BMW Championship – first round leaderboard
-5 R McIlroy (NI), B Harman (US); -4 M Fitzpatrick (Eng), S Theegala (US), C Kirk (US), W Clark (US), S Scheffler (US), R Fowler (US)
Selected: -3 C Morikawa (US), -2 J Spieth (US), P Cantlay (US), J Rahm (Spa); Level J Rose (Eng), T Fleetwood (Eng), T Hatton (Eng)
World number two Rory McIlroy and Open champion Brian Harman both made dramatic birdie chip shots on the 17th hole to share the lead after round one of the BMW Championship in Chicago.
They shot five-under par 65s to lead by one from England’s Matt Fitzpatrick and world number one Scottie Scheffler, who are among six players at four under.
The field comprises the top 50 in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup rankings.
The top 30 qualify for next week’s Tour Championship finale in Atlanta
Northern Ireland’s McIlroy, who won his third Tour Championship last year, hit a shot from rough to the left of the fairway that bounced through a greenside bunker and he then holed a 40-foot chip from behind the green.
“I got lucky, got through the bunker,” he said. “I certainly wasn’t expecting to make three when the tee shot was in the air. It was a nice one to make. It was a great bonus.”
Moments later, Harman holed a birdie chip from 32 feet at the same hole to earn a share of the lead. It followed a 42-foot birdie putt at the par-three 16th.
“When I missed, I got a little lucky to get it back into play,” said Harman. “I chipped in twice, made some putts, played a pretty solid round.”
Two-time defending champion Patrick Cantlay opened with a 68 and is three off the pace, alongside Jordan Spieth and Jon Rahm.
Two-time defending champion Patrick Cantlay is three shots off the lead.