NORTON, Mass. (AP) - Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods played together in the opening two rounds of the season in Abu Dhabi. They were together again for the opening two rounds at Bethpage Black for the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs. The idea is to get them together with a trophy on the line.
Both took a step in that direction Saturday in the Deutsche Bank Championship.
McIlroy went from one extreme to another on par 5s just 30 minutes apart - a 4-iron into 10 feet for eagle on No. 18, a 5-wood in the water for bogey on No. 2 - but steadied himself for another 6-under 65.
Woods, playing in the afternoon, had three birdies on the opening six holes until he could no longer get a putt to drop. He made birdie putts of 30 feet and 15 feet late in the round to salvage a 68, which left him only two shots behind.
In between was Louis Oosthuizen, the former British Open champion with one of the purest swings in golf. Oosthuizen had four 2s on his card of 65, and goes into the third round just one shot behind and in the final group with McIlroy.
McIlroy was at 12-under 130.
Ryan Moore had a 68, playing the front nine in 1 over, and joined Woods at 10-under 132.
Woods missed out on a chance to be paired with McIlroy on Sunday when he missed the fairway on the par-5 18th, laid up short of the marsh and came up just short of the green and its front hole location. He had to get up-and-down for par.
Even so, this Labor Day weekend could bring another heavyweight bout, the likes of which the Deutsche Bank Championship has seen before in its 10-year history.
The TPC Boston is where Woods and Vijay Singh had a memorable battle on Labor Day in 2004, when Singh won to replace Woods at No. 1 in the world. Two years later, Woods closed with a 63 to rally from a three-shot deficit against Singh. And in the first year of the FedEx Cup in 2007, it was Phil Mickelson who played three rounds with Woods and wound up beating him by two shots.
McIlroy, who won the PGA Championship by a record eight shots at Kiawah Island three weeks ago, looked comfortable on the smoother greens of TPC Boston and had only one bad spell of back-to-back bogeys.
CRANS-SUR-SIERRE, Switzerland (AP) - Scotland's Richie Ramsay thrived in the cold and wet Swiss Alps, shooting a 7-under 64 for a one-stroke lead after the third round of the European Masters.
Ramsay had a 11-under total. Scotland's Scot Paul Lawrie (67) and England's Danny Willett (68) were tied for second. Lawrie won the Johnnie Walker Championship last week at Gleneagles for his second European Tour victory of the year.