EAST LAKE STORYLINES

WORDS WITH … PHIL MICKELSON

Q: What kind of pushed you forward today?

A: I made a couple putts on the back nine of a decent length. A 25-, 30-footer on the 12th hole and then probably a 50-footer on the following. … I really hadn’t putted well on the first 27, and then it clicked right back in. Just a slight setup adjustment, and I started to feel really good with it. Heading into tomorrow, since the British Open, this is the best I’ve felt with my golf swing, the best I’ve felt with a putter.

Q: What was the adjustment with the putter?

A: I just got a little tilted, and it was throwing my lines off. I just wasn’t getting the ball in line. A very simple adjustment.

WORDS WITH … TIGER WOODS

Q: What was the problem with putting in the first round (34)?

A: I missed everything on the high side. The greens just weren’t — they were much slower than what I thought they would be, and I missed every putt on the high side, except for the putt at the first hole. I ended up pulling that putt left. … But every other putt, I over-read. Today I just — they were quicker starting out, and I took that into account and tried to make sure they got on the lower lines. I didn’t give it as much — I didn’t give as much credit to the green as I did yesterday, and it ended up working. I made some putts.

Q: Are you still in contention?

A: I’m still in contention. There’s 36 holes. … That’s why we play four rounds. This is not a sprint. It’s tournament golf. It’s four rounds. It’s a marathon. You’ve got to keep plugging around.

WORDS WITH … ADAM SCOTT

Q: How’s your confidence level here since you won here before?

A: I feel like I’ve played a lot of good golf at this course. The confidence from winning has faded away somewhat in the seven or eight years, but I feel like I’ve played a lot of good rounds here.

Q: At what point does what Henrik Stenson’s doing in front of you influence how aggressive you’re going to be?

A: Maybe midway through the front nine on Sunday, if it’s still status quo. I’ll have to create something, see how he starts on Sunday with the pressure of the lead. I mean, we’re all just guessing now. So I’m not going to change anything tomorrow. I’m just going to play my game. I think, if I do that, there’s a good score out there.

ONE PATH TO VICTORY

How No. 13 Jordan Spieth, a rookie who’s in third place, can win the FedEx Cup. Spieth must win the Tour Championship, and:

  • Tiger Woods must finish T-7th or worse; currently T-26th.
  • Henrik Stenson must finish T-4th or worse; currently 1st.
  • Adam Scott must finish T-3rd or worse; currently 2nd.
  • Zach Johnson must finish in a 3-way tie for second or worse; currently T-7th.
  • Matt Kuchar; must finish T-2nd or worse; currently 25th.

THE TOP FIVE

These players control their destiny and will win the FedEx Cup title with a victory Sunday. Their FedEx Cup ranking, score, position and projected finish in the points race after the first round:

Rk; Player; Rd-Total; Pos.; Projection

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Compiled by Ray Cox

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