Woods birdied his final hole in a score of a two-under par 68 to join Rose (67) tied in the lead on seven-under par in continuing heatwave conditions on the East Lake Course.
Tiger Woods, a former two-time winner of the season-ending event, had been two strokes clear of his rivals before a double-bogey on 16 and after a par at his penultimate hole he brilliantly putted from some 34-foot feet to leave himself a two-foot tap-in birdie on 18.
“The best way to describe today is I ground out a round today,” he said.
“I wasn’t quite as sharp as I was yesterday, but I hung in there and tried to miss the ball on the correct sides so I had angles.
“For the most part of the day, I did that.”
Woods began the round tied at the top with compatriot Rickie Fowler but soon moved two clear of Fowler who bogeyed the first. Woods picked-up the first of five birdies at the second but after dropping a shot on nine, the 42-year old headed to his inward half level for his round.
The current world No 21 then forged two strokes clear of the elite 30-player field with birdies, and for a second day running, at the par-4 12th, along with also birding the par-4 14th for a second straight occasion, ahead of delivering the loudest crowd roar of his round in holing a 24-foot birdie putt at the all-water carry par-3 15th.
WHO ELSE IS IN THE RUNNING FOR THE TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP? FULL LEADERBOARD HERE
Woods then found himself staring at a near impossible greenside bunker shot at the par-4 16th and with no option but to chip-out sideways on route to three-putting for a double-bogey 6.
There was then further wild applause when Woods holed-out on 18 to join Rose and his management stablemate sharing the lead on seven-under.
But while Woods has been runner-up in two events in this already remarkable ‘comeback’ season, he is not prepared to entertain thoughts of capturing what would be an 80th Tour victory and a first since August 2013.
“Well, I need to get there first, and that’s my responsibility to get there,” he said.
“I’ve got 36 more holes to go, and hopefully I’ll be answering that question come Sunday night.”
And one thing Woods says he’s good at in a goal to win at East Lake for a third time in his career is patience, and it will be how he handles the next 36 holes that will determine if the 42-year old is successful.
“I’ve been pretty good at being patient in my career,” he said.
“I’ve won 14 majors, so I’m pretty good at being patient and in order to get ahead, I’ve got to stay patient.”
Rose, who will play the third round in the company of Woods, also birdied the last as he looks also not only to celebrate a first win as the game’s best player but also make amends in losing out in a play-off in his last event, the BMW Championship.
“It’s a cool story brewing for sure and I guess going into tomorrow, that doesn’t — I can’t really can’t be thinking what Tiger is going to be doing,” said Rose.
“I’m playing with him versus playing in front of him which was the case today so I think it was just big crowds no matter what. Obviously people are excited about watching Tiger play again.
“He’s 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. 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.”
Rory McIlroy, winner two years ago of both the FedEx Cup and Tour Championship, is well-placed shooting a 68 to be in third place at five-under par.
Byrson DeChambeau’s dream of ending his season as PGA Tour No 1 has turned into nightmare with the 25-year old posting scores of 71 and 75 to be sharing 27th place.
DeChambeau teed-up for a first occasion at East Lake atop of the FedEx Cup rankings but is now projected to drop to No 3.
The Ryder Cup rookies second round was a sour mix of just two birdies but also seven bogeys.
And triple Major winning Brooks Koepka tails out the elite 30-player field struggling on day two under the weight of an eight-over par 78 for a seven-over par tally.
Koepka recorded his only birdie at 18 after earlier recording five bogeys and double-bogeys at the eighth and 16th holes.
Source : EXPRESS