Henrik Stenson's brief hiccup last week at the BMW Championship is over. He's picked up again on the stellar play that he's been exhibiting since July here at The 2013 Tour Championship by opening the tournament with a 64. It gives him a one stroke lead over Masters Champ Adam Scott after one round.
Stenson started very fast out of the gate, birdieing five of the first seven holes. He added two more birdies on the back nine, to go with just one bogie for the day.
Unlike Stenson, Scott charged late, carding six birdies on the backside after making the turn at +1, for a 65.
Stenson's start was surprising because he entered the tournament with a sore wrist, which wasn't helped by his post BMW Championship locker room outburst at Conway Farms Golf Club this past Monday. After playing poorly there, he smashed off the head of his driver and basically destroyed his locker.
"I can hear you don't have much experience with Swedes, do you?" Stenson replied when he was asked about the highs and lows of his last couple of weeks. "No, I mean, I'll tell you, I've always been a bit of a hot head and it kind of builds up and eventually it goes over the limit. I was just tired and I pushed myself over the edge there."
Scott's play put him position to garner Player of the Year honors if he can keep it up. He was helped in that regard because his chief competitors for that award, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, both struggled.
For the first time since 2010 and only the seventh time in his career, Tiger failed to make a single birdie in a competitive round. He did make three bogies, carding a 73 that left him in second to last position at 29th. Only Jason Dufner had a worse day with an opening 74.
Mickelson wasn't much better, making only one birdie to go with two bogies all on the front side, while he finished with all pars on the backside for a 71.
Steve Stricker and Billy Horschel both shot 66 to stand only two shots back of Stenson. While Stenson and Scott are in tremendous shape FedEx Cup wise, Stricker can win with a victory here and just a little bit of help.
Roberto Castro stands alone in fifth with his first round 67. He's followed by an eight way log jam tie for sixth at 68. Included in that group are U.S. Open Champ Justin Rose, and rookie upstart Jordan Spieth. They're joined by Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Charl Schwartzel, Webb Simpson, Jason Day, and Graham DaLaet.
As they head into the second round, the number of players still with a mathematical chance at winning the FedEx cup and its $10 Million bonus will continue to dwindle.
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