Tour Championship R1

Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka catch Justin Thomas in Atlanta

August 22-25
East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, Georgia
Round 2, Round 3, Round 4


FedEx Cup leader Justin Thomas saw his controversial two-stroke lead wiped out on the opening day of the Tour Championship as he was caught by a couple of his main rivals.


There has been much debate about the adapted sliding scale scoring format for the season-ending tournament which saw points leader Thomas tee off at 10 under, two better than Patrick Cantlay.

But while Thomas struggled to a level-par 70, getting back to 10 under with a birdie at the last, Xander Schauffele, who started six shots back, and ominously current world number one Brooks Koepka, who began with a three-shot deficit, were in much better form with rounds of 64 and 67 respectively.

Rory McIlroy would have joined the three-way tie at the top had he not raced his eight-foot birdie attempt a similar distance past the hole but he signed for a four-under 66 to move to nine under.

However, three birdies in his final six holes, having had one bogey sandwiched by two birdies on the front nine, left the Northern Irishman satisfied.


“I got off to a decent start. It is so tough to shoot a score around here if you don’t hit it in the fairway,” he told Sky Sports.

“To play the back nine in three under and get in with a decent score is very nice.

“I would have liked to have birdied the last but I’m right there with three rounds to go.

“If I can replicate this round of golf three more times I think I’ll have a good chance.”

Koepka, the reigning US PGA champion, also fancies his chances of winning the USD 15million (£12.3m) first prize.

Bogeys either side of the turn appeared to have halted his momentum after picking up two strokes in his opening five holes but three birdies in his last four saw him catch Thomas.

“Tied for the lead is nice. There is opportunity,” the American said.


Read next

Interview with Michael Brown

Lifestyle
By GT Editor
Pos.
Player
Nat
To Par
R1
T1
Xander Schauffele
USA
-10
64
T1
Brooks Koepka
USA
-10
67
T1
Justin Thomas
USA
-10
70
4
Rory McIlroy
NIR
-9
66
T5
Matt Kuchar
USA
-8
66
T5
Patrick Cantlay
USA
-8
70
7
Hideki Matsuyama
JPN
-7
66
T8
Paul Casey
ENG
-6
66
T8
Jon Rahm
ESP
-6
68
T8
Patrick Reed
USA
-6
70
T11
Adam Scott
AUS
-5
68
T11
Gary Woodland
USA
-5
68
T13
Sung-Jae Im
KOR
-4
67
T13
Justin Rose
ENG
-4
68
T15
Corey Conners
CAN
-3
68
T15
Tony Finau
USA
-3
70
T17
Charles Howell III
USA
-2
68
T17
Bryson DeChambeau
USA
-2
68
T17
Tommy Fleetwood
ENG
-2
69
T17
Abraham Ancer
USA
-2
72
T21
Kevin Kisner
USA
-1
71
T21
Rickie Fowler
USA
-1
71
T23
Louis Oosthuizen
RSA
Par
70
T23
Chez Reavie
USA
Par
71
T23
Marc Leishman
AUS
Par
71
T23
Dustin Johnson
USA
Par
73
T23
Webb Simpson
USA
Par
74
T28
Jason Kokrak
USA
1
71
T28
Brandt Snedeker
USA
1
73
30
Lucas Glover
USA
3
73
Share this article