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McIlroy shares BMW lead; Woods 1 shot back

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CARMEL, Ind. – Four men are tied for the first-round lead at the BMW Championship. Two men were the only ones that anybody cared about.

Webb Simpson, Bo Van Pelt, Graham DeLaet and Rory McIlroy are tied at 8-under 64 here at Crooked Stick. But it was McIlroy and his playing partner Tiger Woods who had everyone’s attention.

“I missed a few, but was able to make most of them,” McIlroy said.

Woods collected nine birdies and two bogeys for his 65, including a chip-in birdie on the ninth hole, his final hole of the day. He’s tied for fifth place with Vijay Singh.

Simpson laid low for most of the day then vaulted up the leaderboard with four consecutive birdies on Nos. 14-17. Van Pelt had a bogey-free round with eight birdies and DeLaet made eagle on the last hole to move from 6 to 8 under.

“I think I would have shot about 80 if we played it down,” Simpson said about the ability to play lift, clean and place during Round 1. “I’ve never seen that much mud on the ball.”

McIlroy made seven birdies, an eagle and a bogey for his 64 and is looking to win his second consecutive tournament and third in the last four starts dating back to the PGA Championship.

“Great start to the tournament,” McIlroy said.