Rory McIlroy took a week to celebrate his blockbuster summer and paid for it in The Barclays. But he could afford a day off.

That wasn't the case for players like Bo Van Pelt and Paul Casey, and they picked a good time to produce good scores.

With no guarantee of playing beyond this week, Van Pelt opened with three straight birdies Thursday and chipped in for eagle late in his round for a 6-under 65 that gave him a one-shot lead in the opener of the FedEx Cup playoffs in Paramus, New Jersey.

Van Pelt is No. 104 in the FedEx Cup. Only the top 100 advance to the next tournament.

"As poorly as I played at the start of the year, I'm just kind of glad to be here," Van Pelt said.

Casey is No. 118 with a lot on his mind -- specifically the birth of his first child in two weeks -- and shot a bogey-free 66 at Ridgewood Country Club. Also at 5 under were Brendon Todd, Hunter Mahan, Jim Furyk, Charles Howell III, Brendon de Jonge, Ben Martin and Cameron Tringale.

McIlroy went 13 holes before making his first birdie and finished with a 3-over 74.

"Fatigue isn't playing a part," he said. "It's I think just not putting the time in that I probably should have over the past week. And I think I allowed myself that and deserved that. But this is the consequence of it and I need to work hard this afternoon and go out tomorrow and shoot a good number."


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McIlroy established himself anew as golf's No. 1 player with a wire-to-wire win at the British Open, a come-from-behind victory at a WGC event at Firestone and a late charge at Valhalla to win the PGA Championship.

"I wanted to enjoy it for a week," he said.

McIlroy, who headed to the range after his round, took a double bogey by barely getting out of a bunker and chipping 15 feet by the hole on No. 12, and then going long into a bunker for a bogey on the par-5 13th.

LPGA: So Yeon Ryu set a course record with a 9-under 63 at the Canadian Women's Open. She finished with nine birdies at the London Hunt & Country Club in Ontario to take a one-shot lead over fellow South Korean Na Yeon Choi, who chipped in three times during her round. Sweden's Anna Nordqvist was third at 7 under. South Korea's Inbee Park, coming off a win in last week's LPGA Championship, was part of a group at 6 under.

European: Jamie Donaldson shot a 6-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead over Mikael Lundberg at the Czech Masters near Prague. Donaldons birdied his final two holes.