European/PGA Tours

WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

August 02-05

Firestone Country Club, Akron, Ohio

$10,000,000

August 02-05

Firestone Country Club, Akron, Ohio

$10,000,000

Round 1

Brilliant Poulter charges to lead in Ohio

August 02, 2018

Ian Poulter produced his lowest round in eight years to open up a one-shot lead on day one of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

Brilliant Poulter charges to lead in Ohio, © Getty Images

- Getty Images

The Englishman carded eight birdies and no bogeys on Thursday afternoon as the world's best players made the most of favourable scoring conditions at Firestone Country Club.

“When you shoot eight under par on a notoriously quite difficult golf course, you know, everything has to be right. I drove it in the fairway a lot, I gave myself many looks at birdie, took quite a few of those opportunities. Hit a few shots real close and kind of obviously tapped them in. When I needed to make up-and-down, I obviously did that as well."

“World Golf Championships are where you want to play. Majors and World Golf Championships mean you're in the top 50 and obviously you're doing something quite well. To be back here, I know it's our last one here and it's a place I haven't played well. So today was nice to kind of get a decent number on the board, give myself some confidence going into the next three days and hopefully I'll continue that form."

His opening 62 was Poulter's best score since the 2010 UBS Hong Kong Open, when he posted a second-round 60 on his way to lifting the trophy.

American duo Kyle Stanley and Rickie Fowler were in a tie for second on seven under par after shooting opening 63s, while Spain's Jon Rahm, American Patrick Cantlay and South Korea's Si Woo Kim were then another stroke back on six under.

“It's fun being able to take advantage when the golf course is playing on the easier side," said Fowler. "We've seen this place play very firm and it makes it very hard to hit fairways and ultimately to get the ball on the green or close. So to go out, I feel like I hit a lot of good drives today. A couple bad ones, that's going to happen, but it wasn't very far off. Made a few good putts, hit a lot of great approach shots and just a solid day of golf."

Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, Australian duo Jason Day and Marc Leishman, Indian Anirban Lahiri and America's Luke List, Kevin Na and Justin Thomas were all on five under as 13 players shot 65 or better in a single round at a World Golf Championships event for the first time.

“I was saying over there, you can't find this golf course any easier than we had it today," said McIlroy. "It's probably the softest I've ever seen it. Usually you have to hit your ball in the fairway here, but even I missed a few shots in the rough and it seemed like you could even get your ball to stop on the greens, even if they're tucked behind bunkers.

“I'm just working through a couple of things, but I got it going towards the end of the round, which was good to see. But yeah, the ones that I missed in practice, I was missing them right, and then the first couple tee shots today I missed left. So it's fine. I think it's minuscule things. Whenever you're swinging it that hard and at that speed, it just has to be a little off and it sort of is magnified. But I got it going later in the round, which is good.”

Course-specialist Tiger Woods - an eight-time winner at Firestone - opened with a 66 to sit a shot further back.

“I felt like today I didn't quite hit it as well as I wanted to, but I fought out a score today, which was good. Really felt like I putted well. I did a little bit of work yesterday trying to get a feel for the ball rolling out because the last time I played that wasn't the case. Hit a lot of putts from above the hole yesterday, and consequently, today I felt really comfortable."

“It's nice to shoot rounds like I did at The Open and like I did today, put together rounds where I may not feel the best but I'm able to post a score. That's how you win golf tournaments.”

