Tiger Woods shot a 2-under 68 to finish in a tie with Justin Rose at 7 under par and two shots ahead of Rory McIlroy halfway through the Tour Championship. Here’s what happened on Friday at Bobby Jones’ old stomping grounds, East Lake in Atlanta, where with $1.62 million earmarked for the winner of the Tour Championship, and $10 million going to the season-ending leader in the FedExCup standings, EVERY day is Moving Day.
Leaderboard: Justin Rose (-7), Tiger Woods (-7), Rory McIlroy (-5), four tied at -4
What it means: While it’s way too early to consider this a match-play situation, the top two represent a former world No. 1 vs. the current world No. 1 and a U.S. Ryder Cup star vs. a European Ryder Cup star. Were Jones alive today and watching the proceedings, we can easily envisioning him saying “They play a game with which I am not familiar.” Woods, after a quiet front nine of one birdie (second hole) and one bogey (ninth). got hot on the back, rolling in birdie putts of 4 1/2 feet at the 12th, 18 feet at the 14th, 24 feet at the 15th and a two-putt birdie at the 18th. His momentum crashed at the 16th, however, where he needed four shots to reach the 454-yard par-4 and made double bogey. Rose sandwiched a bogey at No. 4 between birdies at the second and sixth, then on the back – which used to be the front – he birdied 13, 14 and 18 against a lone bogey at the 16th.
Projected FedExCup standings
Full-field scores from the Tour Championship
Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos
Round of the day: Billy Horschel and Patrick Cantlay both shot 5-under 65s and are tied at 4 under.
Biggest disappointment: Brooks Koepka was a perfect example of how golf is a “what have you done for me lately?” game. Back-to-back U.S. Open championships and a PGA Championship did nothing to prevent Koepka from shooting a worst-of-the-day 78. Honorable mention goes to Rickie Fowler, who began the day sharing the lead with Woods, made the turn at 7 under – and went 4 over on the back nine.
Shot of the day: The 209-yard 15th hole is like something out of Waterworld – a lot of water and not much land. And to watch Cameron Smith’s reaction to his tee shot, it appeared certain he had rinsed it. But it landed on the green and didn’t stop rolling until it was 8 inches from the cup. (Yes, he made the putt.)
Quote of the day: “Best way to describe it is I ground out a round today. I wasn’t quite as sharp as I was yesterday, but hung in there and tried to miss the ball on the correct sides so I had angles. For the most part of the day, I did that.” – Woods
Storylines going into the weekend: Every year, the No. 1 storyline at this event is who is going to win the FedExCup and its $10 million bonus. But this is no ordinary year. This year all eyes are on Woods and his attempt to come back from multiple back surgeries and chalk up his first official win since 2013.