McIlroy the fan favorite, leader at Deutsche Bank

Rory McIlroy feels at home in Norton, Mass.

Some of the biggest stars on the PGA Tour are feeling right at home this week at Norton’s TPC Boston in the Deutsche Bank Championship as soft conditions have led to low scores.

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy is one of those players taking advantage, as he currently leads the tournament at 12-under par after shooting back-to-back rounds of 65.

“Yeah, I was very pleased with how I played today, how I played yesterday as well. Now I’m in a great position going into the weekend,” McIlroy said. “I got off to a nice start and sort of just kept the momentum going.”

McIlroy finished his second round with six birdies and also an eagle at the par-5 18th. He did give two shots back with back-to-back bogeys on holes 2 and 3.

Earlier in the week McIlroy was made aware of the Irish population in the greater Boston area. The 23-year-old said he did notice them in his first and only previous appearance at the Deutsche Bank two years ago.
            “To be honest, yeah, the last time I was here, there’s a few people — not a few, there’s a lot of people around this area that have got Irish roots, and they’re not afraid to say that, either,” he said. “I don’t feel like it gives me any sort of home comfort or anything like that, but it’s nice to have a lot of people out here that are supporting me.”

There was no doubt who would get the biggest following this week as Tiger Woods did not quality for the tournament last year.

“It feels good to be back,” Woods said earlier in the week. “Unfortunately, last year, I didn’t make the Playoffs at all and missed out on four big events.  It feels good to at least have played well enough this year to basically secure a spot all the way through to East Lake.”

Woods fired a 64 in Friday’s first round and followed it up with a 68 in Saturday’s second round. Going into round three Woods is tied for third. His ball striking was very solid Saturday, but his putter let him down, totaling 30 putts.

“I am happy with the way I hit it, I didn’t putt very good,” he said. “I didn’t really make anything. Hopefully tomorrow will be a lot better.”

Some of the other big names at the top of the leaderboard include Louis Oosthuizen (T-2), Jason Dufner (T-5), and 2010 winner Charley Hoffman (T-10). Phil Mickelson is tied for 15th.

First-round leader Seung-Yui Noh shot a second round 71 and sits in a tie for fifth. The two New England players in the field both made the cut, although not by much. Keegan Bradley, who played high school golf at Hopkinton, Mass. high school, made the cut right on the number at 2-over par.
Playing in the tournament for the first time last year, two weeks after winning the PGA Championship, he said he might have been a little distracted with things off the golf course.
“I threw out the first pitch (at the Red Sox), I flipped a coin at a Patriots game, I was doing this, I was over here doing that.  This week, I made sure to keep it very light, [Last year] took a big toll on me,” Bradley said.
Although he said he wouldn’t change anything he did last year, Bradley made sure to stick to his relaxed plan this week.
“I promised myself I would stay real low-key no matter what because it’s hard to say no to some of these things that are childhood dreams.  But I think I didn’t overdo it last year, but this year it’s nice not to be pulled in a million different directions,” he said.
The other New England player in the field is Scott Stallings, who actually grew up in Tennessee but spent most of his childhood summers in Massachusetts. The two-time PGA Tour winner birdied his final hole on Saturday (the ninth) to get to 1-over par, one shot inside the cut line.
Although the two players will not be in contention come Monday afternoon, there is still plenty to play for in terms of the FedEx Cup point standings, especially for Stallings. He is currently is ranked No. 74 with only the top 70 advancing to the BMW Championship, while Bradley is in good shape at No. 20. 


Egypt calls for Gaza ceasefire as fighting rages

Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt fire and resume peace talks, but violence continued unabated.


SpaceX rocket terminated in Texas test flight

A Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 9 rocket suffered an anomaly shortly after launch on a test flight, triggering its automatic termination system.


MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…


U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…


Arcade Fire concert review, Massachusetts, Aug. 19

Arcade Fire take the opposite approach of "Shut up and play the hits," and it works in their favor on the "Reflektor" tour.


Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.


Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm


Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.


3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…


3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.


Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.


Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.


Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…


Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…


Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…


Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…