Lee sets pace with an opening 65 at Firestone

Thu Aug 6, 2015 7:22pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

AKRON, Ohio (Reuters) - Former teenage prodigy Danny Lee birdied three of his first four holes en route to a one-shot lead in the opening round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on Thursday.

On a day when Jordan Spieth finished five strokes off the pace, the 25-year-old Lee, who won his first PGA Tour title in a playoff for the Greenbrier Classic last month, fired a five-under-par 65 at Firestone.

He ended a challenging day one ahead of American Jim Furyk and Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell.

Texan Spieth birdied his final hole for a 70 in the third of four World Golf Championships (WGC) events to be held this year.

"Making birdie to shoot even (par) feels better than making bogey to shoot one-under," Masters and U.S. Open champion Spieth told reporters after his first competitive round since his tie for fourth at last month's British Open.

"That's just the way it works. It was a nice finish. I hit three really good shots. Feels good to take that momentum and see one kind of fall in the lip," he said of his seven-foot birdie putt at the par-four 18th.

"I had quite a few (putts) that looked pretty good today that just didn't quite go. As far as my first round back after a couple-week layover, I'm pleased with the way we finished."

While Spieth, arguably the greatest putter in the game, was not quite at his best on the firm Firestone greens, Lee celebrated "a good day" as he accrued seven birdies and two bogeys to take the outright lead.   Continued...

Aug 6, 2015; Akron, OH, USA; Rickie Fowler tees off on the seventeenth hole during the first round of the World Golf Championships - Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club - South Course. Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports