After 36 holes at East Lake Golf Club, Justin Rose and Tiger Woods are tied at 7-under par, and share the halftime lead at the Tour Championship.
Woods, a co-leader after day one, got off to a slow start on Friday, mixing seven pars with one birdie against one bogey to turn in even-par 35. He picked up the pace on the back nine, though, carding three birdies in a four-hole stretch (Nos. 12, 13, and 15) to reach 8-under par. Two of those shots were lost with a double bogey on the par-4 16th, but he gained one back with a final-hole birdie to sign for a 2-under par 68.
“We’re only halfway home, and this course, the way it’s playing right now, you’ve got to be so patient,” said Woods.
“It’s hard to make birdies, and on top of that, it’s hard to get the ball close. It’s very easy to make mistakes, make a few bogeys here and there.
“And look at most of the field, that’s basically what they’re doing.”
Rose, meanwhile, signed for a card comprised of two bogeys offset by five birdies, highlighted by a birdie on the par-5 18th, en route to a 3-under 67.
“I mean, obviously you can see how it’s holding up. It’s a course that offers opportunities,” said Rose, when asked about the conditions at East Lake.
“It’s not a long golf course, but it’s a course where it’s tough to hit the fairways, and I didn’t do as good a job of that today as I did yesterday. So it was tricky, I had to scramble and work a bit harder for some pars out there.
“But if you get going with your putter out there, you can make some birdies, you can make some mid-range putts.”
Alone in third-place was Rory McIlory, who shot a 68 to reach 5-under par, and sits just two off the pace.
“Maybe not quite as good off the tee today as I was yesterday, but I still gave myself plenty of chances,” said McIlroy.
“If I’m disappointed about anything, it’s probably the two pars on the par-5s. I had a 6-iron and a 4-iron into them, and I made two 5s. If I can make two 4s there, I’m all of a sudden 7-under instead of 5-under and probably in the last group.”
McIlroy was one clear of a foursome that included Billy Horschel (65), Patrick Cantlay (65), Jon Rahm (68), and Justin Thomas (69).
FedExCup leader Bryson DeChambeau struggled for a second-straight day, shooting a 75, to sit T27 at 6-over par, one clear of Brooks Koepka who carded a high-round 78.
2018 TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP
ROUND TWO: TOP 5
1. Justin Rose -7 (-3)
1. Tiger Woods -7 (-2)
3. Rory McIlroy -5 (-2)
4. Billy Horschel -4 (-5)
4. Patrick Cantlay -4 (-5)
4. Jon Rahm -4 (-2)
4. Justin Thomas -4 (-1)
FEDEXCUP PROJECTION AFTER ROUND TWO
Proj Pos-Player-(Rd1 Pos)-Current FedExCup Pos
1. Justin Rose (T1) 2nd
2. Tiger Woods (T1) 20th
3. Bryson DeChambeau (T27) 1st
4. Tony Finau (T10) 3rd
5. Justin Thomas (T4) 5th
ROUND TWO STAT LEADERS
1. Gary Woodland – 325.9 yards (T10)
2. Rory McIlroy – 312.5 yards (3)
3. Bubba Watson – 312.1 yards (T21)
1. Billy Horschel – 71.4%, 20/28 (T4)
2. Justin Rose – 67.9%, 19/28 (T1)
3. Paul Casey – 67.9%, 19/28 (T15)
1. Justin Rose – 83.3%, 30/36 (T1)
2. Rory McIlroy – 77.8%, 28/36 (3)
2. Billy Horschel – 77.8%, 28/36 (T4)
2. Patrick Cantlay – 77.8%, 28/36 (T4)
2. Tommy Fleetwood – 77.8%, 28/36 (T10)
1. Jon Rahm – 1.478 (T4)
2. Kevin Na – 1.563 (19)
3. Rory McIlroy – 1.607 (3)
ROUND TWO LEADERS’ STATS
Driving: 307.9 yards (7th)
Fairways: 60.7%, 17/28 (4th)
Greens: 69.4%, 25/36 (9th)
Putts/GIR: 1.680 (6th)
Scoring: 1 Eagle, 9 Birdies, 23 Pars, 2 Bogeys, 1 Double Bogey
Driving: 308.0 yards (6th)
Fairways: 67.9%, 19/28 (2nd)
Greens: 88.9%, 32/36 (1st)
Putts/GIR: 1.733 (13th)
Scoring: 11 Birdies, 21 Pars, 4 Bogeys
ROUND-TWO VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
Highlights from the second round of the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club (via PGA Tour).
ROUND-TWO LEADERS’ QUESTIONS
QUESTION: What does playing on the weekend with Tiger stand as a fun scenario for the weekend?
ROSE: Yeah, it’s a cool story for sure. Yeah, that is cool for sure. I guess going into tomorrow, that doesn’t — I can’t really think that way. It’s going to be — obviously playing with him versus playing in front of him today, I think it was just big crowds no matter what.
Obviously people are excited about watching Tiger play again. He’s obviously right on form and feeling very comfortable out there, looks like he’s driving it well, irons have been great all year, looks comfortable with the blade.
So it’s exciting for people to get a look at him back at his best and it will be fun to be play with him. I played with him earlier this year in Bay Hill and enjoyed playing with him there. But yeah, there’s more on my mind than just playing with Tiger tomorrow for sure.
QUESTION: What does it mean to be co-leading again going into the weekend, in that final group, playing with Rosey. What can you tell us about that?
WOODS: It’s going to be fun. Rosey and I have known each other for a very long time and been good friends, and we’ll have a good time tomorrow.
We’re going to obviously be competing, but also I think we’re both going to enjoy competing against one another. We’ve still got a long way to go, still got 36 more holes to go, and there’s a lot of golf to be played still.
TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP TEE TIMES: ROUND 3
All times EST. From No. 1 Tee
TV: 12:30-2:30 pm (GOLF); 2:30-6:00 pm (NBC)
12:10 am – Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka
12:20 am – Keegan Bradley, Patrick Reed
12:30 pm – Phil Mickelson, Francesco Molinari
12:40 pm – Bubba Watson, Cameron Smith
12:50 pm – Marc Leishman, Patton Kizzire (+2)
1:00 pm – Kevin Na, Jason Day
1:10 pm – Webb Simpson, Paul Casey
1:20 pm – Aaron Wise, Dustin Johnson
1:30 pm – Tony Finau, Gary Woodland
1:40 pm – Tommy Fleetwood, Xander Schauffele
1:50 pm – Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama
2:00 pm – Justin Thomas, Kyle Stanley
2:10 pm – Patrick Cantlay, Jon Rahm
2:20 pm – Rory McIlroy, Billy Horschel
2:30 pm – Justin Rose, Tiger Woods