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September 19 2013

1:37 PM

Simpson, de Jonge set early pace

ATLANTA -- The first group to tee off Thursday at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola has headed to the back nine, and East Lake Golf Club is yielding birdies grudgingly so far.

Brendan de Jonge, who was recently named to the International Team for the Presidents Cup, is 2 under through eight holes and tied for the lead with Webb Simpson, who has completed six.

Six other players are in red numbers at 1 under -- Sergio Garcia, Charl Schwartzel, Billy Horschel, Gary Woodland, Jason Day and Jim Furyk. Schwartzel and Horschel are making their TOUR Championship debuts while Furyk is playing in the event for the 16th time.

Phil Mickelson, who came to East Lake ranked eighth, has just teed off with first-timer Graham DeLaet. The final group of No. 1 Tiger Woods and No. 2 Henrik Stenson comprise the final pairing at 2 p.m. ET.

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