ADAM SCOTT and Geoff Ogilvy were on track with joint four-under par 68s after the first round of the 2012 BMW Championship at the Crooked Stick Golf Club in Indiana.
Scott only needs to finish in the top 39 to progress to the Tour Championship while Ogilvy needs to improve even further and finish in the top four.
The two Aussies were four strokes behind a group of four leading the US PGA Tour Playoff event, led by world no.1 Rory McIlroy.
McIlroy, US Open winner Webb Simpson, fellow countryman Bo Van Pelt and Canada’s Graeme DaLaet took advantage of the relatively benign conditions to shoot equal course-record eight-under-par 64s.
The 23-year-old Northern Irishman is in fine form, winning two of his last three starts, including the US PGA Championship and last week’s second FedEx Cup playoff event in Boston.
“It was great. With the soft conditions you could really shoot a number out there, and I did,” McIlroy said. “I took advantage of hitting the ball really well, hitting it in the fairway, which I need to do, and also hitting it long, and gave myself a lot of opportunities. I missed a few, but was able to make the most of them. Great start to the tournament.”
His playing partner Tiger Woods was lurking one shot back, tied for fifth along with Vijay Singh in the elite 70 man field.
John Senden was in a precarious position at 2-under. His projected FedEx Cup ranking is 29th, just one under the number progressing to the Tour Championship in Atlanta in a fortnight.
Greg Chalmers (74) and Marc Leishman (75) need top six finishes to advance and have a lot of work to do in the remaining three rounds. They were among just 10 players to shoot over par and are sitting at 45th and 48th in the projected standings.