Justin Thomas Loses Cushion, shares lead in Tour Championship

Justin Thomas shares the lead after the first round

Justin Thomas shares the lead after the first round

Rory McIlroy admitted that he was very pleased with his opening round at the Tour Championship as the four-time major victor sits just one shot off the lead following the first day's play in Atlanta.

A closing birdie on 18 saw the 2017 PGA Championship victor move back to ten under par and take a share of the lead alongside Xander Schauffele and four-time major victor Brooks Koepka.

He moved to nine under par overall, a shot behind co-leaders Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele. But with one round done the event was feeling more normal. "I thought I played better than I scored today".

Schauffele, who started the day six off the lead, seized the momentum with six birdies in his bogey-free effort and said he tried not to focus on the unorthodox scoring system. "If JT went out and shot a pair of 65s I don't think the tour would be very happy and I don't think the rest of the field would be happy".

The score to par is all that matters in deciding who wins the FedEx Cup and the $15 million prize.

"But it looks to be a good tournament so far".

Protest in Vancouver mirrors Hong Kong as opposing sides face off
From there, demonstrators made there way to Hong Kong's Central district, despite not having an approved permit to do so. Supporters of the police held banners such as "Save Hong Kong", "Police add oil" and "Hong Kong add oil".

Rory McIlroy carded a superb round of 66 to move within one shot of the lead at the season-ending Tour Championship.

Thomas scrambled a par at 16 and then lipped out from three feet for birdie on the 17th, but he ended a hard day on a positive note when he safely two-putted from the fringe for a closing birdie which made it a three-way tie at the top, with McIlroy on his own on nine-under par.

Matt Kuchar posted a 66 to join Patrick Cantlay (70) on eight-under.

The 2017 FedExCup champion dug deep to stay in red numbers and regained the outright lead with his third birdie of the round at the 14th, but a poorly-struck wedge to the 15th came up short and right and landed in the water hazard - a mistake which led to a double-bogey five.

"I got off to a decent start".

"You put me six back with 72 holes to go, I've definitely got a chance".

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