NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. — With the glare of a scorching sun in his eyes, Tiger Woods couldn’t believe what he saw.

He finally missed a green on his 14th hole.

“Is that long?” he asked his caddie. “I thought it was perfect.”

Everything else felt that way Thursday in the BMW Championship, where Woods had his lowest score in an opening round in nearly 20 years and his best score on the PGA Tour since his last victory more than five years ago. Even with a bogey on the 17th hole, he had an 8-under 62. And all that got him was a share of the lead with Rory McIlroy.

“Just the way it goes,” Woods said with a smile, caring more about a complete round of golf and a strong performance with his old putter than whether he was leading after one round in the FedEx Cup playoffs.

The course was never easier, not with temperatures in the upper 90s and feeling hotter. Not with generous fairways and greens so soft that Woods hit a 3-iron from 242 yards that landed 8 feet in front of the hole and stopped 5 feet away.

Woods hit nothing longer than a 9-iron into the par 4s. McIlroy relied heavily on his wedge game to make a strong bid at 59, only to make consecutive bogeys late in his round and having to settle for a 62.

“It was one of those days where it was out there,” McIlroy said.

And it was a Thursday, finally, that included Woods in the mix. He had failed to break par in the opening round at 10 of his last 11 tournaments.

It was the lowest score for Woods since he shot 61 in the second round of the 2013 Bridgestone Invitational, which he won by seven shots for his 79th title on the PGA Tour and 90th worldwide.

It remains his last victory.

EUROPEAN: Maximilian Kieffer of Germany shot a 6-under 64 to lead the European Masters after the first round at Crans-Montana, Switzerland.