Jordan Spieth wasn't too concerned over his form at the The Barclays on Thursday after the world number one carded what he referred to as the 'worst round he has played in years'.
Playing in his first tournament since overtaking Rory McIlroy at the top of the world rankings, Spieth had a day to forget after producing his worst round in three months as he slumped to a four-over 74. The Texan started on the back nine and notched up birdies at 10th and 16th before it all fell apart on the closing nine.
Bogeys at the first and second were followed by a double bogey at the third after the 22-year-old found the water. A birdie at the fourth briefly hinted at a revival, but further bogeys at the fifth, seventh and ninth put pay to such hopes as Spieth ended on a six-over 40 for his closing nine, and four-over for the round
It was only the third time in 33 rounds that Spieth has failed to break par, and it his worst overall score since the Players Championship, although his 75 at the May event was achieved on the par-72 TPC Sawgrass course.
"It was a very off day," Spieth admitted in the clubhouse after his round.
"A little bit of rust with wedges combined with some poor decision-making and it just came out of nowhere. Normally when I'm running that good, it doesn't turn like that. So it was really a very unique round for this year.
"I'm just going to take today as a fluke round.
"Just lost a little bit of focus. I still believe I'm playing well. It just happened to be an off day on a day where it counted."
At the top of the leaderboard after the first round of the four-prong FedEx Cup play-off series were Bubba Watson, Camilo Villegas, Tony Finau and Spencer Levin who all carded five-under-par 65s.
Twice Masters champion Watson is currently third on the FedEx Cup points list and a win at Plainfield would see him move into top spot on the list going into the Deutsche Bank Championship next week.
Watson's success does come as something as a surprise, having missed the cut in 2011, the last time he played there.
"We took a different strategy [this time]," Watson said. "Ping makes a good driver, so we were going to try to hit driver as much as we can. The rough is so thick that I would rather miss my driver in the rough than an iron off the tee or something like that."