Johnson seizes lead over Spieth with final hole birdie putt


Aug 9, 2019; Jersey City, NJ, USA; Dustin Johnson hits his tee shot on the sixth hole during the second round of The Northern Trust golf tournament at Liberty National Golf Course. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters) – Dustin Johnson sank an eight-foot birdie putt at the last to take a one-stroke lead over Jordan Spieth in the second round of the Northern Trust in New Jersey on Friday.

Johnson shook off an opening bogey to make five birdies as the world number two shot a four-under par 67 in the afternoon at Liberty National to move to 12-under for the tournament.

Spieth dropped in eight birdies against a single bogey for sparking 64 in the morning for the early lead and ultimately outright second place in the opening event of the FedEX Cup playoffs.

Mexico’s Abraham Ancer (65), overnight leader Troy Merritt (70), Patrick Reed (66) and Spain’s Jon Rahm (68) were tied for third at 10-under on a tight leaderboard.

Another stroke back were Northern Ireland’s world number three Rory McIlroy (68), England world number four Justin Rose (68), South African Louis Oosthuizen (65) and Americans Andrew Putnam (64) and Wyndham Clark (66).

World number five Tiger Woods withdrew from the tournament on Friday morning because of a stiff back.

Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina, editing by Nick Mulvenney

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