Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods played together in the opening two rounds of the season in Abu Dhabi. They were together again for the opening two rounds at Bethpage Black for the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs. The idea is to get them together with a trophy on the line.
Both took a step in that direction Saturday in the Deutsche Bank Championship in Norton, Mass.
McIlroy went from one extreme to another on par 5s just 30 minutes apart -- a 4-iron into 10 feet for eagle on No. 18, a 5-wood in the water for bogey on No. 2 -- but steadied himself for another 6-under 65.
Woods had three birdies on the opening six holes until he could no longer get a putt to drop. He made birdie putts of 30 feet and 15 feet late in the round to salvage a 68, which left him only two shots behind.
In between was Louis Oosthuizen, who had four 2s on his card of 65 and goes into the third round one shot behind and in the final group with McIlroy.
"Everything seemed to work pretty well out there," said McIlroy, who was at 12-under 130. "I felt like I drove the ball a bit better today and hit more fairways, which gave me some more opportunities to make birdies. And I was putting well enough to take a few of those."
Ryan Moore had a 68, playing the front nine in 1 over, and joined Woods at 10-under 132.
Woods missed out on a chance to be paired with McIlroy on Sunday when he missed the fairway on the par-5 18th, laid up short of the marsh
"Today was one of those days where I had some good looks, missed them, but didn't feel like I was really rolling it correctly," Woods said. "Then I figured something out, and then from then on, I poured it pretty good."
First-round leader Seung-yul Noh (71), Jason Dufner (66) and Masters champion Charl Schwartzel (65) were among those at 9-under 133.