McCarthy followed his first-round 60 with a 65 in the morning at TPC River Highlands. A few hours later, Bradley shot a 63 to go with his opening 62.
“It’s nice, but golf tournaments aren’t 36 holes unfortunately,” McCarthy said. “I know there’s still a lot of golf left and I’m playing some really nice golf, so I’m looking forward to having fun this weekend.”
The 30-year-old from Maryland started slowly, bogeying the second hole. But that was the only blemish on a round that included six birdies, five on the back nine.
McCarthy, who lost in a playoff at the Memorial this month, is trying to become the 18th player to pick up his first PGA Tour victory in Connecticut. Ken Duke was the last in 2013.
Bradley also had a blistering back nine, making five birdies in a row between the 12th and 16th holes. He had just under 174 feet of made putts and after every big make, he held his putter in front of him with two fingers and bowed before handing it to his caddie.
“We just pay our respects,” said the Vermont native, who holed about a 60-footer on No. 3 for his first birdie Friday. “If the putter is working, we’ll do whatever just to keep it going. We just bow and say, ‘Thank you.'”
Cole is the son of former tour players Laura Baugh and Bobby Cole. His father played River Highlands just once professionally, finishing 50th in 1987, but his son didn’t get to see that.
“I was born in ’88, so it would’ve been before me,” the younger Cole said.
Rory McIlroy was tied for 10th at 8 under after a 64. He had a double bogey on the par-3 eighth, the hole he aced Thursday for his first hole-in-one on the PGA Tour. This time, McIlroy put his tee shot in the water.
“I hit a pretty good shot, I just misjudged the wind a little bit and it came up short in the one place you couldn’t miss today,” he said. “But, other than that, it was a really good round of golf.”
McIlroy got a break on his last hole when his tee shot landed on a cable trench behind a tree on the ninth hole. He was given relief by a tournament official, but hit a limb on his approach shot, which still landed just short of the green, where he managed to get up and down for par.
Schauffele also was 8 under after a 64. Top-ranked Scottie Scheffler reached 7 under with a 70.
Wyndham Clark, the U.S. Open champion Sunday in Los Angeles who arrived here Wednesday, had a 67 to get to 5 under. He spent the first part of the week in New York, appearing on numerous talk shows.
A light rain left the greens soft, helping keep the scores low. The cut line was at 4 under, with Masters champion Jon Rahm dropping out with round of 67 and 71.
On Saturday, with heavy rain expected in the morning, the players will start at 10:45 a.m. in threesomes off both Nos. 1 and 10.