Tiger Takes Share Of Lead With Closing Eagle

Tiger Woods is going to need a few different scenarios to play out over the weekend if he wants to win the FedEx Cup for the third time, but the only one he can control — winning the Tour Championship — got off to a great start on Thursday as Woods fired an opening round 5-under par 65.

Coming into the week at No. 20 in the FedEx Cup standings, Woods needed to win the event, have Bryson DeChambeau finish T15 or worse, Justin Rose finish in a three-way tie for 5th or worse, Tony Finau finish T3 or worse, Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas finish in a three-way tie for 2nd or worse and Keegan Bradley finish in a tie for second or worse. That’s it. 

The only thing standing in Woods way as it stands through one round is Rose, who currently sits in a tie for third. Still, job No. 1 for Woods is winning the event, something he hasn’t done since 2007. 

Despite an opening bogey, Woods played the final 17 holes in 6-under par, capped by a good drive, great approach and brilliant putt on par-5 18th hole. 

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“I hit so many quality shots all day, whether it was tee-to-green or it was putts,” Woods said after the round. “I didn’t really mishit a single shot today. The only shot I can honestly say that I necked pretty bad was the tee shot at 17. Hit a 3-wood there, and with an iron, I probably would have shanked it. But ended up in the fairway and made par.”

The stats back up Woods’ observation. He hit 10 of 14 fairways, 14 of 18 greens and picked up 1.198 strokes on the field on the greens. 

Tiger followed up his impressive first round with a solid effort on Friday that was again capped by a clutch close to his round. A double-bogey on the 16th hole threatened to derail a good round, but a closing birdie was all Woods needed to regain a share of the lead heading into the weekend.