TWO late birdies have helped Geoff Ogilvy to a share of the first-round lead at the $US7.5 million ($A7.85 million) Tour Championship in Atlanta and he retains his outside chance of taking the huge FedEx Cup season ending bonus.
Ogilvy finished on four under on the tough East Lake course along with Englishmen Luke Donald and Paul Casey.
Casey was the only player among the top five in the FedExCup standings to break par, whilst the favourite to take the US$10 million bonus, American Matt Kuchar had a two over 72.
Ogilvy had a shocker on the par five 15th, taking four strokes to hole out from just off the green, but that result seemed to inspire him on.
“I just played well but it wasn’t anything in particular,” Ogilvy said later.
“I hit my irons well and had quite a lot of (short) putts for birdies and I made all of them, I think. So it was just a tidy round of golf on a course that’s pretty difficult.”
Jason Day, sixth in the FedEx standings, was best of the other Australians in the elite 30-man field, equal sixth on one-under 69, while Robert Allenby had a 71 and Adam Scott 74.
“Two bogeys weren’t the greatest obviously but around this course, with how firm the greens are and how thick the rough is, overall I’m very happy with how I played,” Day said.
His FedEx chances, as do those of Ogilvy and others, depend on how well those currently above him perform.
Allenby resurrected his round with an eagle at the par-five 15th, after his second shot lipped out. (See the PGA highlights video below).
“I’m happy with my score in the end but I didn’t play very well,” Allenby said.
Scott started poorly and never really improved, hitting only four fairways all day.