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'Fed' up Trio of late bogeys derail Rory McIlroy’s early charge at FedEx Cup finale

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Rory McIlroy plays his shot from the 16th tee during the first round of the Tour Championship. Photo: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Rory McIlroy plays his shot from the 16th tee during the first round of the Tour Championship. Photo: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Woman on a mission: Leona Maguire. Credit: Sportsfile

Woman on a mission: Leona Maguire. Credit: Sportsfile

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Rory McIlroy plays his shot from the 16th tee during the first round of the Tour Championship. Photo: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Rory McIlroy’s hopes of becoming the first player to win three FedEx Cups suffered an early reverse when he threw away a fast start with three late bogeys in the Tour Championship at East Lake.

Eight shots behind FedEx Cup lead Patrick Cantlay in the staggered start to the season-ending chase for a $15 million (€12.63m) jackpot, he hit just two fairways in his first 10 holes but still knocked in birdies at the second, fourth, eighth and 10th.

His waywardness caught up with him on the tough finishing stretch, however, as he bogeyed the 13th, 15th and 16th before getting up and down from greenside sand for a closing birdie four to card a two-under 68 that left him tied 17th on four-under.

“It could have been really good,” McIlroy said. “I was four-under through 10, missed a good opportunity on 12 to get to five, and then from there, I just sort of went on a little bit of a bogey run. It was nice to birdie the last.

“I didn’t drive the ball particularly well and actually got quite lucky a couple of spots that I hit it offline, I was able to make birdies from a couple of those, so just need to try to put it in play a little more tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, Leona Maguire insists she’s ready to embrace the butterflies as she prepares for her Solheim Cup debut in Ohio tomorrow.

The Co Cavan star (26) was hailed as one of Europe’s “fantastic” four rookies by veteran Mel Reid and she hopes to ride a wave of adrenaline when the action starts at Inverness Club in Toledo tomorrow.

“Everybody talks about the first tee, so there’s definitely going to be some butterflies, I’m sure,” said Maguire, who revealed she’s already been nicknamed ‘Mags’ by Reid, who described US-based rookies Maguire, Sophia Popov, Matilda Castren and Nanna Koerstz Madsen as “fearless”.

In the DS Automobiles Italian Open, Sweden’s Henrik Stenson strengthened his case for a Ryder Cup wildcard when he opened with a seven-under 64 to share the lead with Finland’s Kalle Samooja and Australia’s Min Woo Lee.

Jonathan Caldwell was 58th after a level-par 71 as Cormac Sharvin struggled to a 78 on a day of mixed fortunes for three players who can still qualify automatically for Whistling Straits. Austrian’s Bernd Wiesberger was 21st after a 69 with France’s Victor Perez 37th after a 70 and Italy’s Guido Migliozzi 73rd after a one-over 72.

In the British Challenge at The Belfry, Kinsale’s John Murphy (23) continued his excellent start to his rookie season with a five-under 67. He was tied sixth, three shots behind England’s Todd Clements as Conor O’Rourke shot 69, Gavin Moynihan a 70 and Michael Hoey a 72.

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