Tiger Woods had his lowest opening round in three years Friday in the Deutsche Bank Championship. It still wasn't enough to be low man in Sean Foley's coaching stable.
Seung-yul Noh, a rising star from South Korea in his first season on the PGA Tour, ran off four straight birdies early in his round and closed with back-to-back birdies on the TPC Boston for a 9-under 62 in Norton, Mass.
That gave him a one-shot lead over Chris Kirk, whose 23 putts included an eagle on the new 18th hole.
Woods wasn't too shabby. He stirred up a big gallery on a glorious summer day in New England with six straight birdies, which featured four putts of at least 12 feet and flop shot executed so perfectly that it cleared a steep bunker and landed in an area of the green no larger than a hula hoop. His lone bogey on the final hole gave him a 7-under 64, putting him in a three-way tie for third with Jeff Overton and Ryan Moore.
The average score was just under 70 on a perfect day for scoring, except for the deceptive wind that swirled through the trees.
Rory McIlroy struggled off the tee, though he judged one of the lies in the rough beautifully on the ninth hole, a 7-iron into tap-in range that led to a 65.
Noh stole the show, even if hardly anyone was paying attention or was not really sure who he was.
"Some people say Kevin Na, like, 'Go Kevin,' " Noh said.
He went to work with Foley in May, mentioning the roster of clients
Woods played with Barclays winner Nick Watney and Brandt Snedeker, two players who are trying to make enough of an impression on Davis Love III to be selected as Ryder Cup captain's picks Tuesday.
Snedeker scrambled his way to a respectable 69. Watney never looked comfortable in his round of 72.
Dustin Johnson, another candidate to get one of the four Ryder Cup selections, opened with a 67.
Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker, likely to get two of the picks, each had a 69.
Getting off to a good start is nothing new for Woods. This was the 14th time in 18 tournaments this year that he was at par or better.
"Today was about the same as I have been playing pretty much all summer, just go out there and playing pretty consistent." Woods said. "It was just a nice, solid round."
It was his lowest score since a 64 in the opening round of the 2009 AT&T National at Congressional.
European Tour: Julien Quesne of France shot a 6-under 65 for a one-stroke lead in the fog-shortened second round of the European Masters in Crans-Sur-Sierre, Switzerland. Danny Willett of England shot a second straight 67 to trail the leader at 8-under 134.
Web.com Tour: Brad Fritsch carded a 7-under 64 and led the Mylan Classic by one shot over Cliff Kresge at Southpointe Golf Club in Canonsburg, Pa.
Kresge shot a 65 for a 131 total after two rounds. Former Stanford star Joseph Bramlett was six shots off the lead after shooting a 66.