Xander Schauffele increases Wells Fargo lead; Rory McIlroy T2

League: Golf

Posted on: 11 May, 2024 at 12:01 AM

Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Xander Schauffele built a four-stroke lead after two rounds of the Wells Fargo Championship by posting a 4-under 67 on Friday in Charlotte, N.C.

The world No. 4 started the day with a three-shot cushion on the field and went out to produce a five-birdie round to get to 11-under 131. Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland (68) and Jason Day of Australia (67) are the closest to Schauffele, tied at 7 under.

Schauffele has won seven times on the PGA Tour but is eyeing his first title since July 2022.

"I played some really good golf I'd say in the last year-ish," Schauffele said. "I haven't won in a couple years, but I've definitely been close. Just got to really stay present in those tough spots that have got me in the past."

Schauffele made his first four birdies during a six-hole stretch from Nos. 5-10 at Quail Hollow Club. For his third shot at the par-5 10th, he chipped from 90 feet away and rolled it just 3 feet past the hole.

The 30-year-old stuck his tee shot at the par-3 13th inside 5 feet to set up his fifth birdie. He finished his round with his only bogey of the day after missing the 18th green in regulation and lipping out a 14-foot would-be par save.

"It's always easier said than done," Schauffele said of staying steady on the weekend. "Make sure things are sharp. Lucky to get this round in (before a weather delay). Not going to be able to practice now, which may be a good thing for me. Just going to try and rest up."

McIlroy had four bogeys on Thursday but put those struggles behind him Friday by carding three birdies and 15 pars.

"Felt like I probably could have squeezed a couple more out of the round, but anytime you can go around this golf course bogey-free it's always going to be a decent day," the world No. 2 said. "Yeah, look, it's two solid days. I set myself up for another good go at it this weekend."

Day put up five birdies and a bogey over a six-hole swing from Nos. 7-12 to move up the leaderboard. The 13-time PGA Tour winner is expecting a different challenge on the weekend as the weather changes.

"I think (the greens are) going to be a little bit faster," he said. "We were expecting a little bit high winds today, that's no wonder they're a little bit slower. I think we're going to have really good weather on the weekend and it's going to be a little bit faster. You know, understand that we're going to have that coming in."

Taylor Moore and South Korea's Sungjae Im shot 68 for the second straight day to get to 6 under and a tie for fourth.

Collin Morikawa was at 6 under and in the 18th fairway when the horn sounded for a course evacuation due to lightning in the area. The delay was brief, but when he returned he proceeded to put his next shot into a greenside bunker and went on to make bogey for a second-round 70. At 5 under, he is alone in sixth place.

The sixth signature event of the season comes with a $20 million purse while also serving as PGA Tour players' final tune-up before next week's PGA Championship. There is no 36-hole cut.

--Field Level Media