WILMINGTON, Del. – For a time during this season, the question was whether Scottie Scheffler would ever stop winning. Now he is being asked when he will win again. Such is the world of golf where you can salute four times in a six-start streak, including the Masters, but then find yourself trying not to be impatient after four “lean” months.

Scheffler hopes the winning answer will be this weekend after a 4-under 67 on Friday at the BMW Championship moved the world No. 1 to 7-under 135 at the halfway point at Wilmington Country Club. He’s only one shot behind leader Adam Scott, but it’s important to get back to the top of the FedExCup standings now.

After taking the top spot after the second of four straight wins earlier this year, Scheffler had not only held on to it, but had created a considerable gap over most of the others. But with quadruple playoff points, his lead was swallowed up when he missed the FedEx St. Jude Championship cut last week and fellow Texas junior golfer Will Zalatoris won.

That left Scheffler 124.116 points behind Zalatoris in the standings as they chased first place and a 10-under starting position in the season-ending TOUR Championship where the winner collects the FedExCup and $18 million.

Paired through the first two rounds, Scheffler was able to put a four-shot gap on his junior buddy, a space big enough to see him blast to the top. The two shared plenty of smiles on Friday after arriving at the tee wearing nearly identical colors, but the will to win remained front and center for both. The usual banter between the two is saved for practice rounds.

“Luckily we wore different colored pants, but there were definitely some good jokes about the color combinations,” Scheffler said with a smile.

“It was really fun. Here you really compete and you work very hard to get to a certain point, and where we are No. 1 and 2 in the FedExCup, we have worked very hard for many years to getting to this point so any sort of needling on the golf course, I think, wouldn’t be in the greatest taste for both of us. I don’t want to hurt his feelings and he doesn’t want to hurt mine.

Instead, Scheffler hurt his golf ball as he opened his round with three straight birdies to get into the mix. Now he can smell another victory. Or two.

“I really want to win again, that’s for sure. I want to win every week, so this week is definitely no different,” Scheffler said. “I’ve put myself in a decent position and I’ll definitely have a good chance going into the weekend.”

The ultimate goal is to win at East Lake and become the sixth FedExCup winner to take it all despite not scoring a point in Game 1 of the Playoffs.

Scheffler lost nearly five strokes on the greens a week ago, but so far in two rounds at Wilmington, he’s gained more than three strokes in Strokes Gained: Putting and ranks fourth in the field.

“Thursday last week I just had an out of body experience. Other than that I haven’t really played too many bad rounds of golf so far this year except I think the first round at the Scottish and the first round in Memphis are really the two that seem like bad rounds to me. Other than that I was very patient and just played solid golf,” he said.


REMARKS:

Adam Scott was firing on all cylinders and hit double figures under par on his 12th hole on Friday before a late double bogey on the 17th reduced his 36-hole lead to just one stroke. He still projects from No. 45 in the FedExCup standings all the way to No. 3 as he looks to burst the Playoff bubble for the second week in a row. “Overall, I felt really in control today. When you play that way it could always be a bit better, and a bad shot at 17 was quite costly,” Scott said. “It’s a good reminder for the weekend that I really have to stay in control and don’t want too many people going off the map and not positioning themselves here.

But I’m in great shape before the weekend. I don’t even know when was the last time I ran a tournament. For the record, the last 36-hole lead held by Scott was a share during the 2019 Masters (T18). He led after 54 holes at the 2020 Genesis Invitational, the last of his 14 TOUR wins.

Jordan Spieth stirred up the home crowds when he birdied his fifth of the day on the 17th hole to join the lead and they still provided a warm welcome on the 18th despite a closing bogey. Spieth, the 2015 FedExCup champion, now projects himself to 10th place instead of 17th.

Xander Schauffele played in the shadow of Zurich Classic of New Orleans winning partner Patrick Cantlay for most of Friday before a sensational 75-yard hole on the 17th hole propelled him level for sixth place at 6 cents. Cantlay made four under on his first eight holes on Friday but was one over from then on. The good friends are now planning seventh and eighth in the Cup. Schauffele is a former winner at East Lake while Cantlay is the defending FedExCup champion.

Cameron Young backed his 68 with a 67 to sit only one back from the head. He projects himself to fifth place in the FedExCup despite his failure this season. Young is the main contender for the Arnold Palmer Award as Rookie of the Year thanks to his five finalists and two third-place finishes this season. But he is far from satisfied. “I have a list of goals. Probably eight or nine. I think I checked off about one. There is still work to be done,” he said. One of them is to reach the TOUR championship…if I keep playing the way I am, I’ll tick off most of them.

Cameron Davis of Australia tried to keep pace with one of his childhood idols in Adam Scott with rounds of 69-67 pushing him to 6 under 136 and just two back to tie for sixth place . Starting 51st in the standings, Davis wants to cross two barriers this week. Access his first TOUR championship after coming close (37th) last season and also find his place in the International Presidents Cup squad. By the end of the game, he projected himself to 32nd in the standings, within striking distance of East Lake’s top 30. “That would be the goal achieved for this year. Last year I came to BMW and I didn’t quite reach East Lake. This year I wanted to take another step forward,” said Davis “All I could do was get here and have a chance, and I guess I still have a chance, so I just have to keep playing well.”

Canadian Corey Conners entered this week under the pump in the 29th seed, but is currently projecting himself in 18th after the rounds of 68-67 put him only one stroke behind. He is looking to get to East Lake for the third time in five attempts.


TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP BUBBLE WATCH

Here are the players who are expected to enter the FedExCup top 30 after the second round of the BMW Championship and qualify for next week’s TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta:

PROJECTED IN

Adam Scott (No. 45, projected at 3): Rounds of 65-69 put Scott at the top of the standings and with a great chance of returning to East Lake for the first time since 2019.

Aaron Sage (No. 31, projected at 27): He’s just three shots off the lead in a tie for 11th as he chases a comeback to East Lake for the first time since his maiden voyage in 2018.

Shane Lowry (No. 37, projected at 28): The Irishman backed up his 5-under 66 with a 71 in battle to move from T3 to T11 but still projects inside the mark for East Lake with 36 holes to go. TO DO.

Scott Stallings (No. 46, projected at 29): A four under the front nine on Friday gave Stallings a taste of the lead before stumbling on a one over the back. Still, at 6 under 136, he’s T6 this week and eyes his first trip to the TOUR Championship in his 12e Playoff appearance.

KH Lee (No. 33, projected at 30): Two-time AT&T winner Byron Nelson seeks to make up for the heartache of turning 31st in the standings a year ago. Rounds of 68-70 put the South Korean at T17 this week and right on the bubble for East Lake.

PROJECTED

Sahith Theegala (No. 27, projected at 31): Theegala rebounded from a 72 on Thursday with a 68 but at 20 under, T33, he’s out with 36 left.

Joo Hyung Kim (No. 25, projected at 33): “Tom” carded 71 again on Friday to even sit the week and he is now watching the end of his wonderful recent run unless he takes to the boards this weekend .

Davis Riley (No. 26, projected at 34): Rookie Riley began his recovery efforts after opening 6-of-77 with a 3-of-68. He’ll have to come down the weekend to earn a spot at East Lake.

Kevin Kisner (#28, projected to 39): A 75 down to T64 was definitely not what the doctor ordered.

JJ Spaun (No. 30, projected at 41): After a late fightback on Thursday gave hope, it was a day to forget for Spaun who shot 74. On 30e the seed coming in now sits T48 on the week and will need some serious weekend charging to get back on track.