The full 70-man field is now out on the course at the BMW Championship, and much like the first two FedExCup events, there are plenty of low scores available at Conway Farms. Brandt Snedeker has stormed to the lead after canning seven straight birdies as he made the turn in his opening round. At 7-under, the defending FedExCup champ is two shots clear of the chasers early on Thursday. Snedeker has been one of the best players in the world over the past two seasons, and if his putter continues to roll like it has so far Thursday, he'll be a favorite to repeat and win that $10 million windfall in Atlanta.
Tiger Woods has also completed his first nine this week. The No. 1 player in the world hasn't quite hit a streak like Snedeker, but he is under par after a bogey-free outward nine. Woods said earlier this week that the new Conway Farms layout, which he had never played, was "confined" -- not exactly a glowing review. But he's managed to avoid trouble, starting his tournament with an easy birdie on No. 10 and adding another red number at the par-3 17th hole. It's an encouraging start for Tiger, who was coming off the ugly 65th place finish in Boston on Labor Day.
The man who knocked Woods from the No. 1 spot in the FedExCup standings, Henrik Stenson, is one of the handful of players who are over par. Stenson is playing alongside Woods during the first two rounds, and an early double bogey quickly pushed him toward the bottom of the 70-man leaderboard. Woods is just 14 points behind Stenson, so it won't take much for Tiger to get back into the No. 1 spot in the standings this week.
Two players joining Stenson near the bottom are Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy, who are both 1-over. Mickelson is already in next week's field at the TOUR Championship, but last year's BMW winner, young Rory, starts the week outside the top 30 at No. 41. He'll need to make a charge and start rolling in some birdies if he wants to play on.
Here's a current snapshot of the early leaderboard on Thursday in Chicago: