Tiger Woods fired his lowest opening round in nearly 20 years to join Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy at the top of the leaderboard at the BMW Championship on Thursday.
The 14-time major winner Woods and McIlroy have a one-stroke lead after both shot eight-under 62 which marked the American’s best PGA first round since the 1999 Byron Nelson Classic.
Woods managed an eagle and seven birdies and his only hiccup being a late bogey on his back nine at the Aronimink Golf Course in Philadelphia.
Woods was joined in the lead by McIlroy who highlighted his round of 10 birdies with a career-best six in succession, beginning with the last hole of his front nine.
McIlroy though let slip any thoughts of a 59 when he bogeyed his 16th and 17th holes of the round.
This is the first time Woods has shared a PGA Tour lead after any round since capturing the 2013 WGC-Cadillac Championship.
Woods and McIlroy had played a nine-hole practice round together on Tuesday.
“I made a few putts today and also from right out of the gate with birdies at 10 and 12 and 13 so that was a nice way to get things rolling,” said Woods, who started on the back nine.
Woods had ignited thoughts of his career first 59 after an outward nine that produced a seventh hole eagle and four birdies in a six-under par 29.
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.
Woods moved to seven-under par with a birdie at his 10th hole. He then parred his next five holes ahead of a 16th hole birdie before his only bogey at his 17th. He also birdied 18.
“I made some great putts out there today including getting off to a better start than I have most of the season,” he said.
“To shoot 29 on the front nine helps. It helped a lot.” (Agence France-Presse)