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Fedex Cup Playoff standings leaders race out to lead at TOUR Championship

First Round – PGA Tour – FedEx Cup Playoffs – TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola –East Lake Country Club – Atlanta, Georgia –

The last two weekly champions in the FedEx Cup Playoffs — Billy Horschel and Chris Kirk – are tied at the top of the leader board after 18 holes in the TOUR Championship.

The PGA Tour’s season finale at East Lake Country Club near Atlanta is shaping up to challenge the Top 5 in the standings for a shot at winning both the TOUR Championship and the FedEx Cup Title.

Kirk, leading the standings, and Horschel (just nine points back of Kirk in second place) played together and shot 4-under-66s without a bogey in the pairing. East Lake put up quite a challenge in the opening round and, thanks to potential weather developments, could factor the rest of the well. In fact, tee times have been moved up Friday in round two to dodge delays.

At 3-under and just a shot back includes Masters champion Bubba Watson, who is third in the FedEx Cup standings. Watson, 6th in the Official World Golf Ranking, led for a stretch until double bogey at No. 13. He rallied with a string of birdies to bounce back. He was T-2 last week.

Also at 3-under is former TOUR Championship and FedEx Cup champ Jim Furyk along with Jason Day and Patrick Reed. Reed entered the week as an 80-to-1 long shot bet at skybet.com. He has struggled during the Playoffs.

Several players struggled in round one. The no-cut format this week and limited field of 29 allows for quick reversals and leader board changes. Look for more of that Friday.

Hunter Mahan (74) and Martin Kaymer (73) turned heads with poor rounds. Mahan, who won The Barclays to start the FedEx Cup Playoffs, carded six bogeys in his opening 12 holes. U.S. Ryder Cup captain’s pick Webb Simpson shot 74 as well.

Other Golf News:

  • Joost Luiten leads Edoardo Molinari by a stroke after round one of the European Tour’s KLM Dutch Open. Luiten, an 11-1 betting favorite heading into the week, shot 5-under-65. He is No. 51 in the world ranking.
  • Derek Fathauer opend with 8-under-63 to lead the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship in the Web.com Tour Finals after 18 holes. He leads by one. Last week at the Chiquita Classic, Fathauer shot 66-66 to lead through two rounds, but he failed to close out the victory.
  • Hyu-Joo Kim lit up the competition in round one of the LPGA Tour’s final major of the year at the Evian Championship. She fired a 10-under-61 and leads Hall of Famer Karrie Webb by four shots. Kim, 20th in the Rolex Ranking, has just two Top 10s this season including a T-4 at the Lotte Championship.
  • Michelle Wie withdrew from the Evian after struggling through her round. The Rolex Ranking No. 6 did not look ready to return from a finger injury.