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Sneds’ 7 straight birdies leads BMW Championship

First Round – PGA Tour – FedEx Cup Playoffs – BMW Championship – Conway Farms Country Club – Lake Forest, Illinois –

Lucky No. 7.

Brandt Snedeker went on a birdie barrage in round one of the FedEx Cup Playoffs’ BMW Championship converting seven straight birdies en route to an 8-under-64.

The defending FedEx Cup champion was bogey-free at Conway Farms Country Club and takes the overnight lead by a stroke in the third leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Zach Johnson’s 64 puts him in solo second, while Tiger Woods, Steve Stricker, Charl Schwartzel and Kevin Streelman are all T-3 at three back.

Sneds, one of the best putters in golf, handled the greens at the Tom Fazio-design, while others struggled Thursday including Lee Westwood (80), Rory McIlroy (78) and Rickie Fowler (77). All three will need to charge up the leader board to avoid being eliminated from the playoffs.

Snedeker was a 40-to-1 betting selection to start the tournament at Ladbrokes.com. The Top 30 in the FedEx Cup Standings following this week advance to the TOUR Championship next week at East Lake in Atlanta.

Other Golf News:

  • Schwartzel, the former Masters champion, has made 15 of 17 cuts on the PGA Tour this season. He entered the week 29th in the FedEx Cup Standings.
  • Hall of Famer Vijay Singh will make his debut on the Champions Tour next week at the Pacific Links Hawaii Championship. Singh had just one Top 25 on the PGA Tour this season and failed to earn a playoff spot. The 50-year-old has 34 PGA Tour victories and was No. 1 in the world rankings for 32 weeks in 2004-2005.
  • The Evian Championship was rained out Thursday in France. The LPGA Tour will try to make up the round with 36 major championship holes Friday.
  • Miguel Angel Jimenez, 49th in the Official World Golf Rankings, leads the European Tour’s KLM Open after shooting 64 in round one. The Mechanic, who has 19 European Tour titles on his resume, needed just 24 putts and leads Robert Allenby by a shot.
  • Jim Hearn (7-under) leads the Web.com Tour Finals’ Nationwide Children Hospital Championship after 18 holes. He is two ahead of Danny Lee and Sean O’Hair.