McIlroy stumbles to 74, worst start in two months
He could afford a day off.
That wasn't the case for players like Bo Van Pelt and Paul Casey, and they picked a good time to produce good scores.
With no guarantee of playing beyond this week, Van Pelt opened with three straight birdies Thursday and chipped in for eagle late in his round for a 6-under 65 that gave him a 1-shot lead in the opener of the FedEx Cup playoffs.
Casey is No. 118 - with the birth of his first child due in two weeks - and played bogey-free at Ridgewood to join seven other players at 66. That group included Brendon Todd, who is trying to get Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson's attention as a possible wild-card pick; and Hunter Mahan, who at No. 62 is in danger of missing the Tour Championship for the first time since the FedEx Cup began in 2007.
Ridgewood featured some of the deepest rough of the year, though the greens were soft enough to allow for birdies when players could keep it in the fairway. The average score was 70.8, with 44 rounds in the 60s.
McIlroy was not among them.
The British Open and PGA champion went 13 holes before he made his first birdie and finished with a 74. That ended a streak of 14 straight rounds under par, and it was his highest score in the opening round since a 74 in the Irish Open in June.
"Fatigue isn't playing a part," he said. "It's . . . just not putting the time in that I probably should have over the past week."
Cameron Tringale began the FedEx Cup playoffs with a 66 and a clear conscience.
Tringale disqualified himself from the PGA Championship several days after the final major of the year ended. He was concerned he might have whiffed on a tap-in bogey putt on the 11th hole of the final round at Valhalla.
"The more I thought about it, I didn't want the way I play this game or my integrity questioned," Tringale said Thursday.
He called the PGA of America and was disqualified.
Tringale had tied for 33d, so he lost out on the $53,000 in prize money. Perhaps more important, he lost 37 points in the FedEx Cup, which cost him eight spots in the standings. He went into The Barclays at No. 61.
Those points could loom large if Tringale can move into the top 30 after three playoff events and qualify for the Tour Championship, which would make him exempt for the Masters, U.S. Open, and British Open.
Canadian Women's OpenLONDON, Ontario - So Yeon Ryu set a course record with a 9-under 63 to take the first-round lead.
Ryu finished with nine birdies at the London Hunt and Country Club to take a 1-stroke lead over fellow South Korean Na Yeon Choi, who chipped in three times during an impressive morning round.