By Bailey Mosier, Golf Channel

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – If you were looking for a suspenseful, dramatic recount of a heated head-to-head battle between the No. 1 and No. 3 players on the FedEx Cup points list, you won’t find it here.

Because that’s not what happened today between Tiger Woods (68) and Rory McIlroy (69) in the opening round of The Barclays.

What did happen, was two of the game’s greatest players were paired together for the first time in a PGA Tour event, they each played their own games, and they each played well.

Woods got off to a slow start with four opening pars on holes 10 through 13 before dropping his first birdie at the par-3 14th. Woods remained steady on Bethpage Black’s back nine – his opening stretch – and made the turn at 1 under.

Woods dropped another three birdies on his back side to just one bogey for an opening round of 3 under.

He found nine out of 14 fairways, 13 of 18 greens and needed 28 putts on the round. Woods looked effortless and comfortable on his jaunt around Bethpage Black.

"I was surprised that some of the pins, how much easier they were, because we're used to seeing them tucked over there three or four from the side or up against the back sides or just over ridges," Woods said. They gave us plenty of room, and when you get soft greens like this with plenty of room, the guys are going to tear it apart."

STORY CONTINUES BELOW

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  • Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy

    Tiger Woods, right, shakes hands with Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland before the start of The Barclays golf tournament at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, N.Y., Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012. (AP Photos/Henny Ray Abrams)

  • Tiger Woods

    Tiger Woods tees off on the tenth hole of The Barclays PGA golf tournament at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, N.Y., Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012. (AP Photos/Henny Ray Abrams)

  • Rory McIlroy

    Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off on the tenth hole of The Barclays PGA golf tournament at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, N.Y., Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012. (AP Photos/Henny Ray Abrams)

  • Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy

    Tiger Woods, right, and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walk down the fairway on the tenth hole of The Barclays PGA golf tournament at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, N.Y., Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012. (AP Photos/Henny Ray Abrams)

  • Phil Mickelson hits his drive on the 10th hole of The Barclays PGA golf tournament at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, N.Y., Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012. (AP Photos/Henny Ray Abrams)

  • Padraig Harrington of Ireland ,waves to the crowd after making a birdie putt on the 14th hole during the first round of The Barclays golf tournament at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, N.Y., Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012. (AP Photos/Henny Ray Abrams)

  • Tiger Woods

    Tiger Woods hits a chips onto the tenth green of The Barclays PGA golf tournament at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, N.Y., Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012. (AP Photos/Henny Ray Abrams)

  • Sergio Garcia

    Sergio Garcia of Spain, reacts after missing a birdie putt on the 14th hole during the first round of The Barclays golf tournament at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, N.Y., Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012. (AP Photos/Henny Ray Abrams)

  • Tiger Woods, right, and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walk down the 12th fairway during the Barclays golf tournament at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, N.Y., Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012. (AP Photos/Henny Ray Abrams)

  • Tiger Woods, right, and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walk down the 12th fairway during the Barclays golf tournament at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, N.Y., Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012. (AP Photos/Henny Ray Abrams)


McIlroy started strong with three birdies in the first six holes, but carded three bogeys and one more birdie in the next 12 holes for a 2 under on the day.

Woods and McIlroy were friendly with one another all day long. No signs or rivalry, no signs of resentment.

"It's always good (playing with Tiger)," McIlroy said. "It's nice, especially the first round of a tournament. It always adds a little bit of intensity ... I feel it just focuses you from the get‑go."

"He's a nice kid, he really is," Woods said of the 23-year-old.

"Woods, McIlroy start strong at The Barclays," by Bailey Mosier appears courtesy of Golf Channel.

Further Reading at GolfChannel.com
Harrington grabs early lead with 64 at The Barclays
Tiger and Rory Paired Early at The Barclays
And the Winner is ...