BMW Championship 2013 scores: Tiger Woods tied for 3rd, Brandt Snedeker rolls to lead

Michael Cohen

Despite some strong winds, there were plenty of birdie chances at Conway Farms on Thursday as some of the game's best rose to the top of the leaderboard.

The PGA Tour returned to action on Thursday in Chicago, and many of the same names who have dominated all season surfaced at the top of the BMW Championship leaderboard. Brandt Snedeker rode a streak of seven straight birdies to an opening round 63, taking the lead at 8-under over Zach Johnson, Tiger Woods and other 2013 mainstays.

Snedeker has long been heralded as one of the best putters in the world, but he's put the complete game together over the past two years. He's already the defending FedExCup champion, cashing that career-defining $10 million check in Atlanta last fall. That form carried over this year, when he was the best player in the world through the first two months of the season before adding a late summer victory in Canada. He got hot with the putter again on Thursday, rolling in birdie after birdie on his opening nine to eventually get to 8-under. It was a flawless bogey-free round and if he keeps it up, he'll cruise back into East Lake this year No. 1 in the FEC standings.

Woods is also right there on the first page of the leaderboard, tied for third. He had a frustrating day, though, indicating after the round that he was not pleased with his 5-under 66. That's because he missed multiple putts from inside five feet and played the par-5s to a disappointing even-par, leaving several shots and a potential round in the low 60s out on the course.

Still, it was an improvement over Woods' middling form at the Deutsche Bank, and despite his frustrations, he's right there on a course he was otherwise unfamiliar earlier this week. He began only 14 FEC points back of No. 1 Henrik Stenson, so he's also a candidate to jump back into the top spot of the standings for the season's final playoff event.

Joining Snedeker and Woods inside the top 10 are fellow world-class players Johnson, Adam Scott, Steve Stricker, Nick Watney, and Ryan Moore. Scott is playing alongside Tiger again this week, and he had his broomstick putter rolling in the windy conditions at Conway Farms. He's 4-under, while Stricker is 5-under.

Rory McIlroy, the defending champ at this event, started the week outside the top 30 and in danger of missing out on the TOUR Championship. Rory needed to go low early to move up at least 11 spots and sneak into the field in Atlanta, but instead he went the opposite direction with a miserable 7-over round of 78. That's a lot of ground to make up, even over 54 holes, so Rory's woeful 2013 season could be coming to an end here in Chicago. Joining Rory at the bottom of the board are Lee Westwood, Rickie Fowler, and Matt Kuchar -- some top-20 players who could not figure it out at Conway Farms. Here are the full first-round results from the limited 70-man field in Chicago:

Place Player Score Current FedExCup Place Projected FedExCup Place
1 Brandt Snedeker -8 9 1
2 Zach Johnson -7 27 10
T3 Charl Schwartzel -5 29 14
T3 Steve Stricker -5 8 5
T3 Tiger Woods -5 2 2
T3 Kevin Streelman -5 16 12
T7 John Merrick -4 44 32
T7 Adam Scott -4 3 3
T7 Ryan Moore -4 65 40
T7 Nick Watney -4 34 26
T11 Roberto Castro -3 25 21
T11 Gary Woodland -3 14 13
T11 Hunter Mahan -3 18 18
T14 Nicholas Thompson -2 59 49
T14 Rory Sabbatini -2 60 50
T14 Kevin Stadler -2 32 30
T14 Matt Jones -2 51 38
T18 Brian Gay -1 46 36
T18 Graeme McDowell -1 48 39
T18 Harris English -1 28 28
T18 Michael Thompson -1 63 56
T18 Jason Kokrak -1 64 57
T18 Chris Stroud -1 39 34
T18 Sergio Garcia -1 24 25
T18 Graham DeLaet -1 5 7
T18 Phil Mickelson -1 6 8
T18 Luke Donald -1 54 43
T18 Sang-Moon Bae -1 67 59
T29 Brendon de Jonge E 26 29
T29 D.A. Points E 21 23
T29 Justin Rose E 7 9
T29 Jason Dufner E 13 16
T29 Bubba Watson E 40 35
T29 Charles Howell III E 31 33
T29 Jordan Spieth E 10 11
T29 Jason Day E 12 15
T29 Angel Cabrera E 68 64
T29 Ernie Els E 70 65
T39 Jimmy Walker 1 45 47
T39 Patrick Reed 1 47 48
T39 Boo Weekley 1 19 22
T39 Webb Simpson 1 20 24
T39 Jim Furyk 1 15 19
T39 Henrik Stenson 1 1 4
T39 David Hearn 1 62 61
T39 John Huh 1 38 37
T39 Daniel Summerhays 1 42 42
T39 Bill Haas 1 17 20
T39 Brian Davis 1 49 52
T39 Jonas Blixt 1 50 53
T51 David Lynn 2 56 60
T51 Marc Leishman 2 58 66
T51 Ken Duke 2 61 67
T51 Bryce Molder 2 66 69
T51 Billy Horschel 2 22 27
T51 Ian Poulter 2 52 58
T57 Russell Henley 3 43 55
T57 Keegan Bradley 3 11 17
T57 Dustin Johnson 3 23 31
T57 Matt Kuchar 3 4 6
T61 Scott Stallings 4 55 62
T61 Chris Kirk 4 37 46
T61 Brendan Steele 4 69 70
T64 Kevin Chappell 6 33 44
T64 Rickie Fowler 6 36 45
T66 Rory McIlroy 7 41 54
T66 Charley Hoffman 7 53 63
68 Matt Every 8 57 68
69 Lee Westwood 9 30 41
70 Scott Piercy 10 35 51

More from SB Nation Golf:

Tiger's swing coach turns down Luke Donald

New No. 1 Stenson paired with Woods, Adam Scott at BMW

One year later, winless Rory on FedExCup bubble at BMW

Golf Channel's Brandel Chamblee crushes Tiger Woods again

Team USA rolls to take back Walker Cup

Captain's picks complete 12-man rosters for October's Presidents Cup | Spieth caps incredible rookie year with nod from Couples

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