ATLANTA — Xander Schauffele was six shots behind before ever hitting a shot Thursday in the new scoring format for the Tour Championship. His goal was to keep his head down, play well and see where he stood to par at the end of two days.

The TV cameras following his every move on the back nine were the first hint it was going well. A leaderboard on the 18th green confirmed it.

“I saw I was in first,” he said. “Happy with the day.”

Schauffele didn’t come seriously close to a bogey in a 6-under 64 that was the best score of the opening round by two shots. It was only worth a share of the lead with Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka in a Tour Championship where players started with better scores to par than others depending on their place in the FedEx Cup.

Thomas, who started at 10-under and a two-shot lead as the No. 1 seed, still led despite having trouble finding the fairway. That was the least of his problems on the back nine. He hit a pitching wedge into the water for double bogey and missed a pair of 3-foot putts for a 70.

Instead of being six shots behind Schauffele, who started at 4 under as the No. 8 seed, Thomas was tied for the lead.

Koepka, the No. 3 seed who started three shots behind, birdied three of his last four holes for a 67 to join them at 10 under.

“It’s weird on Thursday to be three back after a couple of holes,” Koepka said of the start. “It’s nice to close that gap on Day 1.”

Rory McIlroy, five shots behind at the start as the No. 5 seed, had a 66 and was one shot behind at 9 under par going into the second round.

LPGA: Annie Park shot a 7-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead in the opening round of the CP Women’s Open at Aurora, Ontario.

Canadians Brooke Henderson, the defending champion, and Anne-Catherine Tanguay were one shot back with top-ranked Jin Young Ko, Pajaree Anannarukarn and Nicole Broch Larsen.

EUROPEAN: Wade Ormsby of Australia holed a 4-iron from 196 yards for eagle on his way to shooting a bogey-free, 8-under 62 at the Scandinavian Invitation at Gothenburg, Sweden, giving him the first-round lead.

His eagle at the par-4 14th hole came in an opening-nine 28 after starting his round at No. 10. He also rolled in six birdies, including three straight from the 16th hole.


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