Leishman leads Rose

European Tour

Mark Leishman got off to a fast start to take a one shot lead at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on Thursday.

The Australian, who recently finished in fifth at the Open Championship, eased his way around the course to card a six under 64 in the opening round at Firestone.

Leishman was three under after six holes but carded his first bogey on the par three seventh after an errand tee shot. He would bounce back immediately with a birdie on the eighth and follow it up with four more birdies, until a bogey on the 18th set him back.

One shot back is a group of three players: American Ryan Moore, former US Open winner Justin Rose and South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel.

Rose climbed up the leaderboard with three birdies on the final four holes, sinking two birdie putts from 14 feet and another from 25 feet to shoot a 65.

“I’m really happy with that number because it wasn’t the most in-control round of golf,” the 34-year-old told Sky Sports.

“The scorecard will tell you something different but I got into some trouble a couple of times. Around these greens you can get some really gnarly lies where even if it looks like a simple up and down it’s never a simple up and down so I kept the scorecard clean.

“It was a really good mix of some good iron play and then some good scrambling when I missed so that’s what you have to do out here.”

Meanwhile, former world number one Tiger Woods is four shots back on two under, but he was happy with his form.

“I hit a lot of good shots today,” said the eight-time champion.

“I hit a few not so solid but I kind of got it around a little bit. Every time I dropped a shot I got it right back at the very next hole so bouncing back like that was nice. It takes time when you’re off for an extended period of time and coming off surgery. It takes time, it’s been building and today was certainly a lot better.”

Open Championship winner Rory McIlroy double bogeyed the eighth and finished up on one under with world number one Adam Scott.

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