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Golf: Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Sam Burns tied for lead at BMW Championship

Golf: Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Sam Burns tied for lead at BMW Championship
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, shown during last week's Northern Trust on Aug. 18, opened with an 8-under 64 in the first round of the BMW Championship. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 26 (UPI) -- Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Sam Burns were tied atop the leaderboard after the first round of the BMW Championship on Thursday at Caves Valley Golf Club in Baltimore.

McIlroy sank an eagle putt from just outside 10 feet on the par-5 16th hole en route to an 8-under 64 in the opening round of the PGA Tour playoff tournament. He shared the lead with Rahm and Burns, both of whom posted bogey-free 64s.

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The 32-year-old McIlroy hasn't opened with a score that low since his 64 at the Tour Championship last year, which is where he is trying to return. He ranks No. 28 in the FedEx Cup standings, with only the top 30 after the BMW Championship making it to the season-ending Tour Championship at East Lake.

"I've went through playoff stretches before where you're always in that lead group. You're either one, two or three in the FedEx Cup, and that can sort of take its mental toll," McIlroy said. "I'm in a position where I need to play well just to play next week. There is an element of free-wheeling."

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The 69-player field took advantage of the soft course at Caves Valley. In total, 18 players were at 67 or lower after the first day, a group that included Sergio Garcia (65), Patrick Cantlay (66), Tony Finau (67), Xander Schauffele (67) and Dustin Johnson (67).

Garcia was alone in fourth at 7-under par, while Cantlay and Abraham Ancer were tied for fifth at 6-under 66.

Hideki Matsuyama, Johnson and Schauffele were among the 12-man group tied for seventh at 5-under par.

RELATED Northern Trust: Jon Rahm, Jordan Spieth favorites in PGA Tour playoff opener

The second round of the BMW Championship is set to begin at 9:40 a.m. EDT Friday.

RELATED Golf: Rahm, Smith share Northern Trust lead ahead of postponed final round

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