Close friends and FedExCup front runners Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth both opened the TOUR Championship with a 67, but the players have very different outlooks on their starts.

PGA Championship winner Thomas left the course at East Lake full of confidence heading into the remainder of the season finale.

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“It was a good day; it was a pretty easy day.

“I felt like all the birdies I made I hit it close, it’s not like I made any long putts or anything,” he said.

“I drove it beautifully. That’s probably the best round I’ve had driving the ball in a while. I’ve been working hard at it so it’s nice to see the work has paid off.

“I feel like if I can keep driving it that well, I feel really confident,” Thomas finished.

The world-number-four’s confidence is not matched by the world-number-two’s; Spieth confessed he was surprised to see the score he posted given how substandard his round felt.

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“I get done and look back and I’m surprised we’re three under.

“I felt like it was really a grind out there and it’s just because the first four, five holes I was all over the place tee to green,” Spieth admitted.

“My whole back nine I had a chance to birdie all but one of the holes and only made one of them.

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“Things were off at different times and things were certainly on at different times that really pieced this round together and kind of helped what was an interesting day to still be in this golf tournament.”

Despite a perceived disappointing start, Spieth sits alongside Thomas, fellow FedExCup top-fiver Joh Rahm and two others in tied sixth just three shots off the lead. The pair will tee off together again today for their second round at 1:30pm local time.