Tiger's old putter inspires 8-under round at BMW Championship


Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the third hole during the first round of the BMW Championship golf tournament at Aronimink GC.

Rory McIlroy keeps an eye on his shot.

Woods couldn't get a pair of decent birdie looks to drop at Nos.

Tiger Woods had his lowest round since his last victory more than five years ago, an 8-under 62 with birdie chances on all but two greens and only one bad swing all day. Woods wound up with a one-shot lead that day and tied for seventh.

Woods hit his tee shot at the par-3 17th in a bunker, blasted out to 8 feet, and his par effort horseshoed out.

Woods and McIlroy still had to hit the shots and make the putts.

Billy Horschel and world No. 3 Justin Thomas are both two shots back of McIlroy and Woods after finishing 6-under 64.

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Out in 29 after another birdie from inside six feet at the 18th - his lowest nine-hole score since 2007 - he birdied the first and seventh to move to eight-under before a tugged tee shot at the par-three eighth led to his first bogey.

"Just the way it goes", Woods said with a smile, caring more about a complete round of golf and a strong performance with his old putter than whether he was leading after one round in the FedEx Cup playoffs.

He added another birdie on the first hole, his 10th of the day, to get to seven-under.

The 14-time Major victor (42) struggled with the blade in the first two playoff events, finishing 40th in the Northern Trust and tied 24th in the Dell Technologies Championship in Boston on Monday.

"Sometimes if a major season doesn't go your way and you haven't done what you wanted to do, it's just a bit of a reset, let's go again, reassess your goals", McIlroy said. He also skipped the Pro-Am due to the heatwave conditions. "I putted well. Basically did everything well and looking forward to getting back out there early in the morning and trying to get it going again". McIlroy drained an eight-foot birdie at the 18th, then holed three more putts between eight and nine feet consecutively as he made the turn. He managed to hit 14 of 18 greens in regulation, but Woods had a more hard time getting approaches close to the hole than he did Thursday.

It is the sixth occasion in Woods' career he's recorded nine holes in 29 or better, and on four of those five prior occasions he has gone on to win.