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. 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 U.S. team who will descend on Paris looking for their first victory on European soil in 25 years. Fowler and Woods both followed up terrific showings at the BMW Championship two weeks ago with equally strong first rounds on what Fowler called "a little tougher golf course" at East Lake.
The Tour Championship, a 30-man event, re-pairs the field after each round, so Woods and Fowler will be playing together at East Lake Golf Club on Friday.
Since returning officially to the US Tour in January after having spinal fusion surgery previous year, Woods' 17 events have yielded two runner-up finishes among six top 10s and 11 top 25s.
Another tournament, another share of the first-round lead for Tiger Woods.
"We don't play very many places like this where if you have control of your ball, if you have control of your game, you're probably going to have a good chance to win", Thomas said. "I feel like 67 is the worst I could have shot today which obviously bodes well for the rest of the week". That was fleeting as Rose overtook him just minutes later with a birdie on No. 10.
"The only hard part was getting my speed on the greens early".
Woods underwent spinal fusion surgery in April 2017 in a last-ditch attempt to save his career and has recorded six top 10s on the PGA Tour this season as he seeks a first win since 2013.
"I've accomplished that. Now I want to get the "W" [win] and then head into next week in the Ryder Cup".
"I played well and it was a great start to be four-under through six holes", he said.
It then becomes more complicated the further down the FedEx Cup standings for players like No. 20 ranked Tiger Woods, who won the FedEx Cup in 2007 and 2009.
"It's something that I haven't done in a number of years, and this is a good starting point". After 18 holes, FedEx Cup leader Bryson DeChambeau is T21.
There is a lot of golf left to be played - Kyle Stanley led after Round 1 here previous year following a 64 and went on to finish T20 - but Woods and Fowler are in an enviable position.