Lemont (Illinois): After making a brilliant start to the PGA Tour season, Mark Wilson set himself up for a big finish by firing a five-under-par 66 to share the second round lead with Justin Rose at the BMW Championship on Friday.
Rose, two strokes clear overnight, had looked poised to reach the midway point sitting alone atop the leaderboard after rolling in a 32-foot eagle putt at the 15th followed by a birdie at the 16th.
However, the Briton stumbled with a bogey at the last to card a three-under 68 and join American Wilson at 11-under 131 -- two shots ahead of FedExCup leader Webb Simpson, who also signed off with a 68.
"You never quite know what to expect after playing so well in the first round," Rose told reporters. "I`ve taken the chances when the golf course has presented them to me."
With only the top 30 in the FedExCup standings after Sunday`s final round qualifying for the season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta, where a $10 million bonus will go to the overall points leader, there was no shortage of drama on a chilly overcast day at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club.
Having lived in Chicago and called Cog Hill his home club for several years, Wilson`s name was a popular one atop the leaderboard.
The American made a dubious start with a bogey at the first but it would be his only miscue of the day as he got back to level par with a birdie at the fifth before racing up the leaderboard with four straight birdies from the eighth.
He added another birdie at the 15th to cap a solid round and bring back memories of his sizzling early season form that saw him win twice in his first three starts.
Following that blistering start to his campaign, the middle part of the season was not nearly as good, particularly at the big events with Wilson missing the cut at the Masters, the Players Championship and U.S. Open.
However, he looked primed for a big finish at Cog Hill and has even drawn speculation about the possibility of being in contention for PGA Tour player of the year honours should he win again this week.
"That would put me with the most wins of anybody (this year) and then going into East Lake, if I can get another one there, I think I would have a good argument," said Wilson.
"But that`s a lot of ifs. The game is fickle, you never know. There are a lot of good players out there but I feel like I am playing very close to the same form I had when I started the year."
While Wilson, lying 17th in the FedExCup standings coming into this week, can look confidently ahead to the season finale in Atlanta, Rose still has work ahead of him if he is to book a ticket to East Lake.
Sitting just outside the top 30 in 34th place this week, Rose arrived in Chicago with a do-or-die attitude that has carried him to the top of the leaderboard.
Red-hot Simpson, who has triumphed twice in his last three starts, has showed no signs of cooling off in chilly Chicago and was just two off the pace with Australian John Senden (66) a further stroke further back at eight-under 134.
British world number one Luke Donald, fourth in the standings, recovered from an opening 75 to card a five-under 66 and move within striking distance of the leaders at one under.