Tiger Woods shares lead going into weekend at East Lake

Wyndham and PGA Tour officials celebrate the unveiling of the Wyndham Rewards Top 10 at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta

Tiger Woods was to tee off in the season-ending Tour Championship on Thursday for the first time in five years, determined to end his victory drought ahead of next week's Ryder Cup.

Rickie Fowler was in mid-dissection of his quite-fine 65 on Thursday, when just over his shoulder there came a mighty roar from the 18th green. He opened with a 62 at Aronimink two weeks ago on a rain-softened course and stayed within five shots of the lead the rest of the way until he tied for sixth.

All of that has happened in rapid succession throughout a nine-month run of what Woods has called one of his best years, even without a win. He started the season in January after a fourth back surgery that limited him to only 16 PGA Tour events in the previous four seasons.

World No. 1 Justin Rose birdied his closing two holes in a round of 66 to share third place. The 10 place finisher will receive $500,000.

Billy Horschel (2014) is the last first-round leader or co-leader to win Tour Championship, while Bill Haas (2011) is last player to make the season finale his only win of season. As you can see, Justin Rose would be the tournament's leader by two shots over Tony Finau, with DeChambeau three shots back. "And I've done it", he said. "And some of the people said they haven't been out here in five years", Woods said.

DeChambeau, who won both the Northern Trust and Dell Technologies Championship to start the Playoffs, seeks to become the first since Woods in 2009 to win as the number one seed entering this week's final event. "You're better off being mentally fresh than you are, I would say, having my game physically fresh". I missed every putt, blew it through the hole.

Fowler capped his round with back-to-back birdies at five and six and while he dropped a shot on seven.

"I am really happy with my round today as I played fantastically, if I'm honest", said Rose in his first round as World No. 1.

Now, it's about putting all aspects of his game together over a four-day stretch - or even a three-day stretch at next week's Ryder Cup in France. "There is a little bit of a comfort level that you have to get used to when playing alongside him, especially in a big situation, in the final group". It was a slow bleed for Fowler, who went birdie-free over his last 12 holes and shot 39 on the back nine for a 72.

"The shots I missed were on the greens, all had lovely angles".

The key for Woods could be Friday.



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