Stanley leads Tour Championship, Spieth in the wings

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Stanley leads Tour Championship, Spieth in the wings
Kyle Stanley hits out of the bunker on the 18th hole during the first round of the Tour Championship golf tournament (AP)

Atlanta - Stanley shot a six-under-par 64 to take the first-round lead


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Published: Fri 22 Sep 2017, 2:53 PM

Last updated: Fri 22 Sep 2017, 5:03 PM

Kyle Stanley got off to a hot start and outshone the big guns to lead after the opening round of the Tour Championship on Thursday but Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas are poised to strike.
Stanley shot a six-under-par 64 to take the first-round lead at East Lake Golf Club and put himself in contention to win the PGA Tour's four tournament playoff series.
American Stanley holds a two-shot lead over four players who shot 66, comprising US Open champion Brooks Koepka, Webb Simpson, England's Paul Casey and Daniel Berger.
World number two Spieth and PGA champion Thomas are tied for sixth with 67s along with Spain's Jon Rahm, Russell Henley and Gary Woodland.
Dustin Johnson, Jason Dufner, Tony Finau, Kevin Kisner, Pat Perez and Justin Rose were tied for 11th at 68.
Stanley is playing in the Tour Championship for the first time and was seeded No. 22 in the 30-man field. He charged out of the gate with four straight birdies starting at No. 3 and made the turn in 32. He had three birdies on the back nine for another 32. His only mishap came on the eighth hole where he posted a bogey.
For Stanley to win the FedEx Cup playoffs and the $10 million bonus, he must win the Tour Championship and have many other dominos fall into place.
There's no guesswork involved with Spieth, the No. 1 seed. If he wins the tournament, he wins the FedEx Cup, something he did in 2015. He would join Tiger Woods as the only two-time winner.
Spieth entered the tournament in first place in the FedEx Cup standings. Spieth was two under through eight, but went eight holes without a birdie before making a 14-footer at No. 16.

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