Two days into the TOUR Championship and none other than Henrik Stenson is in control.
The 37-year-old Swede, who had 14 top-10 finishes and two wins in his PGA Tour career before 2013, continued his impressive campaign on Friday at East Lake in Atlanta, posting a four-under-par 66. He closed out the first two rounds at the TOUR Championship with a 10-under 130.
2013 TOUR Championship Leaderboard
On the day, Stenson knocked down five birdies to one bogey. That included a 27-foot putt for birdie on hole No. 4 and a 21-foot putt for birdie on No. 16.
Headed into the tournament, Stenson had posted seven of his 21 career top-10 finishes in 2013. That included a huge victory at the Deutsche Bank Championship. Last year, he had one top-10 finish on tour.
It's hard to ignore how well Stenson is playing. If the tournament were to end today, he would be the FedEx Cup champion. It's not over yet, especially with this year's Masters champ—Adam Scott—in the mix, but Stenson looks to be the favorite to come away with the trophy.
As for Scott, he currently is in second place with a six-under 134. He dropped a bit behind Stenson on Friday, registering a one-under par after posting a five-under par on Thursday, but we all know what the 33-year-old Aussie is capable of.
Scott has six top-10 finishes and two victories on tour this year, winning the Masters and the Barclays (the first leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs). He's a big-moment golfer, tending to rise to the occasion in the biggest tournaments.
I wouldn't put it past Scott to make up the four-stroke disadvantage against Stenson and win the TOUR Championship, as well as the FedEx Cup trophy, but I don't think he ultimately will, given how well Stenson has been playing at East Lake.
The third round may be the round that determines it all. For the year, Stenson ranks 10th on tour in first-round scoring average and 11th in second-round scoring average, but he also ranks 82nd in third-round scoring average, per PGATour.com. He ranks a respectable 27th in the category in the fourth round.
A lot of people are pulling for young American Jordan Spieth, especially after the 20-year-old posted a three-under 67 on Friday to take sole possession of third place in the TOUR Championship.
But to win the FedEx Cup, Spieth would not only have to erase Stenson's five-stroke lead, Stenson would also have to finish fifth or worse. That doesn't appear all that likely at the moment.
As for Tiger Woods—the FedEx Cup leader before the tournament—it doesn't look promising.
At one point on Friday, Tiger was actually in the top 10 at the TOUR Championship, posting five birdies to no bogeys in his first 13 holes.
But the 37-year-old tanked down the stretch, registering a double bogey on hole No. 14, a bogey on No. 16 and a triple bogey on No. 17. He now sits at four-over par for the tournament, tied for 26th place.
Zach Johnson was another hot name coming into the TOUR Championship after his victory at the BMW Championship, but Tiger would have to sink even more and Johnson would have to rise dramatically for the Iowa City native to simply place third in the final FedEx Cup standings (if the tournament was to end today, Johnson would still be 520 points behind Woods, via PGATour.com).
All told, Stenson isn't out of the woods yet. He has a Masters champion who plays big on the grand stage behind him and anything could happen in the final two days at East Lake.
It's setting up to be a thrilling finish to the FedEx Cup season.
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