Stenson fires 64, takes Day 1 Tour Champ. lead


Though birdies were hard to come by early at East Lake Thursday, eventually several players in the 30-man field were able to get their rounds going, none moreso than an accurate Henrik Stenson. Here's how things shape up heading into the second round of the Tour Championship, where Stenson holds a one-shot lead:

Leaderboard: Henrik Stenson (-6), Adam Scott (-5), Billy Horschel (-4), Steve Stricker (-4), Roberto Castro (-3)

What it means: Though he complained of wrist tendinitis early in the week, Stenson finds his name atop the leaderboard after 18 holes of the season's final playoff event. Several top names remain within striking distance, including world No. 2 Scott, though the top-ranked player struggled in surprising fashion Thursday in Atlanta.

Round of the day: Stenson spent much of his opening nine holes capitalizing on a series of accurate approach shots, as the Swede netted four birdies across his first six holes without making a putt longer than 8 feet. Stenson carded his lone bogey of the day at No. 16, but bounced back with a closing birdie, his seventh of the day, to regain sole possession of the lead.

Best of the rest: After a slow start that saw him turn in 1-over 36, Scott caught fire on the back nine, carding six birdies across a seven-hole stretch to fire a 5-under 65. Like Stenson, he will win the season-long trophy with a win at East Lake and now will play in Friday's final pairing alongside the Swede, whom he trails by just one shot.

Biggest disappointment: The only player who failed to net a single birdie during Thursday's opening round, Tiger Woods finds himself 29th among the 30-man field after an opening 3-over 73. It marked just Woods' seventh career round as a pro without a birdie, and his first since the 2010 U.S. Open. He will begin the second round nine shots off the pace, with significant ground to cover should he win the FedEx Cup for the third time in his career.

Biggest storyline heading into Friday: Ranked second and third, respectively, in the points race entering this week, both Stenson and Scott appear poised to take advantage of Woods' opening-round struggles. They'll play together in the final pairing Friday at East Lake, each looking to leave Atlanta with two trophies this week, while Stricker lurks just two shots off the pace, also with eyes on the season-long prize.

Shot of the day: Stenson came to the closing hole, a daunting, 223-yard par 3, with a share of the lead. After his 5-iron rolled to within 4 feet, though, the Swede capped his round with yet another close-range birdie to re-take the lead heading into Friday's second round.

Quote of the day: 'That stretch between holes 1-7, I guess was as good as I've ever hit it in a round of golf.' - Stenson