Pos.
Player
Nat
To Par
R1
1
Ian Poulter
ENG
-8
62
T2
Kyle Stanley
USA
-7
63
T2
Rickie Fowler
USA
-7
63
T4
Jon Rahm
ESP
-6
64
T4
Patrick Cantlay
USA
-6
64
T4
Si-Woo Kim
KOR
-6
64
T7
Anirban Lahiri
IND
-5
65
T7
Jason Day
AUS
-5
65
T7
Justin Thomas
USA
-5
65
T7
Kevin Na
USA
-5
65
T7
Luke List
USA
-5
65
T7
Marc Leishman
AUS
-5
65
T7
Rory McIlroy
NIR
-5
65
T14
Brooks Koepka
USA
-4
66
T14
Haotong Li
CHN
-4
66
T14
Matthew Fitzpatrick
ENG
-4
66
T14
Patrick Reed
USA
-4
66
T14
Phil Mickelson
USA
-4
66
T14
Tiger Woods
USA
-4
66
T14
Tommy Fleetwood
ENG
-4
66
T21
Aaron Wise
USA
-3
67
T21
Daniel Berger
USA
-3
67
T21
Gary Woodland
USA
-3
67
T21
Hideki Matsuyama
JPN
-3
67
T21
Ross Fisher
ENG
-3
67
T21
Russell Knox
SCO
-3
67
T27
Adam Scott
AUS
-2
68
T27
Byeong-Hun An
KOR
-2
68
T27
Jaco Ahlers
RSA
-2
68
T27
Louis Oosthuizen
RSA
-2
68
T27
Matt Kuchar
USA
-2
68
T27
Pat Perez
USA
-2
68
T27
Patton Kizzire
USA
-2
68
T27
Paul Casey
ENG
-2
68
T27
Rafael Cabrera Bello
ESP
-2
68
T27
Ryuko Tokimatsu
JPN
-2
68
T27
Tony Finau
USA
-2
68
T27
Tyrrell Hatton
ENG
-2
68
T39
Alexander Bjoerk
SWE
-1
69
T39
Charley Hoffman
USA
-1
69
T39
Dustin Johnson
USA
-1
69
T39
Wade Ormsby
AUS
-1
69
T39
Webb Simpson
USA
-1
69
T39
Xander Schauffele
USA
-1
69
T39
Zach Johnson
USA
-1
69
T46
Alexander Noren
SWE
Par
70
T46
Andrew Landry
USA
Par
70
T46
Cameron Smith
AUS
Par
70
T46
Francesco Molinari
ITA
Par
70
T46
Henrik Stenson
SWE
Par
70
T46
Jhonattan Vegas
VEN
Par
70
T46
Kiradech Aphibarnrat
THA
Par
70
T46
Sergio Garcia
ESP
Par
70
T46
Ted Potter Jr.
USA
Par
70
T55
Brandon Stone
RSA
1
71
T55
Brian Harman
USA
1
71
T55
Bubba Watson
USA
1
71
T55
Charl Schwartzel
RSA
1
71
T55
Jordan Spieth
USA
1
71
T55
Kevin Chappell
USA
1
71
T55
Paul Dunne
IRL
1
71
T55
Thorbjorn Olesen
DEN
1
71
T63
Emiliano Grillo
ARG
2
72
T63
Shubhankar Sharma
IND
2
72
T65
Austin Cook
USA
3
73
T65
Branden Grace
RSA
3
73
T65
Brendan Steele
USA
3
73
T65
Kodai Ichihara
JPN
3
73
T65
Satoshi Kodaira
JPN
3
73
70
Kevin Kisner
USA
4
74
71
Bryson DeChambeau
USA
5
75
Pos.
Player
Nat
To Par
R1
1
Ian Poulter
ENG
-8
62
T2
Kyle Stanley
USA
-7
63
T2
Rickie Fowler
USA
-7
63
T4
Jon Rahm
ESP
-6
64
T4
Patrick Cantlay
USA
-6
64
T4
Si-Woo Kim
KOR
-6
64
T7
Anirban Lahiri
IND
-5
65
T7
Jason Day
AUS
-5
65
T7
Justin Thomas
USA
-5
65
T7
Kevin Na
USA
-5
65
T7
Luke List
USA
-5
65
T7
Marc Leishman
AUS
-5
65
T7
Rory McIlroy
NIR
-5
65
T14
Brooks Koepka
USA
-4
66
T14
Haotong Li
CHN
-4
66
T14
Matthew Fitzpatrick
ENG
-4
66
T14
Patrick Reed
USA
-4
66
T14
Phil Mickelson
USA
-4
66
T14
Tiger Woods
USA
-4
66
T14
Tommy Fleetwood
ENG
-4
66
T21
Aaron Wise
USA
-3
67
T21
Daniel Berger
USA
-3
67
T21
Gary Woodland
USA
-3
67
T21
Hideki Matsuyama
JPN
-3
67
T21
Ross Fisher
ENG
-3
67
T21
Russell Knox
SCO
-3
67
T27
Adam Scott
AUS
-2
68
T27
Byeong-Hun An
KOR
-2
68
T27
Jaco Ahlers
RSA
-2
68
T27
Louis Oosthuizen
RSA
-2
68
T27
Matt Kuchar
USA
-2
68
T27
Pat Perez
USA
-2
68
T27
Patton Kizzire
USA
-2
68
T27
Paul Casey
ENG
-2
68
T27
Rafael Cabrera Bello
ESP
-2
68
T27
Ryuko Tokimatsu
JPN
-2
68
T27
Tony Finau
USA
-2
68
T27
Tyrrell Hatton
ENG
-2
68
T39
Alexander Bjoerk
SWE
-1
69
T39
Charley Hoffman
USA
-1
69
T39
Dustin Johnson
USA
-1
69
T39
Wade Ormsby
AUS
-1
69
T39
Webb Simpson
USA
-1
69
T39
Xander Schauffele
USA
-1
69
T39
Zach Johnson
USA
-1
69
T46
Alexander Noren
SWE
Par
70
T46
Andrew Landry
USA
Par
70
T46
Cameron Smith
AUS
Par
70
T46
Francesco Molinari
ITA
Par
70
T46
Henrik Stenson
SWE
Par
70
T46
Jhonattan Vegas
VEN
Par
70
T46
Kiradech Aphibarnrat
THA
Par
70
T46
Sergio Garcia
ESP
Par
70
T46
Ted Potter Jr.
USA
Par
70
T55
Brandon Stone
RSA
1
71
T55
Brian Harman
USA
1
71
T55
Bubba Watson
USA
1
71
T55
Charl Schwartzel
RSA
1
71
T55
Jordan Spieth
USA
1
71
T55
Kevin Chappell
USA
1
71
T55
Paul Dunne
IRL
1
71
T55
Thorbjorn Olesen
DEN
1
71
T63
Emiliano Grillo
ARG
2
72
T63
Shubhankar Sharma
IND
2
72
T65
Austin Cook
USA
3
73
T65
Branden Grace
RSA
3
73
T65
Brendan Steele
USA
3
73
T65
Kodai Ichihara
JPN
3
73
T65
Satoshi Kodaira
JPN
3
73
70
Kevin Kisner
USA
4
74
71
Bryson DeChambeau
USA
5
75