Tiger Woods celebrated his recall to the 2018 US Ryder Cup team by shooting his best ever first round score in almost two decades at the BMW Championship on Thursday.

The 14-time major winner shot a round of 8-under par 62 at the Aronimink Golf Course in Pennsylvania, which was the second best first round score of his career — with the best, a 61, coming at the Byron Nelson Classic in 1999.

Woods’ first nine score of 29 was his best through nine holes since the 2007 Tour Championship when he scored a 28. He went on to win that tournament by eight strokes.

Despite his phenomenal opening round in Pennsylvania, he finished the day with the share of the lead with Rory McIlroy. The Northern Irishman looked in imperious form and at one stage it looked like he would score a sub 60, but two bogeys in the final three holes ensured he settled for a 62.

Woods was satisfied with his round despite suggesting that there was more he could have done after missing a few key putts in the back nine. He admits that the soft greens and wide fairways helped them as 48 of the 62 golfers in the field managed an under-par score.

"You definitely could do it today,'' Woods said after the first round Thursday. “The fairways are ample wide and the greens are soft. All the positives right now. We're driving it down there anywhere between 310 and 340 so it's really not that long a golf course right now.”

"Lot of wedges and you have to hit your wedges well, get your distance,” the 14-time major winner added.

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods shot his best opening round in almost two decades at the BMW Championship on Thursday. In this picture, Woods of the United States lines up a putt on the 12th green during the first round of the BMW Championship at Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, Sept. 6, 2018. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The American, who is looking for his first win since the Bridgestone Invitational in 2013, also credited much of his first day’s success to his trusty old Scotty Cameron putter. It is the same putter that he used to win 13 of his 14 major championships.

"I've been monkeying around with it at home in the back yard through the summer," Woods added. "It just never felt right, but it feels good now. I've hit hundreds of millions of putts with that thing."

McIlroy, who has also struggled for consistent form this season, was happy to see Woods back in form. The Northern Irishman hoped the American can remain competitive for the entirety of the BMW Championship, which is then likely to make it enthralling going into the final round on Sunday.

"We all benefit from Tiger Woods playing well,'' McIlroy said, according to ESPN. “I'm happy he's up there. And it will be a great tournament if he stays up there.”

The tournament at the Aronimik Golf Course is the penultimate event in the FedEx Cup Playoffs with the final event — the Tour Championship — being held at the East Lake Golf Course from Sept. 20-23. Woods is the only player to win the FedEx Cup on two occasions — in 2007 and 2009.