Norton (United States) (AFP) - Ryan Palmer rolled in nine birdies en route to a 63 to grab a one-shot lead after the first round of the Deutsche Bank Championship, the second leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs.
The 37-year-old American is aiming for his fourth career US PGA Tour win. He finished runner-up earlier this year at the Honda Classic and the Humana Challenge.
"It's been great the past couple of months," Palmer said. "My short putting has been phenomenal.
"I'm making a lot more putts inside six feet. When you get the putts going from 15 (feet) and in, especially for birdie, it makes for good days."
Palmer's American compatriot Keegan Bradley is in sole possession of second after firing a bogey-free 65 at the TPC Boston.
Australia's Jason Day, runner-up four years ago, has a share of third at five-under.
Day is tied with Americans Webb Simpson and Chesson Hadley. Simpson, who had one bogey and six birdies for a 66, won this event in 2011.
Palmer's eight-under 63 is his lowest score at the Boston course. He missed the cut in his last two appearances in the event.
He started on the back nine and made bogey on the 10th. He erased that mistake with a 13-foot birdie putt on the 11th.
He capped his round with a birdie putt from 18 feet out on the ninth, his last.
"I've had that good feeling (with my putter) since the Open Championship," said Palmer, who needed just 21 putts in his first round. "I took a small tip from (Shawn) Stefani, who was talking about his putting changes. I took a little something from that."
Ian Poulter, who shared ninth here last year, posted a four-under 67. He was joined in sixth place by Sweden's Carl Pettersson, Bill Haas, Scotland's Russell Knox and Jordan Spieth.
Defending champion Henrik Stenson opened with a one-under 70 and is tied for 26th, along with Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy.
The world number one got off to a quick start making birdie on three of his first four holes but then cooled off with four pars and a bogey to finish the front nine.
McIlroy mixed two birdies and three bogeys over his final six holes.
The top 70 players on the FedEx Cup points list after the Deutsche Bank tournament will advance to the BMW Championship in Denver.