Washington - William McGirt opened up a
record three-shot opening round lead but world No 1 Jason Day and No 2 Jordan
Spieth were also in the hunt at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on Thursday.
McGirt set a tournament record for the
largest first-round lead by firing a six-under 64 as he aims for his second win
in Ohio in just four weeks.
McGirt won the Memorial Tournament in
Dublin, Ohio in a playoff in early June for his first USPGA Tour victory.
"I don't know, maybe it's something
with Ohio I like," McGirt said.
Australia's Day shot a three-under 67 and
is tied for second with Emiliano Grillo and Jimmy Walker at the Firestone
Country Club course in Akron, Ohio.
"It was just kind of a weird feeling
of a day where I kind of made some good pars, kept the momentum going, and all
of a sudden I shot 67," Day said. "I've just got to keep
Spieth is one stroke behind Day with a 68.
He is tied with three others - Anirban Lahiri, Charley Hoffman and Rickie
Dustin Johnson, who is fresh off his first
major championship win at the US Open, is also lurking near the leader board
after shooting an even-par 70. He is tied with Japan's Hideki Matsuyama and
England's Paul Casey.
McGirt, who is making his World Golf
Championship debut, made six birdies and finished off his round with a 45-foot
Spieth made several nice par saves to
remain close to the leaders. He hit just one green in regulation on the front
Spieth then closed with four birdies. He
needed just 21 putts during his round and chipped in for par at No 8.
"I'm really just searching for
something that isn't far off," Spieth said. "It's close. It's almost
there. And when it clicks, we're definitely in business the way the short game
Johnson's round included two birdies and
one bogey. Johnson is tied with Billy Hurley, who won the Quicken Loans
National tournament last week.
"I didn't expect a whole lot
today," Johnson said. "I always expect to play well, but this golf
course is playing tough."
Defending champion Shane Lowry, who
finished in a tie for second at the US Open two weeks ago, stumbled to a
Leading scores after the first round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio (USA unless stated):
64 - William McGirt
67 - Emiliano Grillo (ARG), Jimmy Walker, Jason Day (AUS)
68 - Anirban Lahiri (IND), Charley Hoffman, Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth
- Branden Grace (RSA), Billy Hurley, Scott Piercy, Harris English, Matt
Kuchar, Kevin Kisner, Vaughn Taylor, Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose