Matsuyama grabs early lead at BMW Championship

Matsuyama grabs early lead at BMW Championship

Japan's Hideki Matsuyama birdied his final hole Thursday to finish at 3-under par 67 and take a one-stroke lead at the BMW Championship at Olympia Fields, Ill., in the second leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs.

Tyler Duncan was alone in second place after firing a 2-under par 68 early Thursday, missing out on a share of the lead when Matsuyama delivered a birdie on the 469-yard par-4 ninth hole. Matsuyama started his round on the back nine.

Playing in the late afternoon, Matsuyama opened with an erratic back nine, collecting three bogeys and two birdies. He closed with four birdies on the front side at hole Nos. 1, 2, 7 and 9.

Canada's Mackenzie Hughes was alone in third place at 1 under, with just three players below par in the opening round on a course that had high rough and a setup similar to a U.S. Open. Olympia Fields was, in fact, the site of the 2003 U.S. Open, which was won by Jim Furyk.

Only four players in the BMW Championship field played in the 2003 U.S. Open. Tiger Woods, who was one of the four, shot a 3-over 73 in the opening round Thursday, tied for 35th place.

Only the top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings after this weekend's tournament outside of Chicago will advance to next week's Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.

A total of 10 players were in a logjam at even par, including Tony Finau and Rory McIlroy. Dustin Johnson, who blew away the field last week at The Northern Trust, the first round of the FedEx Cup playoffs, was 1 over in his opening round and in a seven-way tie for 14th place.

Spain's Jon Rahm, who moved atop the world golf rankings multiple times this season, shot a 5-over 75 in the opening round and was tied for 51st, while Collin Morikawa, who has won twice since the PGA Tour's restart in June, shot a 6-over 76.

--Field Level Media

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