LEMONT, Ill. — Coming off his best round of the year, Justin Rose figured it couldn't get much better in the BMW Championship. He was good enough Friday for a 3-under 68 and a share of lead with Mark Wilson.
Rose felt flat at times, especially early on the back nine at Cog Hill on a cool, overcast day in the Chicago suburbs. But a 3-iron into 30 feet for an eagle on the par-5 15th woke him up, and not even a bogey on the last hole changed his outlook on the day or the weekend of this FedEx Cup playoff event.
"You never quite know what to expect after playing so well in the first round," Rose said of his opening 63. "Actually, my caddie said it's the best round he's seen in 20 years out there from a ball-striking perspective. So, there's only one way to go from there. But today was good."
It was even better for Wilson, a former North Carolina golfer who now considers Cog Hill a home course after he moved to the area. Wilson again had a large following of friends and family, and he treated them to a good show. He ran off four straight birdies around the turn, starting with a wedge to tap-in range at No. 8, and was steady the rest of the way for a 66.
They were at 11-under 131.
Raleigh native Webb Simpson, who leads the FedEx Cup and has won two of his last three tournaments, made his only bogey of the tournament on the fifth hole but was otherwise solid in his round of 68 that left him two shots behind.
They will be in the final group this morning, when the tee times are moved forward to finish in time for NBC Sports to televise the Notre Dame football game.
John Senden of Australia, who is No. 55 in the FedEx Cup and needs a top-five finish to advance to the Tour Championship, had a 66 and was alone in fourth place at 134. Bill Haas, a Charlotte native and former Wake Forest golfer, was another shot back after a 66. Haas has the Presidents Cup on his mind at No. 12 on the American list.
This is a pivotal week for two cups.
The BMW Championship is the final tournament for the top 10 players for U.S. and International teams to qualify for the Presidents Cup. Brandt Snedeker (No. 11) had a 66 and was tied for seventh with a group that included David Toms (No. 10).
For the FedEx Cup, the top 30 advance to the Tour Championship at East Lake for a shot at the $10 million prize.