Wells Fargo: McIlroy six off the lead, Fowler three back
Defending champion Rory McIlroy shot a three-under-par 69 on Friday at Quail Hollow. His round included five birdies and an eagle to go along with five bogeys, moving him to two under through 36 holes, and six strokes behind leader Andrew Loupe.
Loupe, seeking his first ever PGA Tour victory, shot a one-under 71 on Friday following a first-round 65. At eight-under, he still leads by one stroke over Roberto Castro, whose 66 was the best score of the day.
Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler are both at five under for the tournament, three off the lead and tied for fourth. Fowler shot a four-under 68, ascending 26 spots up the leaderboard.
"I know it hasn't been the best these first two days," said Mickelson, seeking his first-ever win at the Wells Fargo despite eight top 10s. "I had a great week last week. I was really driving the ball well, and coming into the next two months finishing with the U.S. Open, I've got to get the ball in play off the tee."
World No. 10 Justin Rose also remains in contention, tied for 10th with John Senden at four under.
The cut line was set at one-over par, eliminating last week's Zurich Classic winner Brian Stuard (three over) and Jim Furyk (three over), who was playing in his first PGA Tour event in eight months due to wrist surgery.