LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Brandt Snedeker doesn't get on a big run of birdies very often, so he wanted to make the most of it Thursday in the BMW Championship.
Snedeker made seven straight birdies and shot 8-under 63, taking a one-shot lead over Zach Johnson in the third FedEx Cup playoff event. Conway Farms, a course north of Chicago, yielded some low scores, including 66s by Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker.
"You get on runs like that, you get excited for the next hole because you know something good is going to happen, because you're in such a good frame of mind," Snedeker said.
Rory McIlroy might have ended his hopes of going to the PGA's Tour Championship with one round. He had double bogey and triple bogey for 78. Lee Westwood battled back pain and shot 80.
The top 30 in the FedEx Cup after the BMW Championship advance to the Tour Championship next week and a shot at the $10 million prize.
Woods was unhappy that he had a pair of three-putt bogeys and missed a 4-foot birdie putt over his last five holes.
"I'm not exactly real happy," he said. "I played well, and I just didn't get much out of that round. I missed three little short ones in there and then played the par 5s even par."
Clarke back to pga: Darren Clarke plans to return to the PGA Tour for the first time in seven years, taking advantage of a five-year exemption from winning the 2011 British Open. If the Northern Irishman, 45, doesn't qualify for the European Tour's finals, he could rejoin the PGA Tour at the McGladrey Championship in Georgia on Nov. 7.
LPGA rained out: The first day of the Evian Championship was washed out after heavy morning rain soaked the newly designed course in Evian-les-Bains, France. Players were on the course for less than one hour, and organizers decided to annul the scores and restart the round today. Officials hope to play 36 holes Sunday. The forecast today and Saturday is for clear skies.