Date: August 02, 2013
Author: Omnisport

Simpson leads the way in Ohio

American Webb Simpson holds a one-stroke lead after the opening round at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational on Thursday as the Australian contingent struggled to stay in contention. The 2012 U.S. Open champion posted a six-under round of 64 to take the lead at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. Simpson, who started the round on the back nine, sank eight birdies to move one shot clear of Swede Henrik Stenson, who carded a five-under par 65. Stenson went bogey-free on the first day in Ohio, sinking a birdie putt and an eagle on his first two holes, before adding another two birdies at holes 11 and 12. Defending champion Keegan Bradley, Tiger Woods, Ryan Moore, and Englishman Chris Wood were a further stroke back at five under overall. Americans Jason Dufner, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Bill Haas and Jim Furyk were joined by England&aposs Luke Donald in a tie for seventh after rounds of 67 in Akron. Two-time PGA Tour winner Scott Piercy (68) registered three birdies and a bogey as he ended the round in sole possession of 13th spot, four shots off the pace. Ian Poulter was placed alongside Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Paul Lawrie, Zach Johnson and Justin Rose at one under at the close of play, while Rory McIlroy headlined a group of 12 players, who posted even-par rounds. Sergio Garcia and Ernie Els produced disappointing opening rounds, ending the day at one over alongside Matteo Manassero, Nick Watney, Bo Van Pelt, Graeme McDowell, Lee Westwood, Miguel A. Jimenez, Steve Stricker and David Lynn. Meanwhile, Adam Scott was the best-performed Australian on the opening day. The 2011 champion notched three birdies on the back nine, before double-bogeying at the 11th for a round of 73, which leaves him nine shots off the lead. Compatriot Jason Day (74) was equally as disappointing in a tie for 63rd, while Brett Rumford (76) and Daniel Popovic (79) were further down the leaderboard.