Patrick Reed had a fast start and hung on against tough Bethpage Black for a 3-under 68 and a two-shot lead in The Barclays.
His spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team is looking better with each round, and so are his prospects for getting his first victory of the year. He sandwiched a birdie around two bogeys at the end to keep his distance over Emiliano Grillo and Rickie Fowler, who each shot 69.
Fowler, who likely needs to finish third to have any chance of making the U.S. team, played bogey-free on Friday and has dropped only one shot over the opening two rounds.
Reed was at 8-under 134.
Jordan Spieth overcame a double bogey to start his round with a 67. He was four shots back.