MEDINAH, Ill. — Hideki Matsuyama has never missed the Tour Championship since his first full year on the PGA Tour. He played Friday like he does not want the streak to end.
Outside the top 30 in the FedEx Cup for the first time at the BMW Championship, Matsuyama made five birdie putts from 15 feet or longer and broke the course record at Medinah with a 9-under 63 for a one-shot lead going into the weekend.
He started his second round with a 30-foot birdie putt. He ended the round with a 30-foot birdie putt.
The explanation for what went right was not that long.
“I did make a lot of long putts today, and that was the difference,” Matsuyama said through his interpreter.
That was a big difference for Tiger Woods, too. He made only two putts longer than 6 feet, made a pair of bogeys from the bunkers late in the round and had to settle for another 71. Woods, who needs a top-10 finish to advance to the Tour Championship, was tied for 49th.
“I left quite a few shots out there,” Woods said.
Matsuyama was at 12-under 132, one shot ahead of Patrick Cantlay (67) and Tony Finau (66). Justin Thomas made six birdies to offset three bogeys in his round of 69, leaving him two shots behind.
Cantlay, Finau and Thomas are all assured of being among the top 30 who advance to the Tour Championship next week, where everyone in the field will have a shot at winning the FedEx Cup and the $15 million prize.
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