Mickelson, Finau mount Northern Trust charge

US golfer Phil Mickelson, pictured July 2018, added a second straight three-under par 68 to move to six-under on day two of the Northern Trust

Phil Mickelson and Tony Finau boosted their hopes of Ryder Cup selection after moving into contention on day two of the Northern Trust here Friday.

Mickelson added a second straight three-under par 68 to move to six-under while Finau birdied two of his closing three holes in a 67 to join Mickelson with the same tally in the opening event of the FedEx Cup Play-Off Series at Ridgewood Country Club.

Fellow American Sean O'Hair added a 69 to move a stroke clear of his 118 rivals at seven-under.

Also in the Ridgewood Country Club clubhouse at six-under are countrymen Peter Uihlein (68), Patrick Cantlay (67) along with Canadian Adam Hadwin (65).

Mickelson, starting from the ninth hole, was off to a flyer with four starting birdies and raced to seven-under par.

He dropped a shot at his fifth hole but moved back to seven-under with a birdie at the next.

The 48-year-old moved into the lead at eight-under with an 11th hole birdie before taking some of the gloss from his display with a pair of closing bogeys.

It was still one of Mickelson's lowest 36-hole totals all season, serving as a timely reminder for US Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk.

"My game is getting better as the week goes on and as I get more and more confident because I've been striking the ball well and my touch on the greens has been coming back,” he said.

Mickelson failed to qualify automatically for the US Ryder Cup team but is tipped to earn one of Furyk's four available wildcard picks.

One of those also strongly rumoured to be in the hunt is Finau, who has never played in the Ryder Cup.

The 28-year old Utah-born golfer started his round at two-under par before muscling his way to seven-under par with five birdies in his opening 11 holes.

Finau said later he was trying to put thoughts of the Ryder Cup to one side this week.

"It's in the very far back of my mind," he said. "I have a golf tournament to focus on, the Northern Trust is a tournament that's the first leg of the Play-Offs.

"One of my big goals is to get into the Tour Championship. I want to do that this week and just continue to play well.

"Of course, to say that I'm not thinking about The Ryder Cup, is definitely not true. But it's not the most important thing right now. I want to play good golf and get myself in contention this week.

"If it continues to prove to the captain and to the guys that make the choice, make the picks, that I'm worthy of a spot, then that's the case."