AKRON, Ohio – The players who teed off in the morning have all finished, and world No. 1 Luke Donald set the early pace with reigning Masters champion Bubba Watson and Ben Crane as all three shot 66s.
Donald, who tied for second at Firestone a year ago, started on the back nine and opened with straight birdies before making bogey on two of his next six holes to turn in 34. Four birdies in his first seven holes on the front actually gave Donald the lead alone before a final bogey at No. 8.
Watson finished each nine strong, making three straight birdies on the back and two on the front. With the round of 66, Watson has now broken 70 at Firestone in the first round each of his four Bridgestone Invitationals.
Crane’s round was his best in 17 trips around Firestone – and only the fourth time he’d shot in the 60s there. He made six birdies and two bogeys on the sun-drenched day.
Seven players finished with 67s, including Keegan Bradley who will defend his PGA Championship title next week at Kiawah Island, S.C., and Bill Haas, the resigning FedExCup champ.
- Bubba Watson
- Luke Donald