Golf

2020 Charles Schwab Challenge leaderboard breakdown: Rory McIlroy vaults into top five in Round 2

McIlroy shot a 63 on Friday to place himself into contention heading into the weekend in Texas

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By Kyle Boone    CBS Sports

Golf again took center stage of the sports world on Friday at the Charles Schwab Challenge, and again it did not disappoint. There were Jordan Spieth highs (and Jordan Spieth lows). There were (more) Bryson DeChambeau memes. There was an incredible low-round 63 from Rory McIlroy as he vaulted himself into the top five on the leaderboard. But in the end, there was but one man standing atop that leaderboard alone: Harold Varner III.

The 29-year-old Varner has yet to notch a victory on the PGA Tour but is halfway to accomplishing exactly that after posting a 4-under 66 Friday, a day after a 7-under 63 that tied for the best outing on Thursday. He’s 11 under through 36 holes.

Challengers are abound in the second fringe behind him with Spieth and DeChambeau one stroke back at 10 under after posting 5-under 65s on consecutive days. Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele, McIlroy and Gary Woodland are all two strokes off the lead at 9 under.

That’s but a taste of the full leaderboard, which is chock full of star power from top to bottom, setting up a huge moving day on Saturday. Let’s run through the action and recap Day 2 at Colonial.

Round 2 leaderboard breakdown

1. Harold Varner III (-11): After firing off a 63 on Friday, tied for the field’s best from Day 1 with Justin Rose, Varner opened his Round 2 in as disastrous a fashion as possible — carding a triple bogey on his first hole out of the gate. He rallied from there, posting three birdies before the turn and playing a bogey-free final nine in which he finished his day with birdies on five of the final six holes.

T2. Jordan Spieth (-10): It was a rollercoaster to get to T2, but Spieth got there, posting his second straight 65 to launch him into contention going into the weekend. He came out on fire with four birdies through his first nine, then things got interesting after the turn. He went birdie-birdie-double bogey (!)-bogey-birdie-birdie before three straight pars to finish his day on the back. A four-putt on No. 3 nearly sent him into a spiral, but he finished strong and overcame some adversity. He’s in a good spot to notch his first win on the tour since 2017.

T2. Bryson DeChambeau (-10): The beefed-up Bryson moniker is more than a meme — it’s serving him well. He leads the field in driving distance through 36 holes this week at Colonial and is hitting 83.3% of his greens in regulation to boot. He turned in a bogey-free round replete with five birdies, and has just one bogey thus far halfway through the event.

T4. Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele, Rory McIlroy (-9): Rory turned in the low-round of Friday with a 7-under 63, tied for the best round of the field through 36 holes. It was nearly completely clean, too, before he bogeyed his final hole of the day while still climbing 35 spots on the leaderboard. Morikawa and Schauffele did what McIlroy couldn’t, both turning in bogey-free rounds. Morikawa is seeking his second win on tour and Schauffele is seeking his fifth.

T7: Justin Rose (-8): After a 7-under 63 on Thursday, Rose found himself all over the place Friday, with a trio of bogeys and a quartet of birdies to offset an up-and-down outing. The defending champion is still in a place of power here just three strokes off the lead and really seemed to find his groove off the tee.

T7: Justin Thomas, Gary Woodland (-8): Gary Woodland’s final putt on 18 nearly dropped to get him to 66 on the day, but it was a stellar all-around outing nonetheless. He needs to find his putter again — in strokes gained, he found himself in the negative after a solid Thursday outing — but I feel confident he can put it together headed into the weekend. Justin Thomas is in a similar boat after leading the field in strokes gained putting, which, as Kyle Porter noted Thursday, may be unsustainable. Indeed, it was not. He fell back to earth Friday, but like Woodland, he has the command and control to rebound from his 2-under outing.

T25: Brooks Koepka (-4): Koepka’s command around the green improved Friday but the result stayed the same as Thursday as he carded a 2-under 68. He’s had a bumpy start to 2020 exacerbated by a knee injury, but he’s quietly kept himself in the mix here. There’s a low number waiting to be posted on moving day, and Koepka is one of the three or four capable of launching himself back into the thick of things from his current standing.

CBS Sports was with you the entire way updating this story with the latest scores, updates and highlights from Round 2 of the 2020 Charles Schwab Challenge below. Check out the scores at the top of this story or a more detailed leaderboard.

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