After starting the week No. 41 in the rankings, he's projected to move to sixth with a win, but his first title in almost a year would also make U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk's decision more hard with one wildcard selection remaining.
Woods was joined in the lead by McIlroy who highlighted his round of 10 birdies with a career-best six in succession, beginning with the last hole of his front nine.
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After blistering the course at Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, Pa.in the first round for 8-under, Woods was even par in the second round - leaving him tied for 12 place five shots behind the leader. He finished with two straight bogeys for a 70 and left him five shots behind in a tie for 12th.
Hideki Matsuyama shot a 6-under 64 to land three shots off the pace in a four-way tie for third. The course yielded birdies in bunches over the first 36 holes of competition, and the weekend promises fireworks from golf's biggest stars. The number of players is reduced at each event - with 70 contesting this one - before the top 30 contest the decisive Tour Championship in two weeks' time.
Tiger hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation while continuing to drive the ball better than he has for the majority of the season.
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"I've got to make birdies over the weekend". I hit it to three feet on the fifth hole and missed it and I finally got one to go on six and felt like I at least got something going. Starting times were moved up four hours because of a forecast for more rain.
As much as fans want to see Tiger succeed, it's hard to stomach the subjective enthusiasm seeping out of the broadcast booth.
Schauffele has not won this year.
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The same is true for Bradley and for Noren, the Swede who makes his Ryder Cup debut at the end of the month. Any further delays would cut into their valuable recovery time, especially with the Tour Championship and Ryder Cup on deck.