Greens improve and partial practice is allowed at East Lake

East Lake's 6th hole
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The sixth hole at East Lake

ATLANTA (AP) — The damaged greens of East Lake have improved enough to allow the 30 players at the Tour Championship to practice on all but three holes for two days before the opening round, the tour said Monday.

It was a small step toward restoring credibility to the final event of the FedEx Cup. The tour previous said players would not be allowed to hit balls on the green or even walk on them until Thursday because of severe heat that all but killed the strain of grass.

Starting Tuesday, they can play a regular practice round except on the par-3 second, the par-4 13th and par-5 15th. Those greens will remain off limits.

The pro-am Wednesday remains canceled, although players are still required to be at East Lake to conduct a clinic and have a couple of Q-and-A sessions with their amateur partners.

Tiger Woods, who leads the FedEx Cup standings going into the final event, and second-ranked Steve Stricker are the only players who can capture the FedEx Cup and its $10 million prize by winning the Tour Championship.

Phil Mickelson, at No. 3, could claim the cup by winning at East Lake as long as Tiger Woods finishes lower than second place by himself. K.J. Choi and Rory Sabbatini also have chances of winning the cup.

The tour said Monday that Aaron Baddeley, at No. 6, is alive only if Woods withdraws or is disqualified.

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