ATLANTA (Georgia) (AFP) Paul Casey, overlooked when European captain Colin Montgomerie made his Ryder Cup picks, could be headed toward a 10 million-dollar consolation prize. Casey nabbed three birdies in a row around the turn en route to a four-under 66 at the US PGA Tour Championship Thursday, claiming a share of the first-round lead alongside fellow Englishman Luke Donald and Australias Geoff Ogilvy. Casey, who was among the top five players in the FedEx Cup playoff standings coming into the playoff finale, would claim the 10 million-dollar FedEx Cup bonus with a victory. Casey remained diplomatically mum on whether missing out on a Ryder Cup berth had provided extra motivation. After all, a chance to win 10 million dollars is a big lure in itself. Im not getting wrapped up in any sort of extra motivation, Casey said. I dont need extra motivation. Im motivated enough. He was the only player among the top five in the standings - who could all claim the playoff series title and the jackpot with a win - to break par at East Lake Golf Club. The nine players who did break par in the hot, humid conditions included defending champion Phil Mickelson. Mickelsons round of 69 included two eagles, at the 12th and 15th. They along with one birdie helped him offset four bogeys on the par-70 course. Mickelson arrived at East Lake ranked 10th in the playoff standings, and even if he becomes the first player to win back-to-back Tour Championship titles he would need some help from the higher-ranked players to claim the bonus. However, theres still plenty at stake for the Masters champion, including another chance to supplant Tiger Woods atop the world rankings. Woods, embattled on and off the course this season, didnt qualify for the event. Its a better position than I started last year, said Mickelson, who opened with a 73 last year and eventually won by three strokes. Could have been better, could have been worse, and it was an interesting day. Jim Furyk carded a 67 and South Koreas KJ Choi posted a 68. Mickelson was joined on 69 by Australian Jason Day, Hunter Mahan and Kevin Na. Matt Kuchar, who came into the playoff finale ranked number one in the standings, chipped in for eagle on the 15th hole. However, it wasnt enough to make up for four bogeys in his 72, one of which came when he hit his tee shot into the stands at 18. Second-seeded Dustin Johnson struggled off the tee to post a 74, level with fourth-seeded Steve Stricker. Charley Hoffman, third in the standings, settled for a 71. Casey, number five in the standings coming into the tournament, admitted he couldnt help noticing during the round that the four players ranked in front of him were behind him on the day. The big screens they have out there never go past the top 20, and I wasnt seeing anybody in the top five (in FedEx Cup standings) in that top 20, Casey said. There is a very long way to go, though. Donald, who was among Montgomeries three captains picks for the Ryder Cup, picked up six birdies as he claimed his share of the lead. Ogilvy, who hasnt won since the season-opening SBS Championship at Kapalua, said he has thought in recent weeks that his game is coming around. You cant come out and say, 'Hey guys, Im going to play well in the next few weeks, because it doesnt quite work like that, Ogilvy said. But I think I get a pretty good feel for when its coming around.