|Tour Championship first-round leaderboard|
|-7 J Rose (Eng), T Woods (US); -5 R McIlroy (NI); -4 B Horschel, P Cantlay, J Thomas (all US), J Rahm (Spa); -3 K Stanley, R Fowler (both US)|
|Selected others: -2 T Fleetwood (Eng), T Finau (US); -1 D Johnson (US), P Casey (Eng); +5 P Mickelson (US); +6 B DeChambeau (US)|
World number one Justin Rose and 14-time major winner Tiger Woods are tied for the lead after round two of the season-ending Tour Championship.
Englishman Rose hit a three-under-par 67 and Woods carded a 68 as they moved to seven under overall, two shots clear of Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy.
Rose, 38, will take the FedEx Cup title with victory in Atlanta this week.
A high finish could be enough, with American Bryson DeChambeau, the current points leader, struggling on six over.
The Tour Championship is the last of four FedEx Cup play-offs that determine the season-long champion on the PGA Tour, with a $10m (£7.6m) bonus on offer.
Besides Rose and DeChambeau, Americans Tony Finau and Dustin Johnson are the only other players in the 30-man field who can secure the title by winning the tournament, regardless of other results.
Last year’s champion Thomas is three strokes off Rose, with Finau and Johnson on two under and one under respectively.
Woods would need Rose to slip back and other contenders to falter to win his third FedEx Cup, but the American former world number one kept himself in contention for his first victory since 2013 with a battling round.
The 42-year-old, who returned to competitive golf in November last year following fusion surgery to repair his back, reached the turn in level par before taking the outright lead during a run of three birdies in four holes.
He made double bogey at the 16th after being forced to lay up from a fairway bunker, but birdied the last to head into the weekend level with Rose.
“I ground out a round and wasn’t as sharp as I was in round one,” Woods told Sky Sports.
Rose’s progress was also not as serene as on Thursday as he made five birdies and two bogeys.
After a 27ft birdie putt on the 14th, he followed a bogey at 16 with a wayward tee shot at the next hole, but saved par and hit a birdie at the last.
“It was a little rough around the edges compared to round one but I’m happy to have found a score,” said Rose.
“It will be an honour to play with Tiger as world number one, but there is more to play for than that and I’m just looking to go to about my business and set it up for Sunday.”
McIlroy hit a two-under 68 to move into outright third, while Rickie Fowler, who shared the lead with Woods after round one, carded a 72 to slip back to three under overall.
England’s Tommy Fleetwood is at two under, with compatriot Paul Casey a short further back.