Atlanta Charles Howell III realized par would be an acceptable score at windy East Lake and he did one better, posting a 69 on Friday for a one-stroke lead in the Tour Championship.
Howell finished with eight pars and was at 5-under 135 heading into the weekend, one stroke ahead of David Toms, Steve Lowery, Len Mattiace and Vijay Singh.
Howell, one of 10 players making his debut in the season-ending tournament for the top 30 on the money list, made bogey after hitting two of his best drives and didn't feel as though his score was as good as it could have been.
Then again, the swirling wind turned cooler as long shadows fell across East Lake, the greens began to dry out and got quicker on every hole and the 23-year-old knew that anything around par would be a good day at the office.
"Birdies are hard to come by," Howell said. "Every time I made a birdie, I tried to hang on as much as I could."
Toms had the best score of the day, a bogey-free 66 and earned a spot in the final twosome with Howell today.
Tiger Woods is hanging around, too. Despite consecutive bogeys at the turn, Woods finished with a 68 and was at 139, just four strokes out of the lead.