Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Another decent start for Tiger Woods in the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational

Tiger Woods bounced back with birdies all three times that he made mistakes, opening the WGC tournament with 2-under 68.

Getty Images

Tiger Woods bounced back with birdies all three times that he made mistakes, opening the WGC tournament with 2-under 68.

AKRON, Ohio — Tiger Woods showed signs of a positive recovery Thursday at the Bridgestone Invitational. Not just from back surgery on March 31, but from making bogeys.

He bounced back with birdies all three times that he made mistakes, opening with 2-under 68 on a soft, gentle day for scoring at Firestone. It left him four shots behind Marc Leishman of Australia and hopeful that this time he can build on a solid start.

Woods opened with 69 at the British Open two weeks ago, only to plunge down the leaderboard the rest of the week at Royal Liverpool. "I hit a lot of good shots," he said. "I dropped shots at three holes out there today (and) got it right back on the very next hole."

For so many players, the opening round of this World Golf Championship felt like either a warmup or an audition for bigger events to follow. Ryan Moore was among three at 65, a good start for someone looking for one big week to get him on the Ryder Cup team. Two more Ryder Cup hopefuls — Patrick Reed and Francesco Molinari of Italy — were among those another shot back.

British Open champion Rory McIlroy, who next week will chase his second straight major, was among the leaders until not paying attention to packed sand in a bunker that sent him to a double bogey late in his round. He still wound up with 69.

Leishman has quietly gone about his work in reasonable form, with top 10s recently at Congressional and Royal Liverpool. He had the perfect formula for Firestone, a big golf course where good scores are available by keeping the ball in play.

"I drove the ball well. It makes this course a lot easier when you're on the fairway," Leishman said. "It's pretty tough when you're playing from the rough. Then, I hit my irons really well and was rolling the ball awesome. So it's a pretty good combination for a tough golf course like this, something I can hopefully keep going."

Woods twice has shot his career-best 61 at Firestone, including last year on his way to a seven-shot victory. That he managed six birdies was a sign that he was making putts, even though two of his birdies were tap-ins.

He still had a few wild moments, starting with a three-putt bogey from 10 feet on the opening hole. He hooked his drive so badly on the par-5 second hole that he worried it might not clear the lake on the adjacent third hole. It was far enough left to leave him a good angle with a 5-wood that he put on the green for a two-putt birdie.

His only big mistake was a shot into the trees on the ninth hole. It took him two shots to get out, and from behind the green he couldn't get up-and-down and made double bogey. Just like two other bogeys in his round, he answered with a birdie with a shot into 6 feet on No. 10.

Phil Mickelson's biggest struggle was with his health. He didn't arrive in Ohio until Wednesday night because of strep throat, and he opened with 71.

Martin Kaymer, who went wire-to-wire in winning the Players Championship and U.S. Open, did not record a single birdie while playing with Woods, shooting 77.

PGA: Nick Watney made nine birdies in a bogey-free round at the Barracuda Championship to take a two-point lead in the modified Stableford event. He earned 18 points at Montreux Golf and Country Club in Reno, Nev. Players receive eight points for double eagle, five for eagle, two for birdie, zero for par, minus-1 for bogey and minus-3 for double bogey or worse. Gary Woodland, the winner last year, is playing in the WGC event.

Another decent start for Tiger Woods in the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational 07/31/14 [Last modified: Thursday, July 31, 2014 11:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays journal: Erasmo Ramirez ready to start a day after closing game

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — RHP Erasmo Ramirez was on the mound to finish Sunday's 15-inning marathon win over the Twins and will start tonight's game against the Rangers.

    The Rays’ Erasmo Ramirez throws 12 pitches in the 15th inning against the Twins to earn the save then says after the game that he’s ready to make his scheduled start against the Rangers: “My arm feels good.”
  2. Rays exhausted but happy after 15-inning win over Twins (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Before the Rays eventually won Sunday's 6½-hour, 15-inning marathon against the Twins 8-6, they did plenty to lose it. And we need to get that out of the way first.

    The Rays’ Evan Longoria enjoys a laugh after scoring, barely, to tie it in the ninth on Steven Souza Jr.’s two-out single.
  3. Tom Jones' Two Cents: ABC's Indy 500 coverage is stellar again

    TV and Radio

    Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Takuma Sato left, celebrates after winning the Indianapolis 500 as Helio Castroneves is a little late passing him. ABC’s coverage of the race is stellar throughout, with plenty of extras but no fake drama.
  4. Takuma Sato surprise winner of wreck-filled Indy 500

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Takuma Sato, a journeyman driver, became the first Japanese winner of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday when he held off three-time champion Helio Castroneves in a 230-mph wheel-rubbing duel to the finish.

    Scott Dixon’s car goes over the top of Jay Howard, soaring so high that Helio Castroneves drove under it while it was airborne. Stunningly, there were no serious injuries.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Twins game

    The Heater

    The Rays won because they got two innings of good relief from each of the two pitchers who contributed to them losing Saturday's game, Danny Farquhar (who again struck out Miguel Sano) and Tommy Hunter, who both posted zeroes.