Kim takes charge in Atlanta

American Anthony Kim continued his sizzling form from the Ryder Cup to charge to a commanding four-stroke lead after the opening round at the Tour Championship.

Kim recovered from a bogey at the first hole, picking up eight birdies to shoot a spectacular six-under-par 64 in demanding, breezy conditions at East Lake.

Fellow American Phil Mickelson and South Africans Ernie Els and Trevor Immelman were a distant equal second with two-under 68s, with Korean KJ Choi, on 69, the only other player to break par.

Fiji’s Vijay Singh, who only has to complete the 72 holes to clinch a $10m (€6.8m) bonus as the FedEx Cup champion, struggled to a 73.

He made a terrible start, with four bogeys in eight holes, before steadying the ship somewhat on the back nine.

Kim, who posted his maiden PGA Tour victory in Charlotte in May, is coming off a spectacular Ryder Cup, where he recorded two wins, one loss and one half.

His performance in his singles match on Sunday was simply magnificent, as he gave Sergio Garcia a 5&4 hiding in the opening match to set the tone as the Americans charged to victory.

Mickelson, meanwhile, charged to four under at the turn, only to bogey the next two holes. He fought back with two birdies, only to fritter away two more shots over the final three holes.

“It was playing very tough today and I’ll take anything under par,” said Mickelson. “I made a few bogeys on the back but I’m pleased with two under.”

Mickelson is coming off another disappointing Ryder Cup. He returned one win, two losses and two halves, bringing his career record to 10-14-6.

Masters champion Immelman had a nice round, making only two bogeys in the testing breeze.

“Any time you can shoot par of better on this course you’ve played real well,” said Immelman.

“So it was nice for me to go out today and hit some solid shots and hole a few nice putts. My driver was a little wayward on the back nine but I stepped up and hit a good one on 17, so that was a nice way to finish off.”

Els bogeyed the last, but after making four birdies on the back nine, could hardly complain.

“I’m pretty happy with it,” he said. “A little windy out there, the greens are firm and the 18th hole is never the easiest to finish on.

“I played pretty well, kept the ball in play most of the day and didn’t do anything stupid, and I putted quite nicely for a change.”

Garcia, the only European Ryder Cup member in action, recovered from a poor start to shoot 70.

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