Flying start for Furyk

Jim Furyk clinched the Ryder Cup for the United States last week and offered up a pretty good encore performance early in the first round of the Tour Championship today.

Furyk holed out with his second shot from 120 yards to eagle the opening hole at East Lake and that was enough to give him a share of the early lead with team-mate Phil Mickelson, who had completed four holes.

Play began in glorious autumn conditions, although a testing breeze sprang up in the early afternoon, providing an exacting test for the 30-man field.

If the early going was any indication, there were likely to be few players under par at the end of the day.

Among those to falter early were South African Tim Clark, six over after nine holes, and Japan’s Ryuji Imada and American Ken Duke who were four over after nine and eight holes respectively.

Sergio Garcia, the only member of the losing European Ryder Cup team competing, made a poor start with a bogey at the first hole, where he three-putted from 45 feet.

The Tour Championship is the final tournament in the four-event PGA Tour FedEx Cup play-off series.

It was supposed to bring about an exciting conclusion in the race for the play-off champion, but Vijay Singh took care of that by winning the first two events.

He needs only to complete 72 holes to win the play-offs.

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