2022 Leaderboard Collapse: Scotty Schaeffler beats Xander Shaveli to lead in the second round

Day two of the 2022 Tour Championship looked very similar to the first. World number one and FedEx Cup leader Scotty Scheffler picked up the cards in a 4-under-66 round and went on to set the East Lake Golf Club on fire. Standing at 19 below the halfway point, however, Scheffler’s lead is by no means safe. Despite nurturing his own business, Schaeffler saw his lead cut to two, with competitor Xander Schauffele outselling his effort by three strokes on Friday.

Although Schaeffler maintained the two-stroke margin he started the week with, the leaderboard formation behind him has brought in a handful of new chasers. Shovelli is the closest contender – just as he was after the first round – but he is now under 17 under after playing his last three holes in the under-4. Jon Ram also put his name in the hat thanks to his 7-under-63s and under-13s after starting his seventh week away from speed. Rahm and Schauffele have both enjoyed solid performances at East Lake in the past, and so far this experience has helped them in their quest for the top name in the game.

The same goes for Rory McIlroy, who recovered from his turbulent start on Thursday. Signing for another round of 3-under 67, the two-time FedEx Cup winner is a full nine strokes off the lead of Schaeffler but finds himself seventh on his own. Despite the group of names on the front page of the leaderboard, a two-horse race likely developed in suburban Atlanta.

Leader

1. Scotty Scheffler (-19): Despite having moments of discomfort – his shot on the tee in 3rd 15th barely cleans the water, for example – the World No. 1 remains at the top of the leaderboard. He’s 9 less than a week old, two strokes worse than Shaveli. I can’t imagine the irresistible Schaeffler being so concerned about his performance up to this point.

As comfortable as Schaeffler may be, the racket must improve if he is to successfully tackle Schauffele and the others. After finishing fifth in his two-strokes on Thursday, he slipped hard on Friday and came in 26th on the Greens. His game carried him from the tee to the green in the second round, but Schaeffler wouldn’t have the luxury of his B game carrying him to victory given how Shaveli – and even Ram – is playing right now.

The other competitors

2 – Xander Shavili (-17)

3 – John Ram (-13)

T4. Sungjae M and Patrick Cantlay (-12)

6 – Joaquin Niemann (-11)

7 – Rory McIlroy (-10)

Schauffele brilliantly changed the look of this entire tournament at 29 noon. The man who has been simply ridiculous about East Lake throughout his career has continued to show his affinity for the property this week. The 2017 Tour Championship winner did everything right with his 36 holes, and if he can continue to perform in this way, he will have a realistic chance of turning his four-stroke deficit into a FedEx Cup victory over the weekend.

Ram is in a familiar state

The guy who claimed a low 72-hole total a year ago is ready to do it again. In the context of Ram’s season, marked by just one less-than-stellar stadium victory in the Mexican Open, the close call at the end of the season will certainly align with the theme of disappointment.

The former world number one was fantastic during the first two weeks of the post-season, connecting in the top 10 straight finishes and finally finding a comfort level with the racket in hand. While the lowest result of the week may not produce a Cup, it could provide momentum just as it did in 2021 when he carried his level from East Lake to a dominant performance in the Ryder Cup.

“It is more possible, but it [Scheffler’s] It’s going to take a really strong weekend. From me and I hope it’s not as strong as Scotty. That’s kind of what we’re looking for. I think tomorrow could be a good day. If I can Whoever posted another good round again tomorrow and didn’t hit a low round, we’d be in the center.”

Take a bow, Max Homa

The two-time winner this season entered the week in under 2 and, after a poor first run around East Lake on Thursday, bounced back in a big way on Friday. Signing an 8-under-62, Homma moved inside the top ten and positioned himself to collect another seven-figure check at the Tour Championship final.

“I felt like I deserved to play well, and I didn’t even allow myself in the first place. I went the distance, I hit really hard, and I think I have to do this,” Homa said. “You’ve just done a couple of cool things. Why don’t you just see what’s going on and trust you put in the work.”

2022 Tour Championship Update Odds and Choices

  • Scotty Scheffler: 5/7
  • Xander Shaveli: 7/4
  • John Ram: 11-1
  • Patrick Cantlay: 22-1
  • Sungjae Im: 35-1
  • Rory McIlroy: 40-1
  • Joaquin Niemann: 75-1

Only seven names check in under 200-1 and even that might be too much. For my money, only three players have a chance of lifting the FedEx Cup so far, and Schaeffler remains the best bet even though Schaeffel is breathing through his neck. The world number 1 seed didn’t have his best in the second round but stayed at a fair price at -140.

In the week, Schaeffler ranked first in strokes gaining the tee into the green. He also found his name inside the top five of the strokes gained from the tee, the strokes gained approach and the strokes gained around the green. If the racket cooperates as he did in the first round, he will continue his lead over Shaveli on Saturday and will claim the title on Sunday.

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