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Jim Furyk off to fast start with a 63
August 3, 2012

Jim Furyk finally made some birdies — a lot of them — for a seven-under-par 63 to take the lead Thursday in the Bridgestone Invitational.

On a warm day with little wind, Furyk took advantage of the pristine conditions at Firestone to build a two-shot lead over Lee Slattery of England after one round of this World Golf Championship event.

Tiger Woods, a seven-time winner at Firestone, looked as if he might be part of the leaderboard until his last six holes. He had to lay up with his third shot on a par five and three-putted from 25 feet on the 18th for an even-par 70.

Defending champion Adam Scott, in his first tournament since losing a late lead in the British Open, four-putted from just inside 10 feet and had 71.

Luke Donald, the world's No. 1 player, and Masters champion Bubba Watson were among those at 66. Thirty players in the 78-man field managed to break par.

Woods was not among them. It was his second-worst start at Firestone. The other was a 74 in 2010, his last week without a swing coach.

"I averaged about four putts per hole, so it was a great day on the greens," said Woods, who lost his touch on the greens but at least kept his sarcasm.

Since missing out on a chance to win the U.S. Open, Furyk has tied for 34th in two tournaments and missed two cuts, including last week in Canada. For a guy who is 15th in the Ryder Cup standings — even a win this week would not make him eligible for the U.S. team — this was no time to be stuck in neutral.

So when he had another weekend off after rounds of 70-70 at the Canadian Open, he flew home for three days.

"More than anything I needed a little time to clear my head," Furyk said. "It wasn't anything that was going wrong, [but] why I wasn't playing better. I just felt like I needed to come in here and quit concentrating on trying to be so mechanically sound and just go play some golf and try to score and get the ball in the hole a little bit. It worked today. I did a lot better job of scoring.

"It's been a while since I made seven birdies and an eagle in a round," he said. "So it was a lot of fun."

Phil Mickelson had a 71, while British Open champion Ernie Els had a 73 on a day when the average was 70.33 — on the low side for Firestone.

Scores

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