- Bob Harig, Senior Golf Writer
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- A 22-foot birdie putt on the final hole was a nice way to end the day, but Tiger Woods didn't let it mask his disappointment.
Despite making seven birdies at Conway Farms Golf Club to finish three strokes behind first-round leader Brandt Snedeker at the BMW Championship, Woods lamented his missed opportunities on the greens.
"I certainly wasted a lot of shots out there today,'' he said. "I missed three short ones (putts) and played the par 5s stupendously. One of those days.''
Woods' two bogeys were the result of three-putt greens that ended with lipped-out par putts. He also failed to birdie any of the three par 5s, including missing a 5-footer at the eighth, his 17th hole. But he did manage to roll in a long putt at the ninth to cap his score of 66, which left him in a four-way tie for third place.
"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 and everything is going in the right direction," Snedeker said.
The BMW Championship is the third of four FedEx Cup playoff events that concludes with next week's Tour Championship in Atlanta. The leader in points following next week's tournament at East Lake wins a $10 million bonus.
Woods entered the BMW just 14 points behind FedEx leader Henrik Stenson, the winner of the Deutsche Bank Championship over Labor Day weekend, who shot a 72 on Thursday.
Despite his disappointment, Woods had plenty to be pleased about. He hit 15-of-18 greens and did make seven birdies, with six of the putts coming from within 10 feet.
Conway Farms is a first-time venue for the BMW, and Woods never had seen the course prior to Wednesday's pro-am. That might explain some of his difficulty on the greens; he was 55th in the 70-player field in strokes gained putting. He also was last in the field in that category two weeks ago at the Deutsche Bank.
"The familiarity, I just don't quite have it, and some of the putts are a little bit tricky here and there,'' Woods said. "But (caddie) Joey (LaCava) did a great job of getting the numbers and getting a feel for the golf course, and we talked about it at length yesterday as we were playing the pro-am, and what the wind direction was going to be for today and tomorrow and had a really good game plan.''
Defending champion Rory McIlroy shot a 78, and at 41st in the FedEx Cup standings, is in danger of failing to advance to the Tour Championship. McIlroy was in 66th place and probably needs a top-10 finish in order to play at East Lake.
"It's going to be a very uphill task," McIlroy said. "I'll try to get to even par as quickly as I can."
Lee Westwood, fighting severe pain in his back and ribs, had an 80.
Westwood is at No. 30 and likely played himself out of a trip to East Lake.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Tiger Woods shot a 66 at the BMW on Thursday and is three shots behind first-round leader Brandt Snedeker.