PGA Tour Championship 2012: Tiger Woods and Other Golfers to Watch This Weekend

Derek PiperCorrespondent ISeptember 21, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 20:  Tiger Woods is seen on the 16th green during the first round of the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola at East Lake Golf Club on September 20, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Like him or not, Tiger Woods is playing some of his best golf since 2008.

Posting a four-under 66 in the first round of the TOUR Championship in Atlanta, Woods tied Justin Rose for first place in the tournament after the opening round.

Call it wishful thinking or the resurgence of a former superstar, but Woods became the Vegas favorite to win the tournament, according to USA Today.

There is no denying the ability of the golfer who dominated the sport for more than a decade, but Woods has yet to win a major since his unforgettable U.S. Open playoff victory against Rocco Mediate in 2008.

Woods still has the same power in his drives, but his short game will determine whether he will be a contender or pretender this weekend.


Jim Furyk

Furyk is off to an extremely fast start this weekend. He is putting together an impressive second round (six birdies on the front nine) that could place him atop the leaderboard heading into Saturday.

Furyk has struggled to be consistent this year, finishing in the top five in four PGA Tour events while missing the cut in three other events.

Nevertheless, the 42-year-old is on his game at a familiar venue. He won the 2010 TOUR Championship at the East Lake Golf Club.

Watch out for Furyk this weekend as he attempts to recapture his magic of 2010 when he was named the PGA Tour Player of the Year.


Rory McIlroy

There is not a hotter-swinging golfer in the world right now than McIlroy.

Posting two consecutive PGA Tour wins at 20 under, McIlroy enters the TOUR championship as a major favorite. The 23-year-old has exploded onto the scene in 2012, finishing in the top three of seven Tour events.

McIlroy posted a modest one-under 69 in the first round on Thursday and continues to stay in contention for the lead.

Expect McIlroy to make a strong push in the final two days of the tournament as he attempts to hoist his third trophy in a row.


Bubba Watson

Watson has already won the biggest tournament in Georgia this year, and now he is attempting to run for governor with another victory in the Peach State.

Watson has yet to replicate his masterful performance at Augusta in April but don't doubt his ability to get it going this weekend.

The 33-year-old has only four PGA Tour wins in his career, but his monstrous drive makes him a contender in any tournament.

Watson posted a one-under 69 in the first round on Thursday and has the ability to climb up the board in a hurry this weekend.