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Woods two shots off Bridgestone lead

ESPN staff
August 1, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Tiger Woods is two shots off the lead at Firestone Country Club © Getty Images
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WGC-Bridgestone Invitational leaderboard

Tiger Woods remains firmly in the hunt for an eighth victory at Firestone Country Club with an opening-round 66 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

It was his best opening round at the event since 2005, which he went on to win. Woods hit only one bogey, which came at the par-five 17th where he reached the green in four shots.

"I've played terrible coming in [to this tournament] and I've played really well coming in," Woods said. "And for some reason this golf course, I just see it. It's just one of those venues.

"I feel very good about what I'm doing with basically my whole swing. I hit a lot of good shots. I had a really good feel for the distance."

Webb Simpson carded a stunning six-under 64 and will head into day two with a single shot lead over in-form Henrik Stenson, who was runner-up at last week's Open Championship. Chris Wood leads the British charge, with the Bristolian matching Woods' score alongside defending champion Keegan Bradley and Ryan Moore.

Luke Donald also found some form at Akron, carding a 67 to sit among a six-strong group three off the lead, while Ian Poulter is one-under par after recording a 69 with Rory McIlroy coming home with a steady even-par 70.

Graeme McDowell and Lee Westwood had rounds to forget, though, both finishing one-over par, with Phil Mickelson a further stroke back.

McIlroy, who defends his US PGA crown at Oak Hill next week, said: "I saw a lot of good signs out there."

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