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Kuchar leads BMW event as Woods struggles

Matt Kuchar birdied the final hole on his way to a one-stroke lead in the BMW Championship at Cog Hill.
Matt Kuchar birdied the final hole on his way to a one-stroke lead in the BMW Championship at Cog Hill.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Matt Kuchar holds a one-stroke lead after the opening round of the BMW Championship
  • American Kuchar birdies the final hole for a superb seven-under-par round of 64
  • He has a one-shot lead over Ryan Moore with England's Ian Poulter posting a 66
  • Defending champion Tiger Woods is nine shots off the pace after a round of 73
RELATED TOPICS
  • Matt Kuchar
  • Tiger Woods
  • Cog Hill
  • PGA Tour
  • Golf

(CNN) -- Matt Kuchar holds a one-stroke lead after the opening round of the BMW Championship, as Tiger Woods made a disappointing start in the defense of his Cog Hill title.

American Ryder Cup star Kuchar -- winner of The Barclays event last month -- downed a long birdie putt on his final hole for a seven-under-par 64, putting him just ahead of compatriot Ryan Moore, with Englishman Ian Poulter another stroke behind.

Holder Tiger Woods endured a dismal day in the defense of his title, carding a two-over-par 73 to lie nine strokes off the pace.

It was the world number one's highest round at Cog Hill since posting a 73 in the 2005 Western Open.

Woods needs to finish at least fifth in the 70-strong field to secure one of the 30 places available for the final FedEx playoff tournament -- the Tour Championship -- at East Lake, Atlanta in two weeks.

"As of right now, I'm only five shots back from that spot. That is not too bad," Woods told reporters.

Kuchar, who heads the playoff standings following his Barclays victory, said: "I was driving it well. I was actually doing everything well. It felt very good."

Meanwhile, world number two Phil Mickelson fared not much better than Woods, finishing his round with a bogey for a level par 72.