Trio take Wyndham lead

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Erik Compton, William McGirt and Tom Hoge fired eight-under-par 62s to take a one-shot lead at the Wyndham Championship, with Tiger Woods two shots back.

Erik Compton, William McGirt and Tom Hoge fired eight-under-par 62s to take a one-shot lead after the first round of the Wyndham Championship, with Tiger Woods just two shots back.

Jim Herman, Derek Ernst and Morgan Hoffmann remain one stroke behind the leaders after carding seven-under-par 63s at the Sedgefield Country Club, while former world number one Woods is in a tie for seventh after hitting a season-best six-under-par 64.

Needing to win or finish alone in second in order to qualify for the FedEx playoffs, Woods, who is making his first appearance at the Greensboro event, found his feet after months of toil. Having long said that his game is on the right track, Woods at last had a low score to show for it as he moved into contention for a first title in two years.

Level with Woods on six-under are Carl Pettersson and major winners Martin Kaymer and Davis Love III, with a group of nine players that includes Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama a further shot back.

Defending champion Camilo Villegas found himself in a tie for 20th at the end of the first round after he recorded a four-under-par 66.

Compton, who began at the tenth tee, got bogey-free round of to a slow start, with the lone birdie in his opening nine coming at the 15th. He picked up the pace on his closing nine, notching up a birdie at the first before adding two more birdies at the third and fourth. The 35-year-old saved his best for last as he sunk four consecutive birdies from the sixth to the ninth hole to finish his round with a bang.

McGirt was consistent throughout as he began with five birdies on his front nine before proceeding to add three more on his back nine as he also enjoyed a bogey-free round.

Hoge too went without a bogey on the day, notching up six birdies and an eagle at the par-five fifth hole after converting an 11-foot putt for his three.

One shot back are Hoffmann, Herman and Ernst, with the latter two making seven birdies apiece, while Hoffmann recorded five birdies and an eagle at the fifth.

Woods was one of those to make the most of favourable conditions early on, with morning rain having softened the course. The former number one started his round with an incredible 54-foot chip from the left rough at the 10th before missing a 39-foot par putt at the next hole to register his lone bogey of the round.

The 39-year-old, who sits two strokes off the lead, proceeded to make three more birdies on his front nine before adding three more on his back nine – at the first, fourth and fifth – as he entered the clubhouse all smiles after a round of 64.

It was the 14-time major winner’s lowest round on the PGA Tour since a 61 in the second round of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational in 2013, some 749 days ago.

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