Brooks Koepka co-leads the 2018 Northern Trust after 36 holes with Jamie Lovemark at 10 under after firing a 6-under 65 in Round 2 that included a startling back nine 30. Koepka played his first three nines on the week in 33-34-35 before burning down the second nine at Ridgewood Country Club on Friday with six 3s (including one on a par 5) and three 4s.
His reward is the final pairing on Saturday in Round 3 with Lovemark as he goes for his third win of the year (and the summer). Koepka is doing what Koepka does so far in New Jersey. He's second in the field in driving, second from tee to green and top 20 in approach shots. He's putting well, and thus he's winning. When the best lead, it always seems so simple.
The 28-year-old Koepka has three major championships but just one non-major championship win on the PGA Tour. This is a statistical oddity that everyone is at least familiar with now after he won his second major of 2018 at the PGA Championship a few weeks ago.
In a weird way, it feels a little like Koepka has something to prove this week. Obviously, that's a little silly at face value and his legacy is secure -- three majors at 28 will do that to a golfer -- but to be generationally great you have to at least do some other stuff. You have to win some other massive events, contend for all the money and maybe win a FedEx Cup.
This tournament (and this playoffs) is now Koepka's to lose. There's an allure with guys who are able to do it week in and week out, to pick off three wins in seven weeks or five for a year. It's hard to win majors, but it's also hard to consistently win non-majors. Koepka has that opportunity, and I'm fascinated to see how he responds this weekend with a chance to take the tournament and the season-ending race by the throat.
Here are three more takeaways from Round 2 of The Northern Trust.
1. Triple double: Dustin Johnson is somehow 8 under and T4 with two (!) triples on the card. He made one on Thursday early before opening his round with another one on Friday. I'm not sure if it's ever happened before, but having a scorecard with 15 birdies, two triples and a bogey is a sight to behold. He's going to win this, isn't he?
DJ made triple bogey and shot 67 in consecutive rounds. He is the only player in the last decade (as far back as I've gone so far) to have consecutive rounds with a triple or worse and scores of 67 or better.— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) August 24, 2018
2. Adam Scott is alive! After his run at the PGA Championship a few weeks ago, Scott is again showing signs of life. The Australian is 9 under and in third after 36 holes. A win here would be his first since ... wow ... since he won twice in 2016 and just his third top 10 on the season on the PGA Tour. He's using a long putter that's about as tall as Manute Bol, but it's working. He's No. 6 in the field in strokes gained putting.
3. Most to gain: Jhonattan Vegas and Sean O'Hair both narrowly made the top 125 to get into the playoffs, and now they're both T6 after Round 2. That's an impressive swing that would put them near the top 70 in the FedEx Cup rankings, good enough to get into next week's Dell Technologies Championship and close to good enough for the BMW Championship after that. There's still a long way to go, but Vegas and O'Hair both stand to gain a ton over the final 36.
CBS Sports was with you the entire way updating this story live with the latest scores, highlights and analysis throughout Round 2 of The Northern Trust but particularly when Woods was on the course. If you are unable to view the live updates below, please click here.
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