Woods settles for three-shot lead

Atlanta, September 15:

Tiger Woods played a six-hole stretch in 7 under but followed with a back nine of even-par golf that left him three strokes ahead of the field on Friday after two rounds of the US Tour Championship.

Tearing apart a defenseless course at East Lake Golf Club, Woods made five straight birdies and capped it with a 70-foot eagle putt on the par-5 ninth to make the turn in 28. But he went five holes before his next birdie, and he had to settle for a 7-under 63 that had him three ahead of Woody Austin.

Woods was at 13-under 127, his best start to a tournament since he was 15-under through 36 holes at Firestone in 2000, which he went on to win by 11 shots. Austin had his second straight 65 and will play in the final group with Woods.

Woods and 19 other players had to return on Friday morning to complete the first round, and he wound up playing 25 holes. Woods is atop the US PGA Tour’s “playoff” standings. A victory would give him the FedEx Cup and the $10 million prize.