Rose played with Woods on Saturday but because McIlroy finished his third round before the Englishman, he gets to accompany the 14-times major champion in the final pairing on Sunday.
In the FedEx Cup finale, however, Woods is picking up momentum.
Woods played true to history in claiming this win.
Tiger Woods has a five-shot lead and is nine holes away from his first victory in more than five years. Two bogeys coming in, however, including a great save on the 16th when his first chip shot rolled back down a hill guarding the green, cut into the lead.
"We'll see what happens", McIlroy continued, "but it'll be exciting to be up there and have a chance to win the golf tournament".
Rose will be playing not only for the victory but also the FedExCup, which is worth $10m to the victor of the season-long PGA Tour points race. "It's hard to make birdies, and on top of that, it's hard to get the ball close".
Woods shot a final round 1-over 71 in Atlanta, Georgia on Monday (NZT). Kyle Stanley and Jon Rahm are both at 6 under par.
Woods surged into the lead starting with a wedge to 4 feet on No. 12, an 8-foot par save on the 13th, an 18-foot birdie on the 14th, and a tee shot that flirted with the edge of the peninsula green on the par-3 15th. There was nothing showy about what Woods did in the final round at East Lake, and there didn't need to be.
"I don't have to shoot 63 or 64 and hope I get help".
Rose has wider reason to keep Woods within view.
He started the week second in the standings behind Bryson DeChambeau, who appears to be out of contention after a 75 that left him equal second-last.
Woods hasn't won a PGA Tour event since taking down the 2013 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio on August 4, 2013.
Rose looks likely to retain the world No 1 position as well and Thomas Bjorn would take plenty of encouragement from that when his team gathers at Le Golf National near Paris on Monday.
Woods has had four finishes in the top 5, a runner-up by one shot at Innisbrook and by two shots at the PGA Championship.
The 38-year-old Glover, who won the 2009 US Open at Bethpage Black, needs a high finish this weekend at Atlantic Beach Country Club to secure his PGA Tour card for the upcoming season.
Tiger Woods has gone from not knowing if he would ever play golf again to the verge of winning.
The Tour Championship is a 30-man tournament and the final event of the FedEx Cup play-offs.
Woods said prior to this final round if he was able to win, it would be one of the "better accomplishments I've had, just considering where I've been and what I've had to do through and fight through and amount of help I've had to have to get myself to this point".