The two most popular golfers on the planet put on a show in the opening round of the BMW Championship.
Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, the first- and third-ranked golfers in the world, played in the same group at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Ind., and the high-wattage duo combined to make 16 birdies and one eagle on the day. McIlroy finished with an eight-under 64 and a share of the lead with Bo Van Pelt and Webb Simpson, while Woods shot a 65 to trail by one.
Starting on the 10th tee, Woods birdied five of his first seven holes en route to a front-nine 32. He made four more birdies on his final nine holes, punctuated by a 30-foot birdie putt from the fringe on the par-5 ninth hole that drew a roar from the packed stands.
"I scored today; Rory and I played beautifully," Woods said. "I was very fortunate to post the number that I shot."
McIlroy, 23, answered Woods's long putt on the final hole by drilling a five-foot birdie putt of his own to match Simpson and Van Pelt for the day's low round.
"I'm not going out there trying to beat Tiger or anyone else," McIlroy said of his pairing with Woods. "I just try to shoot the best score possible."
Playing alongside Woods and McIlroy, Nick Watney shot a two-under 70.
At 7,516 yards, Crooked Stick is one of the longest courses on Tour this season. But low winds and soft conditions created an opportunity for low scores, and the pros took advantage.
Related Photos: The 2012 BMW Championship (Photo: Scott Halleran / Getty Images)