Woods and Rose set the pace
Duo shoot 66 on opening day of FedEx Cup finale at East Lake
Last Updated: 21/09/12 11:14pm
Tiger Woods: A birdie here at 9 helped him shoot 66 and share the lead
Tiger Woods and Justin Rose share the lead after round one of the Tour Championship at East Lake.
The 30-man field contesting the FedEx Cup's closing event all have a chance to net the $10m bonus fund on Sunday evening although Woods is one of just five players who control their own destiny.
First round leaderboard
(US unless stated)
-4 J Rose (Eng)
-4 T Woods
-3 S Piercy
-3 B Van Pelt
-3 M Kuchar
-3 S Stricker
Click here for collated scores
And after shooting an opening 66, Woods is on track to scoop the jackpot and pip current FedEx Cup points leader Rory McIlroy, who carded a 69 on Thursday to finish three back.
As the top two seeds, McIlroy and Woods were paired together on day one and it was Tiger who always had the edge, making six birdies and two birdies in his four-under round on East Lake's 7,154-yard par 70.
He had an 11 foot putt at 18 to lead on his own but missed left to tie Rose.
The Englishman had earlier posted the clubhouse lead by holing an outrageous 50 foot breaking putt for birdie at the last.
Rose and Woods lead by a shot from Scott Piercy (who doubled the 18th), Bo Van Pelt, Matt Kuchar and Steve Stricker.
"Just win. Winning takes care of everything."
Tiger on trying to win the FedEx Cup Quotes of the week
Tiger, who hit 10 fairways, 13 greens in regulation and took 26 putts in his opening round, said: "I played well today. It was a very consistent round. I hit the ball well, made some putts and got up and down a few times."
As for assessing where he stands in the race to win the FedEx Cup, Tiger has a simple solution. "Just win. Winning takes care of everything," he said.
Joint leader Rose said: "I think today I scrambled well. My bunker play was sharp. I hit 12 greens which is not too bad on this course, but I only hit seven fairways so I probably didn't drive it as well today as I have been driving it. I felt confident with the putter today."
As for his 50 foot putt on 18, he said: "I haven't seen many of those putts go in this year so that's always a nice bonus - especially to do it with such a tough one on 18. To be honest with you I'm just trying to two-putt and get out of there. I managed to match up line and speed perfectly."
Nick Watney, Phil Mickelson and Brandt Snedeker are the other three players who will definitely win the FedEx Cup and the $10m bonus if they take victory this week and they experienced differing fortunes on day one.
Snedeker birdied three of the last four holes to card a two-under 68 while Mickelson returned a typically rollercoaster 69. However, Watney has a mountain to climb after a five-over 75 left him in last place.