Woods and McIlroy equal Aronimink course record with opening round 62s
Billy Horschel looks a value BMW Championship day two threeball bet
Sky Sports Golf, 12.30pm Friday
Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy dazzled the galleries at Aronimink Golf Club to take a share of the first-round lead at the BMW Championship and the dynamic duo dispute favouritism heading into round two.
Woods set the early pace in the third FedEx Cup playoff event, making the turn at six under and adding a birdie at the first hole - his tenth - to further extend his lead. The Big Cat finished one stroke below par on the final eight holes to shoot 62, equalling Nick Watney's course record in the process.
McIlroy, who also started on the back nine, was in similarly determined fashion around a soft Aronimink as he went on a six-birdie run from the 18th to the fifth before two bogeys checked his progress. The Northern Irishman would add a final birdie at the par-five ninth to draw level with Tiger.
Both are available to back at 7-2 in the outright betting.
Last year’s Tour Championship winner Xander Schauffele is one behind the two multiple Major champions with Billy Horschel, Alex Noren, Peter Uihlein and Justin Thomas all just two back. Rickie Fowler, playing alongside Woods and Jordan Spieth, carded a five-under 65 on his return from a muscle problem but whether he can maintain that form over four rounds remains to be seen.
Forecast thunder and lightning in Pennsylvania has forced tournament organisers to bring forward the second-round start time with the first group out at midday UK & Ireland time while the final group will tee off at 2.01pm.
Horschel should be backed to follow his 64 with another low score when he tees off alongside Francesco Molinari and Patrick Reed at 1.39pm.
The 31-year-old Floridian withdrew with illness at the Dell Technologies Championship last week but he appears to be over that following a sublime opening 64 as his high-quality ball striking came to the fore.
Horschel ranked highly in the strokes-gained-putting statistic in round one and he's usually a man to follow when the flat stick gets hot. He looks a genuine title contender this week.
The same cannot be said for Molinari. The Open champion was uncharacteristically wayward off the tee on Thursday, finding the fairway just over 50 per cent of the time while his poor putting woes have returned.
Reed, who unlike Horschel is assured of a place at East Lake in two weeks, struggled to find the greens as his putter also went cold.
B Horschel to win threeball
1pt 15-8 BoyleSports
Read Racing Post Sport every day for no-nonsense previews and expert sports betting tips
Follow us on Twitter @racingpostsport
Like us on Facebook RacingPostSport