American Ryan Palmer has a two-shot lead after the opening round of the Deutsche Bank Championship.

Jason Day is three shots off the lead in a tie for third after the opening round of the Deutsche Bank Championship in Massachusetts.

The Queenslander fired a five-under-par 66 in the second leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs led by American Ryan Palmer who rolled in nine birdies on his way to a round of eight under.

Palmer leads compatriot Keegan Bradley by two shots while Day is joined on 66 by Americans Webb Simpson and Chesson Hadley.

The 37-year-old Palmer is aiming for his fourth career US PGA Tour win after finishing runner-up earlier this year at the Honda Classic and the Humana Challenge.

“It’s been great the past couple of months,” Palmer said.

“My short putting has been phenomenal.

“I’m making a lot more putts inside six feet. When you get the putts going from 15 (feet) and in, especially for birdie, it makes for good days.”

Palmer’s round was lowest score at the Boston course and comes after he missed the cut in his past two appearances in the event.

He started on the back nine and made bogey on the 10th. He erased that mistake with a 13-foot birdie putt on the 11th.

He capped his round with a birdie putt from 18 feet on the ninth, his last.

“I’ve had that good feeling (with my putter) since the Open Championship,” said Palmer, who needed just 21 putts in his first round.

“I took a small tip from (Shawn) Stefani, who was talking about his putting changes. I took a little something from that.”

Ian Poulter, who shared ninth here last year, posted a four-under 67.

He was joined in sixth place by Sweden’s Carl Pettersson, Bill Haas, Scotland’s Russell Knox and Jordan Spieth.

Defending champion Henrik Stenson opened with a one-under 70 and is tied for 26th, along with Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and Australia’s Geoff Ogilvy.

The world No.1 McIlroy got off to a quick start making birdie on three of his first four holes but then cooled off with four pars and a bogey to finish the front nine.

McIlroy mixed two birdies and three bogeys over his final six holes.

The top 70 players on the FedEx Cup points list after the Deutsche Bank tournament will advance to the BMW Championship in Denver.