Thursday, 04 August 2011
Adam Scott  (Getty Images)
Adam Scott (Getty Images)
Australian Adam Scott opened with a spectacular 62 to lead after the first round of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.

That was just one outside the course record set by Tiger Woods during one of his seven victories in the event on the Firestone lay-out, yet Scott led by only one from compatriot Jason Day on a day of low scoring.

“Conditions were perfect for scoring,” said Scott. “There were so many good scores out here today. Probably not what we're used to seeing around this course, so it was good to take advantage of that.” 

Woods was no match for them, but there were still plenty of positives for him on his return from 12 weeks out through injury, the former World Number One carding a 68.

He was just inside the top 20 in the 76-man field, alongside US Open Champion Rory McIlroy and current World Number One Luke Donald.

Scot Martin Laird had five birdies in seven holes on the front nine to join Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal and Dane Thomas Björn in leading the European challenge, the trio part of a large group on four under.

Ryder Cup Vice Captain Björn was particularly pleased with his scrambling as he produced a bogey-free round.

“I drove the ball really well today and hit a couple of lovely iron shots, and every time I was in trouble my short game saved me,” he said. “I also had four really good up and downs today, and that's the difference between shooting level par and shooting four under.”

Lee Westwood and Phil Mickelson were amongst those only one further back. 

McIlroy was two over early on, but eagled the second during a front nine comeback and commented: "It was a decent opening round. I've still got a little bit to work on, but 68 is not a bad start."

Westwood has started working with Dave Stockton on his putting and Bob Rotella on his mind and commented: "I'm not spending so much time over the ball.

"I feel like it freed my stroke a little bit. I catch myself a few times where I had to stand off it because I had taken too long over it.

"I got it right most of the time, it's just a case of practising it.

"A 67 is never anything to complain about around this golf course, even when there's not much wind and it's playing soft. I was pleased with the way I played."

Donald kept a bogey off his card, but had to settle for only two birdies at the tenth and second.

He stated: "I could have gone a little bit lower if I had got the putter rolling a little bit better, but tee to green it was very solid.

"Hopefully I can see the lines a bit better tomorrow and make a few more putts."

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