Tiger Woods shot an opening-round 68 and is four strokes behind leader Padraig Harrington at the U.S. PGA Tour’s Barclays tournament at the Bethpage Black course in Farmingdale, New York.
Woods, playing in a group with PGA Championship winner Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, had four birdies and one bogey to finish at 3-under par. McIlroy shot a 2-under-par 69.
Harrington was 6-under on the final nine holes, including four consecutive birdies, for an opening-round 64. Winner of the British Open and the PGA in 2008, he and McIlroy are the only multiple-time winners in the last 22 major golf tournaments.
Americans Nick Watney and Brian Harman trail Harrington by one stroke. Gary Christian of England bogeyed the 18th hole to fall to 5-under par, tied with Sergio Garcia and Pat Perez two strokes behind the leader.
The Barclays tournament is the first in the four-event FedExCup playoff, which features a $10 million bonus for the champion. The field will be trimmed to the top 100 golfers in the point standings heading into next week’s event.
Woods and McIlroy were the tournament’s co-favorites heading into play today, with 8-1 odds to win. Woods won the first PGA tour event held at the Bethpage State Park course, the 2002 U.S. Open. Lucas Glover, who isn’t in the field this week, won when the Open returned in 2009.
Phil Mickelson, often a crowd favorite on Long Island, is tied with Woods at 3-under.