September 24, 2009

O’Hair leads at Tour Championship

Sean O'Hair took a large step toward capturing the FedEx Cup Thursday by grabbing a one-shot lead after 18 holes at the Tour Championship.

O'Hair shot a 4-under 66 at the East Lake Golf Club, but found Tiger Woods, Padraig Harrington and Stewart Cink one shot back in the last of the PGA Tour's playoff events. If the final standings of this tournament were identical to the standings at the end of Thursday's action, O'Hair would win the FedEx Cup and its first prize of $10 million.

He began this week in seventh place in the points standings. To win the cup he would have to capture this event while Woods finishes no better than a three-way tie for second.

Woods, Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson and Heath Slocum held down the first five spots in the points list going into the Tour Championship and any of them would win the FedEx Cup with a victory this week. Woods was the only member of that group among the top eight after the first round.

U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover was alone in fifth at 68 while Steve Marino, Dustin Johnson and Retief Goosen shared sixth place at 69.

Stricker and Zach Johnson were among those at 70. Phil Mickelson took a quadruple bogey 8 on the par-4 14th hole, shot a 73 and was tied for 26th in the 30-player field.

Woods birdied four of the last 10 holes to overcome a poor start.

I accomplished my goal of shooting a sub-par round, Woods said.