OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. – In auto racing they call it drafting, but the concept is virtually the same in golf.
The best example could be found this week with the threesome of Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Jon Rahm who were grouped together for the first two rounds at The Northern Trust with a collective score of 16 under par.
“You get in the right group, everyone gets going, or maybe if one guy gets going and the other two kind of tag along at some point,” said Fowler, who moved into a share of the lead at 6 under with a second-round 66. “It’s a lot more fun seeing good golf than bad golf. It’s a lot easier to follow a good shot than a bad shot.”
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After solid opening rounds for all three players, they were even better on Day 2 when the group combined for a best-ball score of 9 under at Glen Oaks and were first (Johnson), first (Fowler) and sixth (Rahm) on the leaderboard when they completed their rounds.
After taking a two-stroke lead early in the day, Johnson was slowed by back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 4 and 5 (the group started their second round on No. 10) and he finished with a 69 to share the early lead with Fowler, Russell Henley and Jhonattan Vegas; while Rahm finished with a 68 for a 4 under total.
“We have fun playing together,” Fowler said. “It’s fun kind of getting into it like we did the first two days, with him, myself and Rahm and kind of being able to feed off each other.”