McIlroy’s cup hope fades
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.