Kyle Stanley, far from the biggest name left in the TOUR Championships, executed the best first round on Thursday in Atlanta, firing a 6-under 64 to lead the tournament by two strokes.
“I don’t have too good of a game plan for this golf course, seeing it for the first time,” Stanley said. “But I felt like maybe that would be key, just hitting a lot of fairways and giving myself chances on second shots.”
Stanley is the 22nd seed in the tournament. Even if he won he’d need considerable help to win the $10 million FedEx top prize.
US Open champion Brooks Koepka, along with Daniel Berger, Webb Simpson, and Paul Casey, are alltwo strokes back after firing 66s.
Three back are two of the top five players in the field – No. 2 Jordan Spieth and No. 5 Jon Rahm.
“I get done and look back and I’m surprised we’re at 3 under,” he said. “I felt like it was really a grind out there, and it’s just because the first four, five holes of the round, I was all over the place tee-to-green. And then my whole back nine, I had a chance to birdie all but one of the holes and only made one of them.”