Defending FedEx Cup Champ Brandt Snedeker sent a message to the rest of the field in the first round of the BMW Championship. He won't give up that cup easily.
He reeled off seven consecutive birdies early in his round and then added one more en route to first round leading score of 63. Starting on the fifth hole he played, #13, his putter got red hot and didn't cool off until he was on his back nine. He finished his round needing only 22 putts, lowest in the field.
He's the first player on tour to make seven consecutive birdies since Louis Oosthuizen did it last year at the 2012 Deutsche Bank Championship. The PGA Tour record of nine consecutive birdies was set back in 2009 by Mark Calcavecchia at that year's RBC Canadian open.
"You get on runs like that, you get excited for the next hole because you know something good is going to happen because you're in such a good frame of mind and everything is going in the right direction," Snedeker said.
Snedeker entered the BMW Championship in ninth place in the FedEx Cup points race, clearly in position to make a run at repeating. Last year, he captured the cup by winning the Cup ending Tour Championship in Atlanta.
Zach Johnson made his own statement, carding seven birdies during a bogie free round that left him one stroke back of Snedeker with a 64.
Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker were tied for 3rd posting scores of 66 along with Charl Schwartzel and Kevin Streelman. Masters Champ Adam Scott, John Merrick, Ryan Moore and Nick Watney all stand one more stroke back at -4.
FedEx Cup points leader Henrik Stenson had one of his worst rounds in the last 3 months, opening the tournament with a one over 72.
Watney and Merrick's scores moved them both into position to potentially move into the top 30 in FedEx points at the end of this event. Only the top 30 in points will qualify to play in Atlanta next week with a shot at the $10 million prize. Others who crept into FedEx Cup qualification contention include Kevin Stadler, Chris Stroud, and Bubba Watson.
Rory Mcllroy played very poorly, posting a first round 78 that puts his FedEx Cup status in huge jeopardy. Lee Westwood was even worse, posting an 80. He began the tournament inside the top 30, but without a very low round today, he'll likely miss the cut and the trip to Atlanta.
Phil Mickelson had one of his all too common up and down rounds, combining four bogies with three birdies to post a 70, which left him in a tie for 18th.
It's an understatement to say that a lot is on the line as they all tee it up at the Conway Farms Golf Club this morning in Lake Forest, Illinois. We'll have a much clearer idea of who will still have a chance at FedEx Cup magic after the second round.
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