Rory McIlroy 10 shots behind leader after first round of BMW Championship
RORY McIlroy's hopes of earning the chance to retain his FedEx Cup title were hanging by a thread after he was left trailing in the first round of the BMW Championship at Conway Farms on Thursday.
McIlroy went into the penultimate play-off event for the season-ending tournament in 51st position in the FedEx Cup standings, meaning a good performance this week is crucial to his hopes of reaching the top 30 qualifying places.
But an opening round of one-over-par 72 left him languishing 10 strokes behind clubhouse leader Marc Leishman in joint 55th position, with a number of competitors yet to complete their respective rounds.
The performance will do little to improve matters for 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.
Jordan Spieth and Jason Day were among four players sitting three shots adrift of Leishman on six-under, while Justin Rose was also making a push as he sat on five-under with three holes of his first round still to play.