- Associated Press - Thursday, August 27, 2015

EDISON, N.J. (AP) - The start of the FedEx Cup playoffs brought out the worst score from Jordan Spieth in three months.

In his first tournament as No. 1 in the world, Spieth had a pair of three-putt bogeys, hit a tee shot in the water, shot 40 on his back nine and wound up with a 4-over 74 in the opening round of The Barclays. It was his highest score since a 75 in The Players Championship, the last time he missed a cut.

Bubba Watson and Tony Finau powered their way around Plainfield Country Club and were tied for the lead with Spencer Levin and Camilo Villegas at 5-under 65.

Villegas only got into the top 125 to qualify for the playoffs last week at the Wyndham Championship, with two shots to spare. He’s 123rd, with the top 100 advancing to the second event at TPC Boston. Levin secured his spot with a 63 in the final round at the Wyndham, moving up seven spots to No. 115.

Spieth has nothing to lose except the No. 1 ranking he has held for all of two weeks.

With two majors among his four wins, and nine top-three finishes, he’s No. 1 in the FedEx Cup and virtually assured of getting to the finale at East Lake with a clear shot at the $10 million bonus.

Playing alongside Watson and PGA champion Jason Day - the top three in the FedEx Cup - Spieth didn’t miss a fairway on the back nine and was 2 under at the turn, three shots behind Watson. From the fairway on No. 1 to a back pin, he got too aggressive and went over the green, leading to bogey. Facing a 20-foot birdie putt on the next hole, he left in woefully short and backed off the par putt twice before missing it. And then he put his next shot in the water. The round ended with another three-putt bogey.

Spieth could lose the No. 1 ranking to Rory McIlroy, who is not playing this week as a precaution coming off an ankle injury.

Paul Casey and Jason Dufner were in the large group at 66. Day joined Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler in the group at 68.


PRATTVILLE, Ala. (AP) - Brittany Lang birdied five of the first seven holes in windy conditions and shot a 7-under 65 to take the first-round lead in the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic.

Added to the U.S. Solheim Cup team Monday as one of Juli Inkster’s two captain’s picks, Lang had a two-stroke lead over Tiffany Joh, Sydnee Michaels and Ryann O’Toole.

Lang birdied Nos. 1, 3-5 and 7 in her morning round on the Senator Course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail’s Capitol Hill complex. She birdied Nos. 11-12, dropped strokes on Nos. 13-14 and rebounded with birdies on Nos. 16-17.

Julieta Granada, Hyo Joo Kim, Ariya Jutanugarn, Therese Koelbaek and Simin Feng were three strokes back at 68.

Stacy Lewis, the 2012 winner, had a 70. Second last year in Prattville, she’s coming off a playoff loss to Lydia Ko last week in the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open.

Lexi Thompson, the 2011 winner at age 16, opened with a 69.


VYSOKY UJEZD, Czech Republic (AP) - Spain’s Eduardo De La Riva and Italy’s Renato Paratore shared the Czech Masters lead at 7-under 65.

De La Riva holed out from the fairway for eagle on the par-4 18th. The 18-year-old Paratore had seven birdies in a gobey-free round.

Englishmen Matt Fitzpatrick and Sam Hutsby, Sweden’s Pelle Edberg and Belgium’s Thomas Pieters were tied for third at 66.

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