//Will East Lake be Tiger’s Lucky Charm?

Will East Lake be Tiger’s Lucky Charm?

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Chip Harp | Live at the TOUR Championship for Valdosta Today

ATLANTA –  Anyone who knows anything about East Lake’s most famous member, Bobby Jones, knows he was born on St. Patrick’s Day. His lucky charm was just that, a four leaf clover.

Will some of that luck rub off on Tiger Woods as he searches for his first tour win since 2013?  He has his first share of a lead after 36 holes since 2015 at the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.

Jones’ course at East Lake would make him proud as it has stood as a difficult test for professional golf’s best.  Just ask 3-time major champion Brooks Koepka, two won this year, who shot a cringeworthy 8-over par today. Or the points leader heading into the tournament, Bryson DeChambeau, who shot 5-over and is now just a shot ahead of Koepka at 6-over par for the tournament, one shot out of last place.

No one will be handing Tiger his first win, though.  World Number One Justin Rose is tied with Woods at 7-under par.  Rose also leads the FedEx Cup points standings, with Woods behind him in second.

“We’re only halfway home, and this course, the way it’s playing right now, you’ve got to be so patient” Woods said in his post round interview. “It’s hard to make birdies, and on top of that, it’s hard to get the ball close. It’s very easy to make mistakes, make a few bogeys here and there.”

Rose looks forward to battling Tiger down the stretch.  “Yeah, it’s a cool story for sure. Yeah, that is cool for sure. I guess going into tomorrow, that doesn’t — I can’t really think that way. It’s going to be — obviously playing with him versus playing in front of him today, I think it was just big crowds no matter what.”

“Obviously people are excited about watching Tiger play again”, Rose said. “He’s obviously right on form and feeling very comfortable out there, looks like he’s driving it well, irons have been great all year, looks comfortable with the blade.”

“So it’s exciting for people to get a look at him back at his best and it will be fun to be play with him”, Rose continued. “I played with him earlier this year in Bay Hill and enjoyed playing with him there. But yeah, there’s more on my mind than just playing with Tiger tomorrow for sure.”

It was a hot day at East Lake on Friday.  Huge crowds followed the pairing of Woods and Rickie Fowler, who shot 2-over to finish 3-under for the day.  In fact, this was a huge crowd for this tournament overall, especially on a Friday.

The tournament has added many enhancements (food, fun, drink) to a contest that, though the season finale, has struggled to draw huge crowds during football season, especially college football.  And though next year with see the tournament move to August in the new TOUR calendar, this year has shown that with a bit of Tiger magic, the crowds will come, no matter what else is going on.

Will Tiger win again, or will Justin Rose, who is truly playing like a World Number One, show this is his season after so much work and disappointment in years past?  Tune in tomorrow as the third round tees off in golf’s big season-ending finale, and to see on whom Jones’ lucky charm shines.