McIlroy’s cup hope fades

Evening Telegraph (First Edition) - - Uk World Today -

RORY McIlroy’s chance of re­tain­ing his FedEx Cup ti­tle did not get off the best start af­ter he was left in the bot­tom half of the ta­ble in the first round of the BMW Cham­pi­onship at Con­way Farms yes­ter­day.

McIlroy star ted the penul­ti­mate play-off event for t he sea­son-end­ing tour­na­ment in 51st po­si­tion with hopes of reach­ing a top 30 qual­i­fy­ing place.

But his open­ing-round of one-over-par 72 left him lan­guish­ing 10 strokes be­hind club­house leader Marc Leish­man.

Leish­man shot 10 birdies and dropped just one shot on the sixth on the Chicago course, lead­ing to a ca­reer best round of nine-un­der 62.

McIlroy, who en­tered the tour­na­ment at his low­est world rank­ing, sixth, for more than three years hav­ing missed the cut at the Dell Tech­nolo­gies Cham­pi­onship, got off to a bad start drop­ping two on the first hole par 4.

While he looked to be im­prov­ing on the sev­enth and eight hole, scor­ing a birdie on each, a bo­gey on the ninth left him level par.

The back nine saw a more er­ratic per­for­mance with bo­geys on the 12th, 15th and 18th holes.

English­man Justin Rose fared bet­ter with just two bo­geys across 18 holes, end­ing the day with four-un­der 67.

A stand­out mo­ment came on the 13th hole when his 21ft birdie putt looked to be go­ing wide only to fall in on the par 4.

Ian Poul­ter, who played just 13 tour­na­ments last year due to a foot in­jury, com­pleted the day in the mid­dle of the pack af­ter get­ting off to a good start with a birdie each on the first two holes.

Rory McIlroy

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