PARAMUS, N.J. — Tiger Woods failed to carry any momentum he had from his last tournament into the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs Thursday. Neither did Sean O’Hair. That was only good news for one of them.

O’Hair missed the cut last week and is No. 121 in the FedEx Cup standings, meaning he has to play well at The Northern Trust or his season is over. He made one eagle, had a good look at another and shot a 5-under 66 to join Jamie Lovemark, Vaughn Taylor and Kevin Tway atop the leaderboard.

Woods, a runner-up at the PGA Championship two weeks ago, didn’t do anything great or anything bad and shot a 71, leaving him in a tie for 60th.

Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka were among those at 67.

“I’m obviously very disappointed that I’m not in a better position, but I’m kind of in charge of my destiny,” O’Hair said. “If I play good golf I’m just going to work into the next week.”

Wood had a pair of birdies, a pair of bogeys and a lot of pars. After a rough start off the tee, Woods wound up hitting 9 of 14 fairways. He just never got it close enough for good looks at birdies.

“Just didn’t have the situations where I had the full club, and I could go ahead and take a rip at it and start being aggressive and going after these flags,” Woods said. “I kept having to play a little defensive because I was taking more club, trying to shape it and take spin off. One of those days.”

Woods is in the FedEx Cup playoffs for the first time in five years, and it was his first time at Ridgewood Country Club since 2010. Thousands came to watch him play, and they heard plenty of cheers from the group behind him.

Johnson rimmed out a 6-iron on the par-3 sixth for one of his seven birdies to offset a triple bogey. Brooks Koepka, the U.S. Open and PGA champion, ran off four birdies and an eagle. The FedEx Cup champion, Justin Thomas, had four birdies in his round of 69.

O’Hair isn’t alone in the urgency to play well. The top 100 advance to the second stage next week at the TPC Boston, with the top 70 going to the BMW Championship and the top 30 making it to Atlanta for the Tour Championship.

Tway and Lovemark are in the mid-80s in the FedEx Cup while Taylor is at No. 112.

LPGA: Ariya Jutanugarn birdied five of her last eight holes for an 8-under 64 and a share of the CP Women’s Open lead at Regina, Saskatchewan.

Nasa Hataoka and Mariajo Uribe joined the second-ranked Jutanugarn atop the leaderboard, with Brooke Henderson of Canada and three-time champion Lydia Ko two strokes back.

With players allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls in the fairways because of the damp conditions, Jutanugarn birdied the first four holes, and finished with nine birdies and a bogey in the morning round in sunny, hot conditions.

She won the event two years ago in Calgary. She’s tied for the tour victory lead with three, winning the U.S. Women’s Open, Kingsmill Championship and Ladies Scottish Open.

EUROPEAN: Ryder Cup hopeful Thomas Pieters made a strong start at the Czech Masters at Vysoky Ujezd, Czech Republic, to boost his chances of qualifying for Europe’s team.

Pieters started with two birdies and added six in his opening round to finish with an 8-under 64 and a share of the lead.

He’s tied with two-time major champion John Daly, Callum Tarren and Gavin Green.

Nacho Elvira, Andrea Pavan, Lee Slattery, Jeff Winther and Tapio Pulkkanen are one stroke back.


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