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Spieth, 3 others share Northern Trust lead

OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. (AP) – Two swings cost Dustin Johnson the lead. It wasn’t long before Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler caught up to him in The Northern Trust, setting up a weekend of star power in the opening FedEx Cup playoff event.

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Johnson, finally looking like the No. 1 player who looked unstoppable in the spring, appeared on the verge of building a big lead at Glen Oaks Club until consecutive tee shots wound up on the wrong holes and forced him to scramble just to escape with bogey.

Fowler made up a five-shot deficit in six holes playing alongside Johnson, making a 15-foot birdie on the last hole for a 66 to join Johnson and Jhonattan Vegas (65) atop the leaderboard. And then Spieth put together a stretch Friday afternoon reminiscent of his British Open victory, minus a shot from the driving range, in a 65.

Spieth began the back nine with five straight birdies, matching his longest birdie streak on the PGA Tour. It ended with a bogey on the par-3 15th when his tee shot nearly found the water, but then he answered with a 40-foot birdie putt up the slope on the 16th.

Even without his best year with his best club, Spieth has won three times and captured the third leg of the Grand Slam. But his putter doesn’t leave him for long.

“Putter has been streaky for me this summer, which is better than just kind of not-so-great, which it was before that,’’ he said. “So I’ve been able to mentally use one or two good putts to make me feel like I’m putting awesome.

“I got on the good side of the streak on the back nine today.’’

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