Atlanta: In-form Swede Henrik Stenson, boosted by a red-hot front nine, totally upstaged his playing partner Tiger Woods as he surged into a one-shot lead in Thursday’s opening round of the elite Tour Championship.
In glorious sunshine with barely a breath of wind at East Lake Golf Club in the PGA Tour’s season finale, Stenson piled up five birdies in six holes with a superb exhibition of pinpoint approach play on the way to a six-under-par 64.
Though he dropped his only shot of the day at the par-four 16th, where he found a poor lie in the right rough off the tee and missed the green with his approach, he signed off in style with a four-foot birdie putt at the last.
“When it’s your day, you’re hitting good shots and getting them as close as I got them,” Stenson, ranked second in the FedExCup standings, said after mixing seven birdies with a lone bogey on the long, challenging East Lake layout,” he said.
It was not a day to remember, though, for FedExCup points leader Woods who failed to register a single birdie while making three bogeys on the way to a 73, ending the round in 29th place with only PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner (74) below him.
Masters champion Adam Scott of Australia, who reeled off six birdies in seven holes from the 10th, was alone in second after firing a 65, finishing a stroke in front of Americans Billy Horschel and Steve Stricker.