Vintage looking Tiger Woods poised for first win in over five years

Woods, Rose tied for halfway lead at Tour Championship

Nothing against the popular Englishman, it should be stressed.

You wonder how Tiger Woods manages to deal with the level of noise and distraction even the greatest minds would have difficulty pushing aside.

Still, a 5-under-par 65 to forge a three-stroke advantage after being tied for the 36-hole lead at East Lake produced some vintage stuff, as Woods birdied six of his first seven holes.

The 14-time Major victor is a two-time former Tour Championship victor and enjoys a remarkable record of winning 54 of 57 PGA Tour events when holding the 54-hole lead. Who is writing this script?

For thousands of fans crammed into every corner of East Lake, it looked as though Tiger Woods was closer than ever to capping off this remarkable comeback season by winning the final PGA Tour event.

Woods said those Sundays didn't feel abnormal, though.

He's made just five over-par scores this week. The first one? Way back in 1996, when as a 20-year-old making his third start as a pro, Woods led by a shot, only to get beat by an aging veteran named Ed Fiori, who possessed a odd grip and who to this day Woods still refers to as "The Gripper".

In the FedEx Cup finale, however, Woods is picking up momentum. Rose would automatically capture the title with a win, and unless there is a big rally by DeChambeau, he would likely capture the overall title with a third- or fourth-place finish. Runner's-up spot in the tournament would earn him a further $1 million. Kyle Stanley and Jon Rahm are both at 6 under par. In a 30 man field, Bubba Watson is tied 27th, Patrick Reed 29th and Phil Mickelson dead last following an exhausted-looking 76. On the US PGA Tour, there have officially been 10 sub-60 rounds.

Only once since he joined the paid ranks in 2007, when injured previous year, has McIlroy skipped Abu Dhabi.

"All I can do is worry about myself, " McIlroy said.

Last Wednesday, the PGA Tour announced the FedEx bonus pool will increase from $35m to $70m, with the leading prize going up from $10m to $15 m.

He's the one coping with Bermuda rough deep enough to hide all but the top of a golf ball, with greens that are slick and firm and with a golf course that is the most demanding test players have seen this side of a major. "Yesterday I hit a ton of fairways, and I felt like it was an easy course, but today was much more of a struggle".

'I come over here for Los Angeles in February and everyone has played ten events, while that's my first one. In 2017, Justin Thomas capped off an incredible season, one that included five victories - including his first major at the PGA Championship - and a career-best 59 at the Sony Open in Hawaii, with the FedExCup. Expect plenty more to follow his example.

McIlroy will play his first tournament in Hawaii in January and base himself in America until July.

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