Golf

Webb Simpson takes early lead at Firestone

Simpson enjoyed a fine opening round (©GettyImages)
Simpson enjoyed a fine opening round (©GettyImages).

American Webb Simpson shot a fine round of 64 to lead the WGC Bridgestone Invitational after the opening round at Firestone Country Club.

Simpson managed eight birdies as he finished six-under for the day, while Open runner-up Henrik Stenson leads the chasing pack just one shot back. 

Then comes world number one Tiger Woods, one of four players who finished their first day on four-under after rounds of 66 in Ohio. 

2012's US Open winner took no time to find his rhythm, as he raced into an early lead with four birdies, reaching the turn in 31. 

Two more birdies followed as he made it four in succession, before he finally blotted his scorecard with a bogey at the next. 

Holes 15 and 16 saw him extend his lead further, however a bogey on the final hole meant a disappointing end to an impressive round. 

Stenson also looked impressive after an error-free opening, as the Swede recorded three birdies alongside an eagle at the par-five second. 

The 37-year-old, second behind Phil Mickelson at Muirfield recently, was making his first appearance at the event since 2010 where he finished tied for last place. 

Chasing his eighth win at the tournament, Woods is in a healthy position, tied third with defending champion Keegan Bradley, Ryan Moore and Chris Wood of England. 

Rory McIlroy had a mixed round as he carded a level par 70, while Open champion Mickelson will begin the second day further back following a disappointing two-over par.  

 

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