Playing with World No. 1 Rory McIlroy for the fifth time during the FedEx Cup playoffs, Woods carded six birdies on his round Thursday, needing only 26 putts around East Lake. Rose started slowly but was 5 under across his final 11 holes Thursday, including a 52-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to complete his round.
At 24th in the FedEx Cup standings entering the week, Rose needs a win and significant help from players ahead of him in the standings in order to capture the season-long FedEx Cup. At second in the standings, Woods controls his own destiny and will win the FedEx Cup with a win this week at East Lake.
Overall scores remain bunched after the opening round, with 18 of 30 players in the field breaking par on Thursday. The group of players one stroke behind Woods and Rose includes reigning Players champion Matt Kuchar, and Scott Piercy, who was the 30th and final person to gain entry into this week's field.