Rory McIlroy continued his excellent form by claiming a share of the first round lead in the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick.
World Number One McIlroy secured his third title of the year with victory at last week’s Deutsche Bank Championship.
Today, he fired seven birdies and an eagle in a stunning eight under par 64 that moved him alongside Webb Simpson, Bo Van Pelt and Graham DeLaet.
McIlroy was pushed all the way by playing partner Tiger Woods, who birdied nine holes and was subsequently joined on seven under by Vijay Singh.
Woods sneaked ahead of McIlroy on three occasions after both men had started on the tenth, yet could not match the Northern Irishman’s front nine of 32.
“It was great,” said McIlroy, who closed with consecutive birdies on eight and nine. “With the soft conditions, you could really shoot a number out there, and I did.
“I took advantage of hitting the ball really well, hitting it in the fairway, which I need to do, and also hitting it long, and gave myself a lot of opportunities. I missed a few, but was able to make the most of them.”
Woods hailed McIlroy’s display, adding: “It’s fun to play with him, and he’s just an amazing talent. You watch him swing the club and watch him putt and play - he doesn’t have a lot of weaknesses.
“You can see that in the next decade or so, as he really matures and understands some of the nuances of the game, he's only going to get better and that's fun to see.
“The game of golf is in great hands with him, and he's here to stay.”
McIlroy was not the only member of Europe’s Ryder Cup Team to prosper in Indiana.
Luke Donald got his tournament off to a fine start with a 66 containing five birdies and an eagle, while fellow Englishman Justin Rose picked up shots on his last three holes to be one worse off.
Graeme McDowell, who made a two at the par four eighth, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter finished the opening day at four under and Sergio Garcia bounced back from an early double bogey to shoot 69.