Friday, September 07, 2018

McIlroy and Tiger both equal course record with 62s at BMW Championship

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods both equalled the course record of 62 at Aronimink Golf Club with opening rounds of eight-under par at the BMW Championship in Pennsylvania. 

The pair, who will be on opposing sides at the Ryder Cup at the end of the month, were in sublime form and hold a one-shot lead after the first round over Xander Schauffele and Alex Noren.

McIlroy's round hinged on a stunning stretch of six consecutive birdies from the ninth to the fifth - he started on the back nine - as he looks to claim his second FedEx Cup and the $10m prize that goes with it.
The Holywood man birdied three of his first four holes to start well before shifting into overdrive, rattling off that incredible run that started just before the turn.
However, with the potential of a 59 looming, McIlroy stumbled, carding back-to-back bogeys on the seventh and eighth.
But he did redeem himself, and ensured he would finish the day tied for the overnight lead with a birdie at his final hole, the ninth, and a share of the new course record at Aronimink.
Meanwhile, Woods' incredible resurgence continues as he carded an eight-under 62 to end the day as joint leader with McIlroy.
Only two days after being confirmed as one of Jim Furyk's three initial captain's picks for the US Ryder Cup team, Woods proved exactly why he was selected by blistering around the front nine in six-under.
Starting at the 10th, Woods had four birdies and an eagle at the 16th to make the turn in impressive form, before adding a birdie at the first.
Another gained shot came at the seventh and, although he bogeyed the eighth, Woods finished a fine day with a birdie at the ninth to sit atop the early leaderboard.
His driving was on song, but most impressive was his putting display, which came after the former World No.1 switched back to the putter that has served him well over the most dominant stretch of his career.
"It's the feel of the swing, I just know it," Woods explained. "My body kind of morphs into a position where it just remembers how to set up to this putter and how it swings.
"This entire year has just been a moving target because my body is changing as the year goes on.
"The things I was doing at the start of the year I'm so much better at now, and we've had to keep moving the target."
The closest challengers to McIlroy and Woods are American Schauffele and Swede Alex Noren, who are at seven-under par after excellent rounds of 63.
Schauffele, 24, who is still very much in the mix for the final captain's pick in the American Ryder Cup squad, bounced back remarkably well after bogeying his opening hole, the 10th, and rattled off eight birdies across the rest of his round to take him up towards the top of the leaderboard and into the top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings.
Only the top 30 at the end of the tournament make it to the Tour Championship at East Lake next weekend, with Schauffele jumping from 41st to 15th after his opening round.
Of the other European names on the leaderboard, Jon Rahm, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson all carded four-under par rounds, with Rahm and Rose all but assured of their places next week, however Stenson will need to push up the leaderboard to break into that top 30 and make it to Atlanta.
Ian Poulter is another who will need three excellent rounds to make it into next week's season-ender after a two-under opening round.
Meanwhile, England's Tommy Fleetwood is in danger of slipping out of the top 30 at 28th after he struggled to a one-over 71 yesterday.



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