2021 Northern Trust leaderboard, scores: Jon Rahm leads with star-studded pack of contenders on the chase

Star-power shined bright atop the leaderboard through Round 1 of action at the Northern Trust on Thursday, and that was once again the case in Round 2 on Friday, even as some of the names near the top shifted around. While Jon Rahm slowed a bit after his fast start to the week and Justin Thomas struggled early in Round 2, both recovered well as Tony Finau joined the duo in contention as one of the big movers. Meanwhile, Brooks Koepka, Xander Schauffele and Jordan Spieth also made big pushes entering the weekend. 

Rahm (-12) polished off his second consecutive bogey-free round of the week to take a lead into the weekend, marking the first time in his PGA Tour career he's played the first 36 holes of a course without a bogey. Coming off an 8-under 63 in Round 1, he played a clean 4-under 67 and only briefly ceded the lead to Finau during Friday's action before reclaiming it late. 

Finau (-11) finished two strokes shy of matching the best round of the week at Liberty National Golf Course in New Jersey -- set by Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele on Friday -- with a 7-under 64 in Round 2. He scorched the course with eight birdies, with a bid for a bogey-free round falling short at the par-4 18th hole.

Rick Gehman is joined by Jonathan Coachman to break down and react to Friday's second-round action. Follow & listen to The First Cut on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

As we head to Moving Day, here's a closer look at the leaderboard and how things are shaping up entering what should be a fun weekend at The Northern Trust.

1. Jon Rahm (-12): In 109 previous starts on the PGA Tour, Rahm had never opened his first 36 holes of a start with a bogey-free scorecard until this week. So Friday in Round 2 -- after an opening-round 63 -- was yet again a masterful outing for the World No. 1 golfer. 

"It's nice to be bogey-free, but it's not like it's goal No. 1," Rahm said after his round. "The goal is to win the tournament. 

2. Tony Finau (-11): After his 7-under 64 on Friday, Finau said he was excited about playing "clean" golf thus far this week. For him, that was good putting in Round 2 as he gained several strokes on the field and took advantage of birdie opportunities when they arose with five of his eight in Round 2 coming on the back nine.

T3. Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, Keith Mitchell (-10): After tying for the low score in Round 1, Thomas failed early to capitalize on the momentum with a 3-over 38 in his first nine. However, he closed with a bogey-free 5-under 31 that included an eagle on the par-5 eighth to stay within two strokes of the lead. 

The low-round of this bunch came from Schauffele, who with a 9-under 62 tied a course record. Schauffele twice eagled on the round -- at No. 6 and at No. 8 -- to turn in matching 31s on the front and back nine. Mitchell could easily have joined him with a 62 if not for a double bogey at No. 7 as he finished with a 7-under 64 for the round. 

T6. Kevin Na, Harold Varner III, Tom Hoge, Alex Noren (-9): On Thursday, it was Varner who set the pace for the early wave. On Friday, it was him closing with a force down the stretch as he finished with a 4-under 67 with only one bogey -- at No. 18 -- for his round. Na and Hoge both played bogey-free rounds of 66 and 64, respectively. 

T10. Jordan Spieth and Brooks Koepka (-8): After Schauffele's 62 tied for the course record, Spieth, only minutes later, matched the score with a 62 of his own, narrowly missing a chip from the fringe that would have set the record. He holed out for eagles on Nos. 5 and 6 and managed his fifth career round of 62 or better on the Tour. 

Koepka, with a 7-under 64, could have been right there with Spieth if not for a few lip-outs on the green and an uncharacteristic mistake at 18 that led to his first bogey on the round. On the whole, though, Koepka rose two dozen spots on the leaderboard and has to feel good about entering the weekend within a few shots of the lead. 

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