McIlroy and McDowell start with 71s at Barclays

Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell

Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell fired level-par 71s in Thursday's rain-delayed first round of The Barclays tournament at Liberty National.

World number three McIlroy had a rollercoaster round which included three double-bogeys to go with an eagle and four birdies.

McDowell had three birdies and three birdies with the NI pair seven shots behind leader Kevin Stadler.

The tournament is the first in the FedEx Cup play-offs.

The end-of-season series got off to a soggy start with two rain delays that lasted six hours.

McIlroy would have been in contention except for a few loose swings which led to double-bogeys.

The Holywood player, starting at the 10th, blasted out of a bunker and over the 15th green.

His approach found the water on the fifth and his tee shot on the ninth took a wicked kick off the cart path, over the bushes and a fence and out-of-bounds.

"The rest of it was actually pretty good,'' he said.

Only the top half of the draw finished the round with the later starters resuming the round on Friday.

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