February 20, 2019, 11:27

Rory McIlroy posts erratic opening-round 73 at The Northern Trust

Rory McIlroy posts erratic opening-round 73 at The Northern Trust

Rory McIlroy failed to make a fast start to the FedExCup play-offs as he struggled to an opening-round 73 at The Northern Trust.

The world No 4 mixed three birdies with six bogeys during an erratic display at Glen Oaks Club, leaving him nine strokes adrift of morning pacesetter Russell Henley.

McIlroy previously said he was “assessing his options” about whether he would defend his FedExCup title but eventually committed to playing the season finale, beginning the four-tournament stretch 44th in the standings.

The 28-year-old found rough off the opening tee on his way to an early bogey but bounced back to drain a 30-footer at the next, only to find water off the fifth tee and drop another shot.

McIlroy posted birdies either side of a missed approach and blemish at the seventh, before slipping over par with a missed putt from five feet at the 10th.

A three-putt bogey from 20 feet at the 12th was followed by a tee shot in to water at the 17th on his way to another dropped shot, with McIlroy holing from six feet to save par at the last.

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