Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, hits from a bunker on the 13th hole during the first round of play at The Barclays golf tournament Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014, in Paramus, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Mel Evans
August 21, 2014

PARAMUS, N.J. (AP) Rory McIlroy got off to his worst start in two months Thursday with a 3-over 74 in The Barclays.

Coming off three straight victories - two of them major championships - McIlroy took a double bogey on his third hole and never got on track at Ridgewood Country Club as the FedEx Cup playoff began.

He didn't make a birdie until his 14th hole, and McIlroy ended with a 30-foot birdie on his last hole.

Hunter Mahan, the only player to have competed in all 29 playoff events, joined Charles Howell III and Cameron Tringale for the lead at 5-under 66 among the early starters.

It was the first time since the Irish Open that McIlroy failed to break par in the opening round.

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