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Dublin: 5 °C Wednesday 19 December, 2018

Tiger Woods seizes share of lead at Tour Championship, Rory McIlroy in the hunt

The US star found the green with his second shot into the par-five 18th and then brilliantly holed a near 30-foot putt.

Tiger Woods (file pic).
Tiger Woods (file pic).
Image: AP/PA Images

TIGER WOODS DELIVERED easily the loudest roar in ending his round with an eagle three to share the lead on day one of the season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta.

Woods found the green with his second shot into the par-five 18th and then brilliantly holed the near 30-foot putt in a round of a five-under par 65 to tie fellow American Rickie Fowler in Thursday’s heatwave conditions on the East Lake course.

It is the second straight event in succession Woods has shared the first-round lead after he and Rory McIlroy were tied at the top with 62s on day one of the BMW Championship in Philadelphia.

“To finish with an eagle was nice as I hammered that drive up the left side, and it was nice to see it not in the rough before hitting five wood to the green,” said Woods.

Woods had began his round with a bogey but soon regrouped with birdies at the fifth and sixth holes on a course where he claimed the FedEx Cup championship trophy in 2007 and 2009.

He then birdied the 12th and downhill 14th holes ahead of the eagle on 18 in a round that included just 28 putts.

“I played really well today and though it wasn’t exactly the start I was looking for in taking the bogey at one, I made two good putts there at five and six and got to under par, and then from there I hit it pretty good and made a few putts,” said Woods.

“But more than anything, I missed it all on the correct sides. Even the fairways I missed, all were on the correct sides. 

“The shots I missed were on the greens, all had beautiful angles. All in all, I had a lot of control today.”

Fowler capped his round with back-to-back birdies at five and six and while he dropped a shot on seven. The world number nine birdied eight and then played the 11th to 18th holes in three under.

“It was a good day. I didn’t get off to necessarily a great start on my swing but I managed to kick my way around,” said Fowler.

“I think I missed one fairway, which the ball was in the first cut, and I think I hit every green from there on in. Made it very stress free.”

FedEx Cup leading Bryson DeChambeau had an East Lake debut he would rather forget in posting two double-bogeys over his opening nine on route to a round of 71.

Scores from opening round of the US PGA Tour Championship at the East Lake golf course in Atlanta, Georgia on Thursday (par-70; USA unless stated):

65 - Rickie Fowler, Tiger Woods

66 - Gary Woodland, Justin Rose (ENG)

67 - Justin Thomas, Tony Finau, Rory McIlroy (NIR)

68 - Jason Day (AUS), Jon Rahm (ESP), Xander Schauffele, Paul Casey (ENG)

69 - Kyle Stanley, Webb Simpson, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Tommy Fleetwood (ENG)

70 - Cameron Smith (AUS), Francesco Molinari (ITA), Aaron Wise, Bubba Watson (USA)

71 - Patton Kizzire, Patrick Cantlay, Billy Horschel , Bryson DeChambeau

72 - Hideki Matsuyama (JPN), Patrick Reed, Kevin Na

73 - Marc Leishman (AUS), Phil Mickelson, Keegan Bradley

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