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McIlroy and McDowell in contention after bright opening rounds at BMW Championship

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell are both three under par after their opening rounds at the BMW Championship.

The Northern Irish duo carded opening round 69s at Medinah in the PGA Tour season's penultimate event.

McIlroy carded four birdies and a solitary drop shot while McDowell's round included two birdies, a bogey and an eagle at the par five fifth.

When the duo came off the course, the leader was Justin Thomas, who shot a seven under par 65.

Only the top 30 golfers in the FedEx Cup standings progress to next week's Tour Championship at East Lake.

McDowell was 64th leading into this week's event but McIlroy, at third, in looking for a big advantage over the field going into the season's climax.

Going into the final event, the FedEx Cup leader will start at -10, second place -8, third -7, fourth -6, fifth -5, scaling down to even par for places 26-30.

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