Brandt Snedeker was making so many birdies that even an 18-foot putt looked like a tap-in. When he finished his amazing run Thursday in the BMW Championship, he had seven straight birdies on his card and an 8-under 63 in blustery Lake Forest, Ill.
"You get on runs like that, you get excited for the next hole because you know something good is going to happen, because you're in such a good frame of mind and everything is going in the right direction," Snedeker said.
In this case, everything was going in -- a 15-foot putt from the fringe on 13, a 15-footer on 14 when he used the blade of his sand wedge to bump the ball out of the rough and a 40-footer from the fringe on 17 stood out to him.
That gave him a one-shot lead over Zach Johnson in the third FedEx Cup playoff event.
Tiger Woods was disgusted with his 66 after he had two three-putt bogeys and missed a 4-foot birdie putt over his last five holes. "I'm not exactly real happy," he said. "I played well, and I just didn't get much out of that round."
Steve Stricker, Charl Schwartzel and Kevin Streelman also were at 5 under.
At the opposite spectrum, Rory McIlroy made one double bogey and three-putted from 4 feet for a triple bogey en route to a 78.
"There's a good mixture of really hard holes and really good birdie opportunities," Phil Mickelson said after shooting a 70 at Conway Farms. "That's why we have such a discrepancy in scores."
The top 30 players in the FedEx Cup after the BMW Championship advance to next week's Tour Championship in Atlanta.
McIlroy is at No. 41 and all but took himself out of the Tour Championship. He needs to finish somewhere around seventh in the 70-man field. His 78 put him in a tie for 66th. "It's going to be a very uphill task," he said.
Snedeker is at No. 9 in the FedEx Cup and assured of being the first defending FedEx Cup champion to make it to the Tour Championship for a shot at the $10 million bonus at East Lake.
Web.com Tour: Jim Herman shot a 7-under 64 and built a two-stroke lead over Sean O'Hair and Danny Lee among those who finished the rain-delayed first round of the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship in Columbus, Ohio. Andrew Svoboda was 4 under through 16 holes when darkness stopped play in the third of the four-tournament Web.Com Tour Finals.
LPGA Tour: The first day of play at the Evian Championship in Evian-Les-Bains, France, was washed out due to rain.
European Tour: Miguel Angel Jimenez opened with a 6-under 64 for a one-shot lead at the KLM Open in Zandvoort, Netherlands. Jimenez, 49, was the 1994 champion here.