On yet another day where birdies were relatively hard to come by at East Lake Golf Club, Henrik Stenson made it look pretty easy for the second day in a row. Here’s how things shape up heading into the third round of the Tour Championship, where the Swede now leads an elite field by four shots:
What it means: Though two rounds remain at East Lake, Stenson appears poised to take home both the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup titles. He once again got off to a hot start Friday, with three birdies across his first four holes, and his 10-under 130 total ties his career low for 36 holes.
Round of the day: A week after notching a runner-up finish at the BMW Championship, Nick Watney played his way back into the top 10 thanks to a 5-under 65 Friday in Atlanta. The veteran carded seven total birdies on his round, including three over his final four holes, and as a result was able to rebound from an opening 72 and move somewhat into contention, albeit seven shots behind Stenson’s lead.
Best of the rest: Former PGA champion Keegan Bradley matched Watney’s 65 for low round honors Friday, with six birdies against just a single dropped shot at the fifth hole. Bradley recorded four birdies across a seven-hole stretch from Nos. 9-15, and like Watney will now begin the weekend seven shots off the pace as he looks to continue his climb up the overall FedEx Cup standings.
Biggest disappointment: Through 13 holes, it appeared Tiger Woods was headed for “round of the day” honors, as the world No. 1 was 5 under on his round with just five holes remaining. He played that closing stretch in 6 over, though, a disappointing finish that included a triple-bogey 7 at No. 17 and left Woods with a 1-over 71 in the second round. At 4-over 144, he now finds himself tied for 26th among the 30-man field with just two rounds to play.
Main storyline heading into Saturday: With tee times moved up due to approaching inclement weather, the biggest question is whether or not Stenson will allow any of the elite players in this week’s field within striking distance. The Swede has largely put on a clinic through 36 holes, and now halfway to a season-long title shows no signs of slowing. If anyone can catch him, though, it may be Scott, who sits in second place and eyes Player of the Year honors that may come his way should he win Sunday.
Shot of the day: From 123 yards away in the opening fairway, Stenson stuck his wedge approach to within eight feet of the hole. The result continued his trend of accurate iron shots from Thursday's opening round, and the birdie helped propel the Swede to his second-round 66.
Quote of the day: “I just ran out of gas.” – Woods, after playing his final five holes Friday in 6 over.