Shane Lowry turned his game around to be pointed in the right direction while Seamus Power was naturally disappointed to double the last on day two of the Northern Trust Open in New Jersey.
Lowry birdied four of his opening eight holes but then had to settle for playing the next 10 in level par after a 13th hole bogey was cancelled out by holing a four-footer for birdie on 17.
His four-under par round for a similar 36-hole tally saw Lowry just inside the top-20 as he headed for a well-earned lunch break and he finished in T36 after play was completed.
It is a third straight year Lowry has teed-up in the Northern Trust with Irishman projected to jump six spots to 60th on the FedEx Cup points. His career best end-of-year standing was 33rd in 2019, helped by his triumph at Royal Portrush.
Fellow Irish Seamus Power and Rory McIlroy were out in the afternoon side of the draw at the Liberty National course. Power had been the leading Irishman on day one in getting out earlier in the opening round in windy conditions to post a one-under par 70.
He was just outside the top-10 with a hole to play after birdies at his 14th, 16th and 17th holes when found a greenside bunker at the last only to get a ‘flyer’ with his third shot that flew the back of the green.
He then chipped to six-feet from where he two-putted for a disappointing double-bogey ‘6’ in his round of a four-under par 67 but still the leading Irishman just outside the top-20 at five-under par in total.
“Eighteen was totally different to yesterday as yesterday it was playing downwind and it was a drive and a short iron, whereas today it was a drive and I had 215 and it was a tougher pin,” said Power.
“It was disappointing to make double there but it is definitely playing harder than yesterday.
“For me, I don’t have much to lose. I was 73rd coming in so I am only going to drop a handful of spots, if I drop.
“So, I will try and get aggressive. You want to get into next week but you also want to go into next week with a chance of making the Tour Championship so I will see if I can stay aggressive over the weekend and get a high finish and then you never know what can happen over the next couple of weeks”.
In fact, Power is projected to jump four places to 69th on the FedEx Cup standings and heads to round three still the leading Irishman among the trio contesting the Euro 8.1m event.
McIlroy looked headed for the weekend off having dipped to two-over par after eight holes having commenced his round with a horror double-bogey at the par-3 11th, the second hole of his round.
The 11th is guarded by water all down the left side and also behind the green and McIlroy made a splash some 30-yard left of the flagstick. He reloaded to be then 30-yards short before getting up-and-down for his ‘5’.
McIlroy regained the shots with birdies on his third and seventh holes ahead of a bogey at his eighth before a hat-trick of birdies from his 12th where he holed a 25-footer from just off the green.
He successfully cleared the water guarding the par-3 fourth hole, the 13th of his round, to sink a 16-footer before two-putting the par-5 fifth, his 14th.
McIlroy then parred his closing four holes in his score of 70 for a one-under tally but dropped 11 spots into what finished a thirteen-way share of 63rd to make the cut on the mark.
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