McGirt outshines stars at Bridgestone


World number one Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson were all overshadowed by William McGirt, who stormed out of the blocks for a three-stroke lead after the first round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

All eyes were on golf's top three at Firestone Country Club but American McGirt stole the show with his six-under-par 64 on Thursday.

After claiming his maiden PGA Tour title via The Memorial Tournament last month, McGirt showed his class once again with a flawless opening round, highlighted by six birdies, four of those coming on the front nine in Akron, Ohio.

Day is best positioned out of the top three, tied for second alongside Emiliano Grillo and Jimmy Walker.

Australian Day was not at his free-flowing best but he did enough to put himself within just three shots of McGirt.

Having rallied from an awful start at the U.S. Open to finish tied for eighth a fortnight ago, Day produced some adept scrambling as holed four birdies and a bogey in a first-round 67.

World number two Spieth is a stroke further back, joined by Anirban Lahiri, Charley Hoffman and Rickie Fowler.

After dropping two shots on the front nine, Spieth came home strong by birdieing his final four holes en route to a two-under-par 68.

A stroke further back is golf's newest major champion Johnson.

Playing on Tour for the first time as a major winner following his breakthrough triumph at Oakmont Country Club, Johnson had two birdies and a bogey in his round of 69.

Branden Grace, Billy Hurley III - who won his first Tour via the Quicken Loans National last week - Scott Piercy, Harris English, Matt Kuchar, Kevin Kisner, Vaughn Taylor and Justin Rose are also one under heading into the second round.

Meanwhile, defending champion Shane Lowry had a round to forget.

Lowry, who was tied for second at the U.S. Open, opened Bridgestone with a six-over-par 76, consisting of seven bogeys and just one birdie.