SEUNG-YUL NOH capped a flawless nine-under 62 with two birdies on Friday to seize a one-shot first-round lead in the Deutsche Bank Championship, the second stop in the US PGA Tour playoffs.
South Korea’s Noh, playing in more testing afternoon conditions, roared past early pace-setters Tiger Woods and Jeff Overton, who had shared the morning clubhouse lead on 64 but ended the day sharing third place alongside Ryan Moore and behind Noh and American Chris Kirk — who carded an eight-under 63 at the TPC Boston.
Noh nabbed his first birdie of the day on the par-five second, then reeled off four straight birdies from the fourth. Four birdies coming home included back-to-back efforts at 17 and 18 — where he landed a wedge five feet from the pin.
Woods’ round included a string of six birdies and was his second-lowest of the season, bettered only by the 62 he carded in the final round of the Honda Classic.
He walked off the course with a one-shot lead but was quickly joined at 64 by Overton, who like Woods had eight birdies and one bogey in his round.
“I played really well today,” said Woods, who teed off on 10 and birdied 11 and 13 before launching his run of six successive birdies at the revamped par-five 18th.
“I hit a lot of good shots, and on top of that, I putted well at the same time,” added Woods, who hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation and 10 of 14 fairways. “It was a nice little combination.”
Woods’ only miscue came at his final hole, the par-four ninth, where his approach shot missed the green.
“I hit the ball well enough to probably shoot maybe one or two more (under),” Woods said. “I missed a couple little putts out there. But also I made my share from outside of 15, 20 feet as well.”
Overton, who needs a good finish here to advance to the next event of the playoffs at Crooked Stick — birdied five straight starting at the 12th and punctuated his round with a birdie at 18.
Kirk teed off on 10 and his round included an eagle at the 18th, which was expected to be more difficult after a redesign that included making the green smaller.
World number one Rory McIlroy and American Bryce Molder shared sixth place on 65, one shot in front of Australian John Senden and South African Louis Oosthuizen.
England’s Luke Donald and Ian Poulter were among a group of seven players on 67.