Tiger roars at Tour Championship as Justin Rose gains upper hand

Tiger Woods first round at the Tour Championship was vintage Tiger

Tiger Woods first round at the Tour Championship was vintage Tiger

Woods holed a 28-foot putt for eagle at the 18th to sign for a 5-under 65 and share the lead alongside fellow American Rickie Fowler.

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.

Once he figured out the speed limit on the East Lake greens - apparently it's ever changeable, like I-285 - Woods gained complete control of his game.

Jason Day admits he is hungry to return to golf's spotlight after taking a back seat to a vintage Tiger Woods on day one at the Tour Championship. The announcement was complemented with the introduction of a simplified, strokes-based scoring system for the Tour Championship beginning next season and the doubling of the total FedExCup bonus pool available to players, which now totals $70 million, inclusive of the prize money from the Wyndham Rewards Top 10. Justin Thomas (3 under) and Dustin Johnson (tied for 12th, 1 under) are the other two.

"I probably should have just pitched out, and the worst I would make is 5", Woods said. Woods poured that one in from 25 feet, and the roar resonated across East Lake.

There is a lot of firepower among those players, and the 42-year-old Woods no longer has quite the arsenal that they possess.

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Bryson DeChambeau hit 13 of 18 greens in regulation during his first round at the TOUR Championship, finishing at 1 over for the tournament. If only a few putts would drop - and on Thursday, at least over the closing nine holes, they did.

"This was by far better than the 62 at Aronimink", Woods said. Woods did not win the last tournament in which he grabbed the first-round lead (finishing T-7 at the BMW).

Fowler, who missed two playoff events recovering from an injury to his right oblique, putted for birdie on all but two holes for his 65 as he tries to avoid ending the season without winning.

"I don't want to say the difference has been night and day, but it's been really good, " said Woods' caddie, Joe LaCava. He battled back to 1-under at the turn, setting himself up for a remarkable back nine.

He went from the deep rough left of the 16th fairway to a plugged lie in a bunker that left him no choice but play away from the green, and he missed a 12-foot putt to take double bogey. "But I thought I could sneak it up there and get up on the upslope and have a good angle in there, and it just didn't work out".

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