Woods, Fowler lead Tour Championship after opening 65s

Justin Rose hits a shot

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. He birdied four of his first six holes, but mixed in two bogeys and a double bogey with three more birdies over his final 12 holes.

For the 18th, Woods got himself withing striking distance of an eagle at the par-5 finishing hole; and sure enough, he buried the 35-foot putt, eliciting a patented fist pump from Woods. along with raucous applause from the East Lake gallery.

That quintet comprises top-ranked DeChambeau, who leads the FedExCup standings after winning the first two playoff events, followed by world number one Justin Rose, Tony Finau, Dustin Johnson, and defending FedExCup champion Justin Thomas.

The 20-footer on the last was the obvious highlight, but there were five birdies in an excellent ball-striking display as he "beat" his playing partner, England's Tommy Fleetwood, by four strokes.

It is also the second straight event in succession at which Woods has shared the first-round lead after he and Rory McIlroy were tied at the top with 62s on day one of the BMW Championship in Philadelphia.

"This was by far better than the 62 at Aronimink", Woods said.

"I hit so many quality shots all day, whether it was tee to green or it was putts".

"The shots I missed were on the greens, all had lovely angles. All I can control is what I do and go out and try to win this week and see where the chips fall".

"No, it's been great being grouped with Tiger and I can not say enough how good it is to see him back being competitive".

"In the "W" category, it doesn't compare to some of the years that I've had, where I've won eight or nine times in a year", Woods told reporters at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta on Wednesday. It's hard to get the ball closer here.

"To have earned the confidence in my team mates and captain to be selected gives me a lot of excitement going into the Cup", said Woods.

The goal all along was to win a tournament, as silly as that may have sounded - even to Tiger Woods.

The 14-time major victor has stated his belief that a drought-ending tournament triumph is close and his last-hole eagle at East Lake sounded an ominous warning to his rivals on Thursday. "It just kind of popped up, and yeah, I took last week off, didn't hit a ball".

"I've accomplished that. Now I want to get the "W" [win] and then head into next week in the Ryder Cup".

While there is a lot of golf yet to be played this week, the leaderboard shows Woods projected to finish second in the FedEx Cup if all players were to maintain their current positions in the field.

The 65 was Fowler's fourth in five rounds since coming back from an oblique injury following the PGA Championship at Bellerive. Bryson DeChambeau, who came into the tournament atop the FedEx Cup standings, shot 71 and is in a tie for 21st.



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