Thursday, 31 July 2014
David Howell  (Getty Images)
David Howell (Getty Images)

David Howell leads the European charge during the opening round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club.

The Englishman, alongside Ryan Moore, sits one shot behind joint leaders Patrick Reed and Matt Kuchar on three under par after 12 holes.

The 39 year old, starting on the back nine, overcame a bogey on the 13th to produce four birdies either side of the turn to close in.

Reed, through 14, had initially set the pace following six birdies, including three consecutive from the 11th, only to lose his lead by dropping a shot on the fourth.

That bogey allowed Kuchar to join him at the top following an impressive start to his round.

He picked up strokes on his opening two holes and then followed up making par on the 13th with another brace of birdies.

Sergio Garcia, looking to make it third time lucky this week following two second-placed finishes, Francesco Molinari and Rory McIlroy are all two under.

The Spaniard looked to be continuing his fine form with two birdies in the first three holes, but then could only manage par for the next half a dozen.

Italian Molinari started and ended his first nine holes with birdies, while Northern Irishman McIlroy gained shots at the 13th and 17th.

American trio Harris English, Jimmy Walker and Brandt Snedeker are level with the three Europeans.

A shot further back is Spaniard Miguel Ángel Jiménez, who collected birdies on the fifth and tenth to overcome a bogey on the third, Seung-Yul Noh and Charl Schwartzel.

Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell are one over par after 12 and 11 holes respectively. 

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