WGC-Bridgestone Invitational: Ian Poulter grabs first-round lead

Ian Poulter (Getty Images)

Ian Poulter grabbed the first-round lead Thursday at the WGC — Bridgestone Invitational with an 8-under 62 at Firestone Country Club.

The 62 was Poulter’s lowest score on the PGA Tour. The bogey-free round started with five birdies on his first eight holes. Poulter has enjoyed a career resurgence this year while trying to make the European Ryder Cup team.

Kyle Stanley and Rickie Fowler shot 7-under 63s to finish one shot behind Poulter. Stanley, playing in the morning, shot a 6-under 29 on his opening nine. He had eight birdies and one bogey.

Fowler birdied holes 6 through 8 to get his round started, ending with a bogey-free effort. He is trying to earn his first win of the season, and first victory at this event.

Jon Rahm led a group at 6 under, firing a 64 with seven birdies and one bogey.

Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Justin Thomas were among the players to fire a 5-under 65. 

Tiger Woods led a group at 4 under, after shooting a 66 with five birdies and one bogey. Woods has won this event eight times, and his last win here (2013) is his last professional victory.

Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed and Tommy Fleetwood also shot 4-under 66s.

Fresh off win last week, his third of the season, Dustin Johnson shot a disappointing 1-under 69. He even hit a shot from the wrong side of the ball.

Playing alongside Johnson, reigning Open Championship winner Francesco Molinari shot an even-par 70.