The finale of the FedExCup and PGA Tour season is about as efficient as it gets when it comes to scheduling and pace of play. The 125 players who made it through to the postseason have been whittled down to 30 guys over the last three tournaments, leaving just 15 tee times of twosomes to maneuver through the 18-hole layout at East Lake.
That limited field led to rounds that were well under four hours on Thursday, a far cry from the five-plus hour rounds we see annually in the backed-up crowded fields at the U.S. Open. The PGA Tour is going for their regular 6 p.m. ET conclusion to the round, so they won't send the first group off on Friday until 11:40 a.m. Unfortunately for casual golf fans, Tiger Woods played so poorly on Thursday that he'll now be in that first group on Friday. Only one player, Jason Dufner, turned in a worse score than Woods in the opening round, as the No. 1 player in the FedExCup standings plummeted from the last tee time on Thursday to the first one out for Friday.
Even with the first tee time, the back nine of Tiger's round should still fall within the broadcast window on Friday. Golf Channel will have the reins again, starting at 1 p.m. ET for an expanded broadcast from their regular Friday Tour coverage. The last tee time of the day, featuring Henrik Stenson and Adam Scott, will not tee off until 2 p.m. ET. But with the rounds quickly moving in under four hours, they should be done by the scheduled 6 p.m. finish. Both Stenson and Scott started the week in second and third in the FEC standings, so Tiger has a huge deficit to make up if he wants to entertain the Sunday possibility of winning the overall $10 million pot for the playoffs champion.
But even though Tiger is in second-to-last, there are only 28 players ahead of him and he's got 54 holes left to work his way up the board. He'll need to go low on Friday to give himself a chance on the weekend, and as we saw in the first round from Scott and Stenson, there are those opportunities to go on a birdie streak on both the front and back side at East Lake. It should be an interesting Friday in Atlanta -- here are your media options for the second round:
Friday's second round coverage
1 p.m. - 6 p.m. -- Golf Channel
1 p.m. - 6 p.m. -- Golf Channel simulcast stream
Noon - 6 p.m. -- PGA Tour Radio on Sirius-XM