Tiger Woods celebrated being named to the Ryder Cup earlier this week by turning back the clock.
The 42-year-old Woods shot a blistering 8-under-par 62 at http://Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, Pa., and is tied for the lead with Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland after the first round of the BMW Championship, the third of four events in the FedEx Cup playoffs.
Woods posted his lowest round since shooting 61 in the second round of the 2013 Bridgestone Invitational. It was the fifth 62 of his career, one stroke off his career-low of 61, which he has achieved four times.
“I made a some putts today, including right out of the gate at 10 and 11 to get things going,” said Woods, who went back to his old Scotty Cameron putter this week. “The greens are perfectly smooth, although a little slow, and the putter felt real good. I remembered how it swings.
“I’m a little tired and need a nice ice bath because it was warm out there. I lose a lot of water weight when I play and really have to watch it. It wears on you. But it was nice to post a good round and we go early tomorrow, so it will be a quick turnaround.”
Woods made birdies on three of his first four holes after starting on the back nine and had seven in all, plus a five-foot eagle putt at No. 16, and made his only bogey on the eighth hole. He made all 15 of his putts inside 10 feet.
The eighth-ranked McIlroy also started on the back nine, made three straight birdies through No. 13 and added six more in a row through No. 5 on the way to a total of 10, but took bogeys on the seventh and eighth holes.
“Everything was firing today and it was good to post a good score, but it could have, probably should have been better,” said McIlroy, who skipped The Northern Trust two weeks ago to start the playoffs so he could work on his wedge game.
“I’ve been hitting my wedges better the last couple weeks, but I hit them all inside 10 feet today and made the putts. I have a lot of confidence in my wedges now, but before I wasn’t taking advantage of the great tee shots I was hitting.
“ … It was great to get off to a great start in the tournament.”
Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State made his only bogey at No. 10, his first hole of the day, and then totaled 63 for solo third, while third-ranked Justin Thomas holed a 52-yard wedge shot for an eagle 2 at No. 6 in a 64 and is tied for fourth with Alex Billy Horschel, Peter Uihlein and Alex Noren of Sweden.
Ninth-ranked Rickie Fowler of Murrieta, after missing two weeks because of an oblique injury, recorded a 65 and is tied for eighth with Aaron Wise of Lake Elsinore, Ryan Armour and Byeong Hun An of South Korea.
Fourth-ranked Justin Rose of England and fifth-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain are tied for 12th at 66, while seventh-ranked Bryson DeChambeau of Clovis, who won the first two playoff events, finished at 67 and is in tie for 20th that includes 10th-ranked Jordan Spieth.
Second-ranked Brooks Koepka is tied for 38th at 69, while top-ranked Dustin Johnson and sixth-ranked Francesco Molinari of Italy wound up at 70 and are tied for 49th, Phil Mickelson is tied for 65th at 73 and defending champion Mark Leishman of Australia struggled to a 74 and is tied for 67th.
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