Imperious Stenson surges four ahead at East Lake

Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:09pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

ATLANTA (Reuters) - In-form Swede Henrik Stenson piled up four birdies in his first nine holes, then held steady after the turn to forge four shots clear in Friday's second round of the PGA Tour's season-ending Tour Championship.

With the FedExCup playoff title and its bonus jackpot of $10 million also on the line at East Lake Golf Club this week, Stenson tightened his grip on all those honors as he fired a four-under-par 66 on a glorious, sun-splashed day.

The Swede, ranked second in the FedExCup points standings coming into this week, offset a bogey at the 10th with a birdie at the 16th to post a 10-under total of 130 in the fourth and final playoff event.

"It might seem like a large lead, but four shots during two rounds is not that much," Stenson told reporters, having played with only 13 clubs in his bag after seeing that the face of his four-wood was caved in during his warm-up.

"I'm pretty cool about that. I'm just going to go out and try to do the best I can for the next two days, and hopefully that's good enough.

"I have won a lot of tournaments from a good position like this, and, I hope I can do it again," added the Swede, who has recorded five top-threes in his last seven starts, including victory at the Deutsche Bank Championship earlier this month

Stenson's playing partner, Masters champion Adam Scott, was alone in second, after carding a 69, with PGA Tour rookie sensation Jordan Spieth a further stroke back at five under, after a 67.

"I'm fairly pleased," Scott said after mixing three birdies with two bogeys. "I didn't play my best golf out there today. Not that I got in a lot of trouble but when you're out of position, it's really hard to have a good score around here.   Continued...

Henrik Stenson of Sweden hits from the fairway on the third hole during the second round of the Tour Championship golf tournament at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia September 20, 2013. REUTERS/Tami Chappell