Johnson outshines Spieth and McIlroy at TPC Boston

Jon Rahm holds the halfway lead

Reigning FedExCup champion Rory McIlroy believes his strong record at Boston will prove invaluable as he seeks to defend his Dell Technologies Championship crown on the second leg of the PGA Tour playoffs. He is No.5 in the points standings, already assured of going the distance and now has a very clear goal over the next few weeks - the $US10 million ($A13 million) bonus that comes from winning the season-long FedEx Cup. At 9-under 133, Rahm leads Adam Hadwin (65), Paul Casey (65) and Kyle Stanley (68) by two and a rejuvenated Phil Mickelson (67) by three.

Grouped with Spieth and US PGA Championship victor Justin Thomas for the first two rounds, Johnson holed five birdies and an eagle to set the tone at TPC Boston. "I kept a positive attitude, and you know, on 18, I don't know what happened, hit a good shot, made the putt and everything just happened". "I think they [amateurs] play the shot that they can pull off maybe once out of ten times instead of hitting the shot they can pull off seven or eight times out of ten". "You know, from then on, you think you're making birdies, not just holding ton to make pars, which would probably be easy to do today".

Those heading out to the 12th hole will do a double-take when they see the changes.

The first putt was bad, as he sent the ball four feet past the cup.

"[This course] does fit my eye", added Rahm. "I feel like I'm capable". One would believe that Fowler has had enough of watching all of his friends win major championships. "The greens (have) tiny little areas to hit", he said.

But the exciting young Spaniard converted a delightful second to 12 feet for eagle at 18, and he was flawless on the outward nine and reeled off three straight birdies from the second before picking up further strokes at seven and nine to set an imposing target in the clubhouse.

The 29-year-old journeyman is trying to cap a resurgent 2017 season, led by his first win since 2012 in the Quicken Loans National back in July, with a surprise charge toward the playoff title.

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Jon Rahm also had a 67 that he felt was the best he could have possibly done. He turned pro after the U.S. Open at Oakmont in 2016 and has risen all the way to No. 5 in the world.

"Of the courses that we have coming up I definitely feel the most comfortable on this one so if I didn't get myself into the mix it would definitely be a lost opportunity".

"Hopefully I can find that little spark that I found past year and go on and play well from here until the Tour Championship".

"I didn't play with the same intensity or the same - I really didn't have a goal, like see some goal after that, and kind of realised that a couple weeks ago".

"I sort of find myself in a similar position this week as I was previous year, needing a good week to sort of kick-start the next few weeks", said McIlroy.

It's an interesting idea that one can achieve too much too soon, but it seems like Rahm got out over his skis a little bit with his accomplishments.