Eight birdies and 3 bogeys made for quite a wild afternoon for Kevin Streelman.
But in the end, the Wheaton native's 5-under 66 left him squarely in the hunt for the BMW Championship -- tied with three others for third place, just 3 shots behind leader Brandt Snedeker.
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"I had a good putter today," he said. "I hit some really nice shots and hit some greens and just converted inside 15 feet."
Being in contention at his hometown tournament was one of Streelman's goals at the start of the season and he's elated he was able to check it off his list.
In fact, he's been elated with the total number of check marks he has made since the year began.
"I got off to such a great start early in the season, I was in the top 5 FedEx for most of the first half of the season, so that kind of rearranged my goals there for a while," said Streelman, who is staying at Brian Urlacher's house this week. "But I'm not taking for granted being here, and I'm so fortunate and blessed to be able to have kind of a free run this week.
"I've got nothing to lose. I know I'm in (the Tour Championship) next week, so it's just attack this week."
The big three:
While points leader Henrik Stenson struggled with a 1-over 71, and Tiger Woods rallied late to finish up with a 66, the third member of Thursday's premier grouping, Adam Scott, quietly put together a really nice round, finishing with a 66, just 4 shots off the lead.
"I played really, really well on the front nine and burned a few edges -- it could have been better," said Scott, who is third in the points standings. "But it set me up for a good round, and I managed to hang on as the wind picked up.
"A 4 under around here today is a good start -- something to build on for the rest of the week."
After flying into town late Wednesday night after taking care of a family matter, Phil Mickelson admitted he was a little nervous when he hit the first tee Thursday.
But it had nothing to do with the fact that he'd never played Conway Farms before.
"That wasn't the issue," he said. "I actually had a warm-up session that wasn't great, and I was more nervous because of that. I was able to kind of get it turned around and hit some solid shots there at the end."
Although he didn't want to get specific about the family matter, Mickelson did offer up this:
"Everything is fine. I'm here now, I'm ready to play. But I just needed to be a little cautious this first round before I attack it tomorrow."