The Tour Championship is the final event of the FedEx Cup playoffs. World No. 1 and points leader Rory McIlroy, who won the Deutsche Bank Championship and the BMW Championship, is among seven golfers at 1-under after Thursday's play. Also at 1-under are Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson and Sergio Garcia.
Nick Watney, who won The Barclays to open the playoffs, is last in the championship's 30-player field at 5-over.
Woods entered the championship second in FedEx Cup standings and bested McIlroy in yet another head-to-head pairing. McIlroy opened with a bogey, had a birdie at the third hole and he was still even after 11 holes. He added a birdie at the 12th hole but bogeyed the 14th. A birdie at 15 accounted for his 1-under score.
Woods had birdies at Nos. 2 and 3 but gave a stroke back at the fourth hole. He closed the front side with a birdie at 9 and also had a birdie at 12. Like McIlroy, he had a bogey at 14 but posted back-to-back birdies at 15 and 16.
Rose was 1-over after seven holes due to bogeys at 2 and 7. But he had consecutive birdies at 8 and 9 and again at 14 and 15. A closing birdie at 18 was worth a share of the lead.