Weekend Preview – PGA Tour – FedEx Cup Playoffs – TOUR Championship – East Lake Golf Club – Atlanta, Georgia –
Sweden’s Henrik Stenson appears to be on cruise-control at the TOUR Championship.
Second in the FedEx Cup Playoff standings, Stenson (10-under overall) glides into the third round at East Lake Golf Club in command with a four-shot advantage over Masters champion Adam Scott. Stenson carded a second-round 4-under-66.
Jordan Spieth, a PGA Tour rookie at age 20, is alone in third place at 5-under with a host of proven major champions in the Top 10 including Zach Johnson, Justin Rose and Keegan Bradley, who had the round of the day at 65.
But, at this point, Stenson will have to come back to the field for a handful of the 30-man field to contend on Sunday.
Leading the FedEx Cup Standings coming into the tournament was Tiger Woods, who struggled to a 74 in the first round. Woods was 5-under through 13 holes Friday and making a move up the leader board until he collapsed down the stretch with a double at the 14th, a bogey at No. 16 and a triple-bogey 7 at the par-4 17th hole. He finished 1-over on the round and sits T-26.
Woods’ chances at a third FedEx Cup title were probably lost during that final stretch Friday.
He wasn’t the only player to fade Friday as Charl Schwartzel, who opened with 68, carded a 79 Friday to fall into last place at the no-cut season finale.
Stenson, who won the second playoff event at the Deutsche Bank Championship, is now sixth-ranked in the Official World Golf Ranking. He was a 16-to-1 betting selection at Skybet.com heading into East Lake.
Stenson is T-1 in Fairways in Regulation (21 of 28) and Greens in Regulation (31 of 36) through 36 holes.
Look for Scott or Rose to apply a little pressure Saturday, but only a Stenson slip up and lapse in confidence can derail the former PLAYERS champion at this point. Gary Woodland could make a run as well. The long hitter is first this week in Strokes-Gained Putting.
Other Golf News:
- Mark Wiebe shot 64 and leads the Champions Tour’s Pacific Links Hawaii Championship by two strokes. Mark Calcavecchia and John Cook are T-2, while Vijay Singh – making his Champions Tour debut – is T-8 after a 69.
- Stenson, who opened the playoffs 9th in the standings, finished with Top 3’s this season at the Open Championship, PGA Championship and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
- The Web.com Tour Finals returns next week with its TOUR Championship at Dye’s Valley Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida in late September. Seung-Yul Noh leads the standings which rewards 25 players with a PGA Tour membership for the 2013-2014 season.
- Stenson, who also leads the European Tour’s Race To Dubai Standings, finished 2012 ranked 53rd in the world. If he wins the FedEx Cup, he would be only the second international-born player to win the title. Singh is also a past champion.
- Francesco Molinari headlines a three-way tie at 9-under for the lead at the European Tour’s Italian Open through two rounds.