Archive for Friday, August 3, 2007

Mahan among Brigdestone leaders

Casey, Sabbatini tied at top; Woods one stroke back

August 3, 2007

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Hunter Mahan watches his tee shot on the ninth hole at Firestone Country Club. Mahan fired a 67 in the Bridgestone Invitational on Thursday in Akron, Ohio.

Hunter Mahan watches his tee shot on the ninth hole at Firestone Country Club. Mahan fired a 67 in the Bridgestone Invitational on Thursday in Akron, Ohio.

— It has reached the point where everyone expects to see his name atop the leaderboard, and he got there Thursday at the Bridgestone Invitational with five birdies in a seven-hole stretch on a course that felt like a major.

Indeed, Hunter Mahan is on a roll.

Coming off four consecutive top 10s that included his first PGA Tour victory, Mahan overcame a sloppy double bogey with a torrid stretch of birdies for a 3-under 67, giving him a share of the lead with Paul Casey and Rory Sabbatini at the Bridgestone Invitational.

That other name that has become a fixture at Firestone - Tiger Woods - didn't fare too badly, either.

Woods is a five-time winner at Firestone and going after his third straight title in this World Golf Championship. He opened with a 68 that included another memorable shot, this one a 5-wood from 245 yards in the right rough that he squeezed between two trees and just over the back of the green for a simple birdie on the par-5 second.

"Very satisfied," said Woods, who has posted a score in the 60s in the first round all 10 times he has played this course.

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