 on TOUR
Opened the round with his career-best nine-hole score in relation to par (7-under 29)
Sixth round with multiple eagles (Nos. 4 and 16)
Equals his low 36-hole score on TOUR (128/2019 3M Open)
Seeking to become the first three-time winner this season (2020 U.S. Open, 2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard); is one of six multiple winners
Making his fifth start in the BMW Championship, with a T19 in 2018 his best finish; the BMW Championship is one of three tournaments he has made four or more starts without a top-10 finish (5/Masters Tournament, 4/BMW Championship, 4/The Open Championship)
Patrick Cantlay (T2/-15)
Marks seventh round of 63 or better (60/2011 Travelers Championship/R2, 61/2021 The American Express/R4, 62/2021 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am/R1, 63/2018 Shriners Children's Open/R3, 2019 Shriners Children's Open/R3, 2020 Shriners Children's Open/R1, 2021 BMW Championship/R2)
Currently at +11.135 when play was suspended, would set the record for lowest Strokes Gained: Putting through the first two rounds of a PGA TOUR event in the ShotLink era (2003-present)
Scoring breakdown this week: first nine holes (even), last 27 holes (15-under)
Seeking to become the first three-time winner this season (2020 ZOZO Championship, 2021 the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday); is one of six multiple winners
Jon Rahm (T2/-15 thru 15 holes)
Six-time PGA TOUR winner, including the 2021 U.S. Open; has never successfully defended a title
Last four starts on the PGA TOUR: WD/the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday (led by six strokes after 54 holes and was forced to withdraw), Won/U.S. Open, T3/The Open Championship, 3/THE NORTHERN TRUST
One career win in the FedExCup Playoffs (2020 BMW Championship)
Leads the PGA TOUR in top-10 finishes this season with 13
Miscellaneous Player Notes
Making his 34th start of the season, Sungjae Im recorded a second-round 65, the same score he posted in round two at last week's THE NORTHERN TRUST where he went on to finish T16 (one of 14 top-25s this season)
Sergio Garcia is bogey-free through two rounds for the third time in his career (2011 Valspar Championship/T15, 2016 AT&T Byron Nelson/won); making his 11th BMW Championship start and first since 2017 (T12); is No. 44 in the FedExCup as he seeks a return to the TOUR Championship for the first time since 2017
2012 BMW Championship winner and first-round co-leader Rory McIlroy posted a second-round 2-under 70; in addition to his 2012 victory, finished inside the top-10 in 2014/T8, 2015/T4 and 2018/5th; two-time FedExCup champion has five FedExCup Playoffs titles, second only to Dustin Johnson (6)
With a second-round 4-under 68, Sebastian Munoz posted his 11th straight round in the 60s on TOUR