The battle for 30th: Given all the money that is thrown about this week at East Lake – and why, oh, way, doesn't any of it spill over into the gallery? – there is a certain, possibly warped, fascination with the fellow who finishes last. The one who plays dreadfully – who would have missed the cut and been down the road at any full-field event. Yet, with the unlimited largesse of the Tour Championship, you finish dead last and still earn $315,000 ($175,000 FedEx Cup bonus plus a $140,000 tournament purse). A solo 30th at the Masters, for instance, would pay $74,800. So, who are the leading candidates for the most fortunate worst-of-show of them all? Right now it's Kevin Chappell (8 over) and Rickie Fowler (7 over) in the lead (?) for that distinction.
Breaking up the boys: Friday was eighth time in the last four weeks that buddies Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth have been paired together in tournament play. It's really time for a break. With Thomas climbing to the top of the Tour Championship leaderboard Friday, and Spieth failing to keep pace, they won't be teeing off within an hour of each other Saturday (Spieth at 1:25, Thomas in the last twosome, launching at 2:35).
Where are the eagles? With only two par 5s on the course, the eagle opportunities are more limited at East Lake. Still, the main reason for flipping the nines here a year ago was to introduce more volatility to the finish. Which, in theory, means more looks at eagle at the end. Neither of East Lake's par 5s has been particularly generous on that score. Through two rounds, they have yielded but a total of four eagles, evenly split between the two. Justin Thomas vaulted into a share of the second round lead with the only eagle of Friday on No.18, and finally demonstrated the potential for something really dramatic this weekend. (Pat Perez holed out on the par 4 16th Friday for the only other eagle of the tournament thus far).