Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas four off the pace; Rory McIlroy and world No 1 Jon Rahm both five behind on congested leaderboard after opening-round 69
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 20/08/20 11:54pm
Four players share the lead after a low-scoring opening day at the Northern Trust, as Tommy Fleetwood was left ruing a costly finish.
Russell Henley followed birdies at the 15th and 17th with a tap-in eagle at the last to post a seven-under 64 at TPC Boston, seeing him join Harris English, Kevin Streelman and Cameron Davis on top of the leaderboard.
Fleetwood had shared the lead alongside playing partner Davis with two holes to go, only to match the Australian’s bogey at the 17th and then go out-of-bounds on his way to a double-bogey at the last to drop into the group on five under.
Sebastian Munoz is among the players a shot back in tied-fourth after starting his first-round 65 with seven consecutive birdies, with the top-19 separated by just two strokes after the opening day.
Beginning on the back nine, Fleetwood drained a 25-footer at the 12th and struck his approach at the next to tap-in range, before holing from 35 feet at the 14th for a third straight birdie.
Fleetwood rolled in a 10-footer at the 17th and made a two-putt birdie from off the 18th green to reach the turn in 31, with the Englishman then picking up a shot from 20 feet at the first and recovering from finding water at the par-five next to save par.
The world No 13 made a two-putt gain at the driveable fourth and got up and down from the greenside bunker to birdie the seventh and join playing partner Davis on the top of the leaderboard.
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Fleetwood gauged out of thick rough at the 17th and two-putted from 30 feet to salvage just the one dropped shot, only to spray his tee shot into trees at the last. His third shot finished short of the green and in the sand, with Fleetwood splashing out to 10 feet but missed his putt for bogey.
Ian Poulter, needing a strong week to break into the top-70 and qualify for next week’s BMW Championship, is also on five under after mixing six birdies with a solitary bogey, as Tyrrell Hatton birdied his first three holes on his way to a four-under 67.
Defending champion Patrick Reed birdied three of his last four holes to post a three-under 68, with FedExCup leader Justin Thomas and Tiger Woods – who made four birdies in a six-hole stretch – also four off the pace.
Four birdies and an eagle in the space of five holes helped Jordan Spieth to an eventful opening-round 69, while reigning FedExCup champion Rory McIlroy and world No 1 Jon Rahm are among the others in the group on two under.
Watch the Northern Trust throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues on Friday with Featured Groups live from 12.15pm via the red button on Sky Sports Golf.