|-7 K Bradley (US); -6 A Scott (Aus); -5 S Lowry (Ire), H Varner III (US), J Thomas (US)|
|Selected others: -4 T Hatton (Eng), C Morikawa (US), C Young (US), X Schauffele (US); -3 R McIlroy (NI), S Scheffler (US), J Spieth (US); -2 M Fitzpatrick (Eng)|
Keegan Bradley birdied six of the first nine holes on his way to firing a seven-under-par 64 to lead after the first round of the BMW Championship.
The 36-year-old American is one stroke ahead of Australian Adam Scott.
Ireland’s Shane Lowry shares third on five under and England’s Tyrrell Hatton is in a pack who opened with a 67.
Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy finished three under, those also on that score including world number one and Masters champion Scottie Scheffler.
The BMW Championship – being played at Wilmington Country Club in Delaware – is the second of three FedEx Cup play-off tournaments, with the top 30 in the PGA Tour season’s points table after Sunday’s final round advancing to next week’s season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta.
Bradley and Scott are both in position to jump into the top 30, from 44th and 45th respectively.
“I’d love to go to Atlanta,” said Bradley. “That’s everyone’s goal to start the year.”
Bradley, the 2011 US PGA Championship winner but seeking his first PGA Tour win since the 2018 BMW Championship, started his day with a 13-foot birdie putt on the first hole before matching his lowest PGA nine-hole score of 29.
“He kind of had everything going the way he wanted,” said Scott. “I was drafting off him.”
McIlroy scored 68 despite a triple-bogey six at the par-three 15th, finding water off the tee before missing a double-bogey putt from less than four feet.
“Just that one tee shot on 15 – then I compounded that by the three-putt,” said McIlroy. “Overall the rest of it was pretty good.”