Date: September 07, 2007

Byrd leads BMW Championship

Jonathan Byrd made a late charge Thursday to overtake Justin Rose and grab a one-shot lead after the first round of the BMW Championship. Byrd holed three birdies over his final four holes to card a seven-under-par 64, one stroke ahead of Rose and Colombian Camilo Villegas. After bogeying the par-three second hole, Byrd rebounded with four birdies over the next six holes – including three straight from six to eight. He also birdied 10, 12, 15 and 16, needing a total of just 24 putts throughout the round. “I felt good about my game and made a few extra putts,” Byrd said. “I&aposve played well all year, won a tournament and have had a lot of good finishes.” Rose stumbled late to slip one stroke off the pace at six-under 66. One of just three British players in the 66-man field, Rose carded eight birdies in the first 11 holes on a warm morning at Cog Hill. Nathan Green led the Australian charge with a fine 67 and is in a group with world number one Tiger Woods on four under, three shots off the pace. Aaron Baddeley and Stuart Appleby are a shot further back on three under the card, while Adam Scott and Nick O&aposhern are the only other Aussies in the black at two under and one under respectively. Rose had a four-stroke lead at one point but could not maintain the momentum, running up two late bogeys. “It was a dream start today,” Rose said. “I hit a few shots close, had some nice little tap-ins and was four-under through six holes without making a putt. “It&aposs always disappointing when you&aposre eight-under through 11 and you finish six-under, but it&aposs certainly not an easy course. There were some tough holes coming in, and I was a little bit in between clubs.” Rose still is two shots ahead of Woods, whose round was marred by a double-bogey on the 18th hole. The world number one is three shots off the lead at four-under. Despite his lofty world ranking of 15, Rose is still seeking his first career PGA victory, and he could hardly have hoped for a better start. Making the turn at six-under, he continued to attack starting the back nine, adding birdies at the next two holes. But the birdies dried up after that, with bogeys at the par-five 15th and par-four 18th not exactly what he had in mind. This event is the third in the new four-tournament FedEx Cup play-off series. Only 30 players will advance to next week&aposs Tour Championship. Rose – ranked 23rd – is certain to be among them, while Luke Donald, currently 28th in the standings, needs a good week to get through. Woods was challenging for the lead when he arrived at his 16th hole, the par-four seventh but it all went horribly wrong after his drive stopped in the rough, only 112 yards from the hole. “I tried to hit a little bitty pitching wedge in there, trying to take the flier out, but I ended up catching it,” he said. “I should never have hit that club. You&aposve got to play short there.” That hole was the only blemish on his card, as he added six birdies for a four-under 67 to end the day tied for seventh. “I just had that one bad hole, but other than that it was a pretty good day,” he said. “When you have the ball in your hand, you&aposre firing at just about every flag,” Woods said. “You felt like you had to shoot something in the mid 60s, or else you were just going to get left behind. You just knew guys were going to tear it apart.” Round 1 from the BMW Championship (par 71) -7 Jonathon Byrd 64 -6 Justin Rose 65, Camilo Villegas 65 -5 Stewart Cink 66, Troy Matteson 66, Pat Perez 66 -4 Ryuji Imada 67, Tiger Woods 67, Ken Duke 67, Nathan Green (Australia) 67, Woody Austin 67 Also: -3 Aaron Baddeley (Australia) 68, Stuart Appleby (Australia) 68 -2 Adam Scott (Australia) 69 -1 Nick O&aposHern (Australia) 70 E John Senden (Australia) 71 2 Rod Pampling (Australia) 73 4 Robert Allenby (Australia) 75 7 Geoff Ogilvy (Australia) 78