By Zak Kozuchowski
GolfWRX Managing Editor
Jim Furyk shot a 6-under 64 on Friday at the Tour Championship presented by Coca-Cola to take the lead heading into the weekend of the PGA Tour’s final FedExCup event.
Furyk got off to a quick start at East Lake Golf Club, making birdies on four of his first five holes. He made two more birdies on Nos. 7 and 9 to shoot a 29 on the front nine. Furyk also made three birdies on the back nine for a total of 10 birdies on the day, although he also carded bogeys on Nos. 13, 16 and 18.
Trailing Furyk is first-round co-leader Justin Rose, who shot a 68 that included a birdie on the difficult par 3 No. 18 to stay within a shot of Furyk. The other first-round co-leader, Tiger Woods, who was paired with Rose in Round 2, fell 11 places down the leader board after a 73 on Friday.
Woods offset a bogey and a double bogey with three birdies on the front nine to shoot a 35. But he made four bogeys on the back nine, slipping six shots from Furyk’s lead.
Also in contention are Bubba Watson and Bo Van Pelt, at 5-under, and Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar at 4-under. Rory McIlroy, Robert Garrigus and Zach Johnson all sit at 3-under, four shots back.
McIlroy, who is tied for seventh, is in the best position of the top 5 players in the FedExCup standings to win the Tour Championship. If any of the top 5 players win the event, they also win the FedExCup, but Nos. 2-5, Woods, Nick Watney, Phil Mickelson and Brandt Snedeker are no closer than five shots from the lead. Snedeker is four back of Furyk at 2-under, while Mickelson is seven shots back at even par. Watney is in last place at East Lake at 9-over.
Coverage of the Tour Championship airs on Golf Channel Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. EST before switching over to NBC from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.