Golf-Koepka one ahead of Thomas, McIlroy after 36 holes in Atlanta

Aug 23 (Reuters) - Brooks Koepka missed an eight-foot eagle putt at the final hole but did enough for a one-stroke halfway lead over Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy at the Tour Championship in Atlanta, Georgia on Thursday.

The tap-in birdie to end the second round lifted Koepka to a second successive three-under 67 as East Lake, particularly its gnarly rough, bared its teeth.

Koepka posted a 13-under total after starting the week as the third seed at seven-under in the staggered scoring system.

Fellow American Thomas, the top seed who began the tournament at 10 under, shot 68, while Northern Irishman McIlroy had a 67.

Xander Schauffele had a 69 to trail by two strokes as the frontrunners separated themselves from the pack.

Sunday's winner of the season-ending event will receive the biggest prize in the sport, $15 million. (Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ian Ransom)