The Northern Trust R1

Troy Merritt takes lead, Woods trailing behind, McIlroy in contention

August 08-11
Liberty National GC, Jersey City, New Jersey
$9,250,000
Round 2, Round 3, Round 4

Tiger Woods tees off on the 12th hole. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Tiger Woods shot an error-strewn 75 as Rory McIlroy made a positive start at the first FedEx Cup play-off event.

Woods, playing his first round since missing the cut at the Open last month, ended the first day of the Northern Trust at Liberty National four over par and 13 strokes behind leader Troy Merritt.


McIlroy recovered from a bogey on the 10th, his first hole, to record an eagle and five birdies in a six-under-par 65 that put him in a tie for fifth three shots off the lead.

Americans Tony Finau and Webb Simpson were alongside him while Dustin Johnson was second on eight under with Kevin Kisner and Jon Rahm one back on seven under.

Merritt recorded nine birdies in his flawless 62.

Masters champion Woods, who carded three birdies, five bogeys and a double bogey, did not use the stiff back which forced him to play a limited role in the pre-tournament pro-am as an excuse.

Woods, who could fall outside the world’s top 30 if he misses the cut, said: “I knew I had to go get it, post a low one, and didn’t do it.


“I’m going to have to figure out a way to get this thing under par and hopefully move on to have a chance on the weekend to keep progressing and keep going lower. I’ve got to get into the red at the end of the day tomorrow for sure.”

McIlroy was pleased with his day’s work.

“I played well,” the Northern Irishman said. “It was a little bit of a scrappy finish, I had to get up and down twice (for par on the eighth and ninth), but I played better.

“I hit some better iron shots today than I saw all week in Memphis, hit some nice little left-to-right shots that I didn’t have a couple of weeks ago and I drove it well, so if I continue to drive it well around here hopefully I’ll give myself plenty of chances to make birdies.”

McIlroy began the week second in the FedEx Cup standings and played the opening round alongside leader Brooks Koepka and third-placed Matt Kuchar.

The 30-year-old won the overall FedEx Cup title and USD 10million bonus in 2016 and would love to repeat the feat this season, especially with the first prize increased to a staggering USD 15million.

“I really like the play-offs,” McIlroy added. “Brooks and Kuch and I were playing together today and that could be the same thing next week depending where we end up in the standings after this week.

“I like that you have that intensity from the start. It was cool to play with those guys and I have another day with them tomorrow, sort of keep an eye on what they’re doing and try to play another good round of golf.”

The top 70 players in the FedEx Cup after this week advance to the BMW Championship and the top 30 after Medinah qualify for the Tour Championship.

Woods is projected to fall from 28th to 35th in the standings after his first round.


Pos.
Player
To Par
R1
1
Troy Merritt
-9
62
2
Dustin Johnson
-8
63
T3
Kevin Kisner
-7
64
T3
Jon Rahm
-7
64
T5
Tony Finau
-6
65
T5
Webb Simpson
-6
65
T5
Rory McIlroy
-6
65
T5
Justin Rose
-6
65
T9
Patrick Reed
-5
66
T9
Max Homa
-5
66
T9
Chez Reavie
-5
66
T9
Danny Willett
-5
66
T9
Brian Stuard
-5
66
T9
Chesson Hadley
-5
66
T9
Corey Conners
-5
66
T9
Russell Knox
-5
66
T9
Patton Kizzire
-5
66
T18
Adam Schenk
-4
67
T18
Kiradech Aphibarnrat
-4
67
T18
Adam Hadwin
-4
67
T18
J.T. Poston
-4
67
T18
Wyndham Clark
-4
67
T18
Harold Varner III
-4
67
T18
Carlos Ortiz
-4
67
T18
Cameron Smith
-4
67
T18
Jordan Spieth
-4
67
T18
Abraham Ancer
-4
67
T18
Joel Dahmen
-4
67
T18
Justin Thomas
-4
67
T18
Sung Kang
-4
67
T18
Sungjae Im
-4
67
T18
Matt Jones
-4
67
T33
Brian Harman
-3
68
T33
Ian Poulter
-3
68
T33
Ryan Moore
-3
68
T33
Louis Oosthuizen
-3
68
T33
Adam Scott
-3
68
T33
Branden Grace
-3
68
T33
Peter Malnati
-3
68
T33
Andrew Landry
-3
68
T33
Kevin Tway
-3
68
T33
Jason Kokrak
-3
68
T33
Bryson DeChambeau
-3
68
T33
C.T. Pan
-3
68
T33
Rory Sabbatini
-3
68
T33
Hideki Matsuyama
-3
68
T33
Roger Sloan
-3
68
T33
Bud Cauley
-3
68
T33
Aaron Wise
-3
68
T33
Nick Taylor
-3
68
T51
Vaughn Taylor
-2
69
T51
Charles Howell III
-2
69
T51
Shane Lowry
-2
69
T51
Kevin Na
-2
69
T51
Luke List
-2
69
T51
Kyle Stanley
-2
69
T51
Tyrrell Hatton
-2
69
T51
Russell Henley
-2
69
T51
Matthew Wolff
-2
69
T51
Dylan Frittelli
-2
69
T51
Andrew Putnam
-2
69
T51
Tommy Fleetwood
-2
69
T51
Rickie Fowler
-2
69
T51
Francesco Molinari
-2
69
T65
Michael Thompson
-1
70
T65
Joaquin Niemann
-1
70
T65
Si Woo Kim
-1
70
T65
J.B. Holmes
-1
70
T65
Brooks Koepka
-1
70
T65
Matt Kuchar
-1
70
T65
Scott Brown
-1
70
T65
Danny Lee
-1
70
T65
Keegan Bradley
-1
70
T65
Nate Lashley
-1
70
T65
Keith Mitchell
-1
70
T65
Xander Schauffele
-1
70
T65
Patrick Cantlay
-1
70
T65
Ryan Palmer
-1
70
T65
Ryan Armour
-1
70
T65
Sebastián Muñoz
-1
70
T65
Pat Perez
-1
70
T82
Cameron Champ
E
71
T82
Scott Piercy
E
71
T82
Lucas Glover
E
71
T82
Brandt Snedeker
E
71
T82
Collin Morikawa
E
71
T82
Nick Watney
E
71
T82
Cameron Tringale
E
71
T82
Graeme McDowell
E
71
T82
Sam Ryder
E
71
T82
Martin Laird
E
71
T92
Matt Every
1
72
T92
Billy Horschel
1
72
T92
Phil Mickelson
1
72
T92
Jhonattan Vegas
1
72
T92
Adam Long
1
72
T92
Jim Furyk
1
72
T92
Jason Day
1
72
T92
Scott Stallings
1
72
T100
Emiliano Grillo
2
73
T100
Bubba Watson
2
73
T100
Sepp Straka
2
73
T100
Jonas Blixt
2
73
T100
Sergio Garcia
2
73
T100
Byeong Hun An
2
73
T100
Marc Leishman
2
73
T100
Gary Woodland
2
73
T100
Mackenzie Hughes
2
73
T100
Kyoung-Hoon Lee
2
73
T100
Denny McCarthy
2
73
T100
Brian Gay
2
73
T112
Charley Hoffman
3
74
T112
Talor Gooch
3
74
T112
Brice Garnett
3
74
T112
J.J. Spaun
3
74
T116
Tiger Woods
4
75
T116
Kelly Kraft
4
75
T116
Kevin Streelman
4
75
119
Patrick Rodgers
5
76
WD
Chris Stroud
76
WD
Aaron Baddeley
16
Share this article