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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Tiger Woods tied for the lead as class acts thrive in sunny Georgia

Justin Rose continues his excellent form at East Lake

Open champion Francesco Molinari looks a solid twoball option
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Sky Sports Golf, 5.30pm Saturday

Tiger Woods and Justin Rose lead the Tour Championship at the halfway stage, the old master and the new world number one comprising a mouthwatering third-round twoball at East Lake, Georgia.

Woods, who opened up with an excellent 65 on Thursday, did not have the same tee-to-green control in round two, but the 14-times Major champion birdied the final hole to card a 68, moving to seven under par.

Rose, who has finished second in the previous two FedEx Cup playoff events and started the Tour Championship as 9-1 co-favourite of three alongside Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson, is a general 5-2 market leader heading into the weekend.

Woods has won the Tour Championship twice – once at East Lake – while Rose has twice finished runner-up. It is debatable whether the Englishman would be happy to fill that placing again if it meant winning the FedEx Cup, which would be a likely scenario given the troubles of Bryson DeChambeau.

FedEx Cup leader DeChambeau is sharing 27th place in the 30-runner event, with only Brooks Koepka behind him, so the pacesetter in the battle for the $10m FedEx cheque has left the door wide open for his pursuers. Rose, second in the FedEx standings, is in fantastic shape.

Three of the best players on the planet fill the first three places on the Tour Championship leaderboard after 36 holes – and it would be a surprise should one of them not be lifting the tournament winner's trophy on Sunday. Woods at 14-5 is arguably the best-value option – confidence is high and it was only a course-management error at the 16th hole in round two which cost him a two-shot halfway lead.

Outright punters looking for someone at a bigger price with the potential to upset Rose, Woods and McIlroy should consider the 22-1 about Billy Horschel, who won by three shots the last time he played at East Lake and played well on Friday to move into a share of fourth place, three behind.

Third-round twoball punters are pointed towards DeChambeau, who let nerves get to him in the opening two rounds, but should resume normal service from the first match out (5.10pm UK and Ireland time).

DeChambeau, who won the first two FedEx Cup playoff events, will be highly motivated to move as far up the leaderboard as possible to make life more difficult for the FedEx chasing pack. Brooks Koepka, whose FedEx hopes appear dead and buried, could easily approach the rest of the event with a carefree approach.

Phil Mickelson is another player who could have a questionable attitude to the remaining 36 holes and playing partner, Francesco Molinari, an East Lake debutant who should improve with two rounds under his belt, can be much preferred in their twoball (5.30pm).

The final pairing of Woods and Rose is scheduled on the tee at 7.30pm UK and Ireland time, with another hot, sunny, largely windless, day in store.

Twoballs recommendations
B DeChambeau
3pts 6-5 Betfair, BoyleSports, Power

F Molinari
3pts 10-11 general

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Three of the best players on the planet fill the first three places on the Tour Championship leaderboard
E.W. Terms
Sky bet