Rory McIlroy five shots off the lead at The Barclays as putter remains cold
Rory McIlroy endured a mixed day in the opening round of the The Barclays as his level par round leaves him five shots off the lead.
McIlroy, down at number five in the world rankings and chasing his first PGA Tour win of the year, carded three birdies and three bogeys in his first 18 holes at Bethpage Black.
The 27-year-old, starting on the back nine, suffered back-to-back bogeys at 15 and 16, but made up for it with three birdies after the turn, only to drop a shot at the penultimate hole.
His level par round of 71 leaves him well behind the first-round leaders, but the Northern Irishman is confident of performing better on Friday.
"It was okay, it was difficult conditions out there," McIlroy told pgatour.com "I felt like I could have been a few better, but I missed a couple of short ones. I hit the ball pretty well tee to green and anything under par this afternoon is a good score.
"I can get back out there in hopefully better conditions and with better greens I can post something in the 60s. I felt par was a fair reflection of how I played."
Patrick Reid and Scotland's Martin Laird are the joint leaders on a blemish-free five under, with Reid firing three birdies and an eagle and Laird sending down five birdies.
Four players, including Rickie Fowler, are a shot further back on four under, while world number one Jason Day is three under and well placed.
Justin Rose may be having a hangover from his Olympic success, though, as he carded five bogeys in his two-over 73.