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Composed Woods hits turn with five-shot lead

23 September 2018 22:15

Tiger Woods maintained his march towards a first title since 2013 by hitting the turn with a five-shot lead in the final round of the Tour Championship.

The 14-time major champion started his final round with a three-stroke advantage over Justin Rose - on course to win the FedEx Cup - and Rory McIlroy at East Lake on Sunday.

Woods, whose last win came at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in 2013, showed no signs of nerves when he birdied the first hole to go 13 under, much to the delight of huge, expectant galleries in Atlanta.

The legendary American was five shots in front when Rose bogeyed the fifth, with McIlroy dropping two shots in as many holes on the front nine in the final PGA Tour event of the season.

Rose moved back to nine under with a first birdie at the eighth, but failed to hole a short par putt at nine to restore Woods' five-shot cushion.

McIlroy, playing in the final group with Woods, faded badly with a double-bogey following a poor tee shot at the seventh and dropped another shot at the next to drop back to five under.

Woods, who has looked increasingly like his former self this year on his comeback from a fourth back operation, made eight consecutive pars following that gain at the opening hole. He retains a chance of winning the FedEx Cup in the event of Rose faltering on the back nine

Billy Horschel was six shots off the pace through 12 holes, while Dustin Johnson is another stroke back.

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