Cox/Getty Images Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy were in the same group for the first time at a PGA TOUR event.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — Tiger Woods wore black. Rory McIlroy wore black (with a few colorful stripes). They chatted frequently during the day, and left the course feeling like their rounds could’ve been a bit better.
All in all, the first PGA TOUR pairing involving Woods and McIlroy proved enjoyable and interesting, as you might expect from the FedExCup points leader and the world’s top-ranked player.
Woods shot a 3-under 68 while McIlroy shot a 2-under 69 in Thursday’s first round of The Barclays, both providing a few fireworks and suffering some frustration during their morning round. The third member of their group, Zach Johnson, matched Woods at 3 under — four strokes off the pace set by Padraig Harrington.
"With it being the Playoffs and having a grouping like that," McIlroy said, "… it just focuses you from the get go."
Starting their rounds on the back nine at the Bethpage State Park Black Course, McIlroy had the hottest hand early, with birdies in three of his first six holes. After a bogey at the 16th, he bounced back with a birdie at the par-3 17th and made the turn in 32.
Woods, meanwhile made one birdie and eight pars in his opening nine to make the turn in 34.
After making par at the first hole despite an errant tee shot, Woods birdied two of his next three holes and bounced back from his only bogey of the round, at the par-4 sixth, with a birdie at the par-5 seventh.
"I didn’t quite hit the ball as well as I would like," Woods said. "I’m going to do some work this afternoon and work on a couple things that I know I need to shore up for tomorrow.
"But very pleased with the way I putted. I putted great today."
As for McIlroy, he bogeyed the third and sixth holes before a birdie at the seventh got him back to 2 under.
"I feel like the way I played, it was good," the PGA champ said. "It definitely could have been a few shots better. But I’m happy with how I played."
Woods, McIlroy and Johnson, the top FedExCup grouping this week, will start their second rounds on Friday off the first tee at 1:06 p.m. ET.
- Tiger Woods
- Rory McIlroy