Rory McIlroy and Open champion Brian Harman share the BMW Championship lead in the first round

Brian Harman plays a shot
Harman won last month’s Open by six strokes for his first major victory

BMW Championship – leaderboard for the first round

-5 R McIlroy (NI), B Harman (USA); -4 M Fitzpatrick (Eng), S Theegala (US), C Kirk (US), W Clark (US), S Scheffler (US), R Fowler (US)

Chosen: -3 C Morikawa (USA), -2 J Spieth (USA), P Cantlay (USA), J Rahm (Spa); Level J Rose (Eng), T Fleetwood (Eng), T Hatton (Eng)

Full leaderboard

World number two Rory McIlroy and Open champion Brian Harman both produced dramatic birdie chips on the 17th hole to share the lead after round one of the BMW Championship in Chicago.

They shot a five-under par 65 to lead by one from England’s Matt Fitzpatrick and world number one Scottie Scheffler, who are among six players on four under.

The field includes the top 50 in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup rankings.

The top 30 qualify for next week’s Tour Championship final in Atlanta

Northern Ireland’s McIlroy, who won his third Tour Championship last year, hit a shot from the rough to the left of the fairway that bounced through a greenside bunker, and he then hit a 40-foot chip from behind the green.

“I was lucky, got through the bunker,” he said. “I definitely didn’t expect to make three when the tee shot was in the air. It was a good one to make. It was a big bonus.”

Moments later, Harman hit a birdie chip from 32 feet at the same hole to earn a share of the lead. That followed a 42-foot birdie putt on the par-three 16th.

“When I missed, I was kind of lucky to get it back in,” Harman said. “I chipped in twice, made some putts, played a pretty solid round.”

Two-time defending champion Patrick Cantlay opened with a 68 and is three off the pace along with Jordan Spieth and Jon Rahm.

Two-time defending champion Patrick Cantlay is three shots off the lead.

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