Published Friday, 21 September 2012
Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy watches a tee shot in Atlanta, Georgia. (© Getty)
The tournament is the last leg of the FedEx Cup play-offs and it will be a case of winner-takes-all this weekend.
McIlroy is bidding to win his third consecutive trophy to net a staggering $10m in prize money.
The 23-year-old shot an opening 69, which featured three birdies and two bogeys, on Thursday.
"If you don't hit fairways, it's hard," McIlroy said. "If you hit the ball in the rough here, it's very, very difficult to get any control on your ball."
McIlroy was paired with Tiger Woods for the fifth time in the play-offs because they are first and second in the points standings.
Woods shares the lead with Justin Rose after a round of 66 - the American followed his second bogey of the day with consecutive birdies at the 15th and 16th and almost claimed the outright lead when his birdie attempt from 11 feet at the 18th narrowly missed.
Rose carded two bogeys and six birdies.
The leading duo head a group of four Americans - Scott Piercy, Bo Van Pelt, Matt Kuchar and Steve Stricker - by one shot in an elite field of 30.