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September 18 2013

1:43 PM

Woods has comfort zone at East Lake

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

ATLANTA -- Much has been made of Tiger Woods' affinity for courses like Bay Hill, Muirfield Village and Firestone Country Club.

As he enters the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola this week ranked No. 1 in the FedExCup, though, Woods' record at East Lake Golf Club is also worth scruitinizing.

He has won twice on Bobby Jones' home course, with the first coming in 1999 and the most recent in 2007, in the first of his two FedExCup championship seasons. Woods also has four runner-up finishes at East Lake, including three times in his last five appearances.

"I think I've had a good run here," Woods said. "I've won twice and finished second four times. That's not too bad over the course of my career here.
   
"I have felt comfortable on this golf course. This week's going to be interesting. We're going to get some different weather coming in here, and obviously got to make the adjustments."

The very real threat of thunderstorms and rain this weekend is one thing. But Woods also has to adjust to playing off Bermudagrass again.

The last five tournaments Woods has played, including all three FedExCup Playoffs, have been on Bentgrass. The fairways at East Lake are zoysia but the tees, greens and rough are Bermuda.

So Woods, who didn't set foot on the property at East Lake until Wednesday, planned a practice round after he met with the media that morning.

"I'm going to go out there now and get a feel for the greens, do some work, and get used to chipping off Bermuda again because that's obviously very different than we've had the last few weeks," Woods said.

Woods says players take several things into account when they plan their schedules from courses that suit their games to amenities offered by resorts or the tournament. And when a player returns to a course like East Lake for the 14th time, as Woods is doing this week, there aren't too many surprises.

"I've played this golf course when it has been baked out and hot and dry and firm, and I've played it when it's been rainy and cold and miserable," Woods said. "... And I think that helps over the course of time.  You start to understand how to play it, and you get a feel, and there's a memory to it."

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