GOLF: Rory McIlroy well off the pace at BMW Championship

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy’s hopes of earning the chance to retain his FedEx Cup title were hanging by a thread after he was left trailing in the first round of the BMW Championship at Conway Farms on Thursday.

McIlroy went into the penultimate play-off event for the season-ending tournament in 51st position in the FedEx Cup standings, meaning a good performance this week is crucial to his hopes of reaching the top 30 qualifying places.

But an opening round of one-over-par 72 left him languishing 10 strokes behind clubhouse leader Marc Leishman in joint 55th position, with a number of competitors yet to complete their respective rounds.

The Northern Irishman’s performance will do little to improve matters for McIlroy, who entered the tournament at his lowest world ranking - sixth - for more than three years having missed the cut at the Dell Technologies Championship.

Jordan Spieth and Jason Day were among four players sitting three points adrift of Leishman on six under, while Justin Rose was also making a push as he sat on five under with three holes of his first round still to play.

And bad weather forced the cancellation of all play on the opening day of the Evian Championship in France on Thursday.

Officials said the tournament will now take place over 54 holes due to the threat of further inclement weather over the coming days.

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan said: “While we did not make this decision lightly, we believe that this is the right decision - to have the fairest, most com-petitive tournament for all players in this field.

“We are happy and encouraged with how well the golf course is handling the weather, and it should set up for another amazing Evian finish.

“Hopefully this weather clears and we get to see some great golf.

“We can control loads of things on the golf course but sadly we cannot control the weather.”

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