De Jonge in good start

HARARE - Zimbabwe's top golfer Brendon de Jonge had a good start to the first-round of The Barclays, the opening tournament of the four-event FedExCup playoffs on Thursday.

De Jonge is currently joint second together with Americans Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan as well as Englishman Paul Casey after firing an opening round of five-under 66.

The other golfers also on five-under after the opening round were Charles Howell III, Cameron Tringale, Ben Martin and Brendon Todd.

These eight players are just one shot behind overnight leader Bo Van Pelt who chipped in for an eagle at the par-five 17th to escape the group. 

De Jonge had a fairly quiet outward nine where he only picked up one birdie on the par-4 number 5 hole before turning on the groove later in the day.

The Zimbabwean picked up five birdies on the inward nine and could have been a clear second place if he had not dropped a shot on the par-4 number 14.

On-fire Irishman Rory McIlroy had a bad day after firing a three-over-par 74 and trailed Van Pelt y nine strokes.

The 25-year-old McIlroy blamed his poor play on a lack of preparation and not on fatigue despite taking time to celebrate his blistering run and attending to added business commitments.

"I think it's more to do with just not putting the adequate time into my game over the past week for obvious reasons," he told reporters after his first over-par round in competition since the final round of the US Open in June.

"So I'm going to grab a bite to eat here and go to the range this afternoon and work on a few things and really catch up on some practice that I probably missed out on over the past week.

"I probably just needed to give myself a little bit more time," added McIlroy, who did some promotional work with Tiger Woods and also appeared on a late night talk show with him. “But I wasn't going to do that. I was enjoying myself.”

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