Stenson’s 63 sets pace at TOUR Championship

Henrik Stenson current official PGA TOUR headshot (Photo by: Stan Badz/PGA TOUR) *** Local Caption *** Henrik Stenson

Henrik Stenson current official PGA TOUR headshot
(Photo by: Stan Badz/PGA TOUR) *** Local Caption *** Henrik Stenson

First Round — PGA Tour — FedEx Cup Playoffs — TOUR Championship — East Lake Golf Club — Atlanta, Georgia —

The PGA Tour’s season-ending event — the TOUR Championship — is underway in Atlanta at East Lake Golf Club.

After a front-nine 29, Henrik Stenson coasted to a 7-under-63 to set the pace in the opening round of the FedEx Cup Playoffs finale. Stenson, the 2013 TOUR Championship and FedEx Cup champ, entered this week in the Top 5 at No. 4 in the standings.

A victory here would vault him to the top and win the cup for the second time in three seasons. Back-to-back runner-up finishes to open the playoff season moved Stenson into position for this opportunity.

He has a long way to go and plenty of competition in the mix including England’s Paul Casey, who is alone in second after a 65. Former World No. 1 Rory McIlroy and Open champion golfer Zach Johnson are T-3 at 4-under and just three back.

Jordan Spieth, who leads the PGA Tour this season with 14 Top 10 finishes, is T-5 at FECupPlayoffs_Prf_6c_Pos [Converted]2-under. Spieth came into the week third in the standings after a great regular season effort. But, this playoff run has been sluggish missing two cuts.

Standings leader Jason Day, the new top-ranked golfer in the world, opened with 1-under tally and sits T-11.

With just 30 players in the field, look for lots of leader board movement this week. One great round can race a player past several players. Barely half the field broke par TOUR Championship by CocaColain the first lap round East Lake.

Stenson opened the week as an 8-to-1 betting pick at Wynn Las Vegas to win the TOUR Championship.

Other Golf news:

  • The Champions Tour tees off Friday after a lengthy break at the Nature Valley First Open at Pebble Beach. Colin Montogmerie is the betting favorite at 5 1/2-1 odds.
  • Martin Flores and Alex Aragon are tied at the top at 4-under in the Nationwide Insurance Children’s Hospital Open in the Tour Finals. More than two dozen players are within three shots of the co-leaders.

    Race to Dubai heats up

    Race to Dubai heats up

  • Bernd Wiesberger (7-under) co-leads the European Tour’s Porsche European Open after 18 holes along Ben Hebert. Bernhard Langer, Charl Schwartzel and Hunter Mahan are T-7 and just two back.