4/1 McIlroy jumps into contention in Atlanta

Rory McIlroy has jumped right into contention at the Tour Championship after shooting an opening round of 66 at East Lake (McIlroy 4/1 to win Tour Championship).

The Northern Irishman, who had raised concerns with the scoring system at the end of season tournament, started the day five shots off the leaders.

However he finished the day just one shot behind co-leaders Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele, on nine under par after shooting a four under round of 66.

It could have been even better for the 30-year-old but he missed out on an overnight share of the lead when missing an eight-foot birdie putt on the last hole.

However, he was more than happy with his performance and believes he could be right in the mix to scoop the £12million prize if he carries on playing in the same manner.

“I got off to a decent start. To play the back nine in three under and get in with a decent score is very nice,” he told Sky Sports. “I would have liked to have birdied the last but I’m right there with three rounds to go. If I can replicate this round of golf three more times I think I’ll have a good chance.”

Thomas started the day on 10 under as a result of the FedEx Cup points list built up throughout the season but could not build on the advantage during a disappointing round.

The American could only manage a level par round, which included a double bogey at the par-three 15th, when his tee shot found the water.

Koepka, 11/4 favourite to win, also finished on 10 under with his three under round of 67, but it was fellow American Schauffele, who really caught the eye with his bogey-free round of 64.

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