Aaron Baddeley, Rich Beem and Mike Weir are tied for the lead at the Deutsche Bank Championship but it looks like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will have plenty to say about who wins.
Baddeley, Beem and Weir each are at nine-under-par 133 after two rounds of the FedEx Cup event and they share a one-shot lead. Mickelson is in a group of four players at eight-under 134 and Woods is tied for 13th at six-under 136.
Baddeley, who played with Woods in the final group on Sunday at the US Open, carded a 66 at TPC Boston. Beem also shot 66 and Weir signed for a 68 but it was Woods and Mickelson who turned in the rounds of the day.
Playing together, along with Vijay Singh, Woods and Mickelson got off to slow starts on Friday but were at the top of their games in the second round and each signed for a seven-under 64.
The defending champion Woods got hot on his final nine. He double-bogeyed the par-four fourth on Thursday but made up for it with an eagle on Saturday. He drove the green and dropped a 33-foot putt. He had birdied the two holes prior to that and added two more at numbers six and seven to cap a stellar round.
England’s Luke Donald is tied for 19th after carding a five-under 66 but Ian Poulter and Justin Rose failed to make the cut after rounds of 72 and 76 respectively.
“I knew that three or four-under-par would put me right back in the tournament. Now I’m back in the tournament,” Woods said.
“We’ll see what the weather is (Sunday) and find my score and hopefully go shoot it.”
Mickelson had his own hot stretch in the middle of the round when he played eight holes in seven-under. He birdied 15 and 16 and finished his front nine with an eagle at 18.
He maintained his momentum on the inward half, birdying numbers one, two and four before closing a bogey-free round with a string of five pars.
“Today was a lot of fun. I think this is what we were hoping for and kind of expecting yesterday,” Mickelson said. “It was actually, I thought, a little more challenging day today with the cooler air and the breeze, but the greens were so perfect that you felt you could make a lot of putts.
“I certainly made a decent amount of par-saving putts as well as some birdie putts, and so did everybody else in the group, and that led to some low scores.”
Singh had a 66 to keep himself from missing a third straight cut.
“Today we all played well, which was nice,” Woods said. “We all made some putts and got it going. You know, when you get in those groups when you all feed off one another, when you’re all going low, all making birdies, those are the fun pairings to get involved in.”
Baddeley had seven birdies and two bogeys to grab a share of the lead. At 21st in the Cup, he is well inside the cutoff of the top 70 to advance to next week’s event.
“It was definitely a goal this week was to lock up the Tour Championship and to play well and to give myself an opportunity to win,” Baddeley. “I knew winning would definitely guarantee the Tour Championship.”
Beem and Weir are not as fortunate. Beem needs to finish no worse than second to move on and Weir needs to finish in the top five to have any chance of moving into the top 70 and playing the BMW Championship outside Chicago.
“I sure am having some fun. But yeah, this is certainly interesting,” Beem said. “I’ve made it interesting for myself.
“I’m having a (darn) sure lot of fun out there, and I think it’s showing. I’ve just got to keep moving forward and hopefully the guys that are behind me won’t do anything crazy.”
“I just want to play well for myself. It’s been a while since I’ve hoisted a trophy, and more than anything, that’s what I’m concerned about,” Weir said. “With that, you know, that would get me into next week. But more than that, I just want to get back in the winner’s circle.”
Sean O’Hair (66), Brett Wetterich (68) and Ryan Moore (69) are tied with Mickelson at eight-under. Colombian Camilo Villegas followed up an opening eight-under 63 with a 72 and is at seven-under.