Tiger Woods returns to Tour Championship with share of lead

Tiger Woods acknowledges the after making a birdie putt on the second green during the second round of the Tour Championship golf tournament Friday Sept. 21 2018 in Atlanta

Tiger Woods is in the mix for the FedEx Cup title after a sold five under 65 around East lake on Thursday, and he's ecstatic.

A three-putt bogey at the first was the only blemish as Woods added four birdies before striking a crisp five-wood from 255 yards to the final green. On five under after the first-round 65 of the Tour Championship, the 14-time major-winner is alongside Rickie Fowler, another star in the United States team who will descend on Paris looking for their first victory on European soil in 25 years.

World No. 1 Justin Rose, who birdied his closing two holes in a score of 66 to be tied third, is projected to move up a place to No. 1 on the FedEx Cup.

A day after opening with a course-record equalling 62 at Aronimink Golf Club and sharing the lead, Woods stalled during an even-par 70 that left him at eight- under-par and five shots off the pace.

He's the one coping with Bermuda rough deep enough to hide all but the top of a golf ball, with greens that are slick and firm and with a golf course that is the most demanding test players have seen this side of a major.

Once he figured out the speed limit on the East Lake greens - apparently it's ever changeable, like I-285 - Woods gained complete control of his game. "I haven't driven it well, I haven't hit my irons well, I haven't chipped it well, I haven't putted well".

"I feel like I'm playing well, I just can't put it all together and it is frustrating", Leishman said.

"The only shot that I can honestly say that I "necked" pretty bad was the tee shot at 17, " he said.

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"It's hard to get the ball closer".

DeChambeau, 25 and the victor of the opening two playoff series events, struggled with the driver on the East Lake course.

Woods is the only player to win the FedEx Cup twice (2007, '09), and also has four runner-up finishes at East Lake.

Rose, in his debut at No. 1 in the world, played in the group ahead of Woods and could hear all about it with an enormous gallery right behind him.

They will be teammates next week at the Ryder Cup. "But I thought I could sneak it up there and get up on the upslope and have a good angle in there, and it just didn't work out". For someone like Woods or Fowler to win the FedEx Cup, they would need the top five seeds to falter.

Woods matched Fowler's 65 just a little bit later in the day with a 28-foot eagle bomb at the last.

FedExCup points leader Bryson DeChambeau battled to a 71 to lie equal 21st in the 30-man field.

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