Leishman cruises into lead as Day and Spieth lurk
Marc Leishman mastered Conway Farms Golf Club to take a two-shot lead after the opening round at the BMW Championship.
Leishman dazzled on day one of the third and penultimate FedEx Cup play-off event, carding a nine-under-par 62 on Thursday.
The Australian, who started the week seventh in the FedEx Cup standings, finished the day with 10 birdies and one bogey in Lake Forest, Illinois.
"[I] Hit the ball really well which is obviously what you have to do to shoot that score," Leishman said after his round. "Probably more importantly putted really well. Made the opportunities that I gave myself and happy with it.
"It gives you confidence. When you play golf and all you're thinking about is making birdies it's a lot easier than trying to not make bogies."
Former world number one and fellow Australian Jason Day, fresh off his controversial caddie switch, joined Charley Hoffman and Jamie Lovemark two shots back at seven under.
Winner of the BMW Championship in 2015, Day had six birdies, an eagle and a bogey on his round, while Hoffman had nine birdies and two bogeys.
Lovemark, who needs a good finish this week to advance to the final 30 at the Tour Championship, ended his opening round with an eagle.
Rickie Fowler led a serious back-nine charge that featured a stunning six successive birdies to shoot a six-under 65.
Three-time major champion Jordan Spieth is also three shots off the pace heading into the second round.
Spieth was bogey-free, holing six birdies to be alongside Fowler as well as Keegan Bradley, Rafa Cabrera Bello and Tony Finau.
Phil Mickelson, who is also on the outside-looking-in on a trip to East Lake next week, led a group at five under.
US Open and Dell Technologies Championship winner Justin Thomas – second in the FedEx Cup standings – shook off a double-bogey on the par-three 11th hole to finish with a four-under 67.
World number one and defending champion Dustin Johnson has some work to do further down the leaderboard.
Johnson posted a double-bogey and three bogeys as he recorded an even-par 71 to be tied for 49th.