Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Webb Simpson leads with Tiger Woods on the prowl at Bridgestone Invitational

August 2, 2013 -- Updated 1050 GMT (1850 HKT)
Webb Simpson shot a first round 64 on the opening day of the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club.
Webb Simpson shot a first round 64 on the opening day of the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Webb Simpson leads Bridgestone Invitational after first day
  • Simpson shot six-under 64 to move one clear of Henrik Stenson
  • Tiger Woods two off the lead following first round 66
  • Rory McIlroy trailing once again after round of 70

(CNN) -- Webb Simpson made up for lost time at World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational Thursday by firing a six-under-par 64 to move one shot clear at the top of the leaderboard.

Simpson, who missed the tournament last year due to the birth of his daughter, finished the opening day just ahead of Henrik Stenson with Tiger Woods a shot further back.

But Rory McIlroy, who is set to defend his PGA Championship next week, finished six shots off the lead after a double bogey six at the par-four 10th left him with a round of 70.

"With the incredible field it draws every year, you know, this is a tournament you want to be in more than any others with the majors and the FedExCup events," Simpson told the official PGA website.

"You want to play where the best players in the world are playing."

Korean woman to make golf history?
Mickelson revels in British Open win
Is Rose ready for the British Open?

Read: Fans to choose course setup for PGA Championship

Simpson, who won the U.S. Open last year, may have produced a series of impressive shots but it was the advice of his caddy, Paul Tesori, which made the difference.

Tesori has caddied for some of the biggest names in golf at Firestone including Vijay Singh and his inside knowledge proved key, according to Simpson.

"It's hard for us players to listen to our caddies, but he basically showed me where to go and told me where to hit it, where the lines were, what clubs to hit," he said.

"I didn't feel like it was my first time because he had so much experience here. You know, had I been with a guy who had never been here, as well, I might have been a little more puzzled.

"We joked about it a little bit yesterday. I haven't listened to him this much since we got together in 2011. But it is nice to kind of have the pressure off me when I'm thinking about stuff."

Read: Snedeker profits from Mahan's new arrival

Meanwhile, World No.1 Woods, who has won the WGC a record seven times, said he was pleased with his day's work after recording a four-under-par 66.

Tiny island boasts golf legacy
Historic venue welcomes top golfers
New golf course at St. Andrews

"I felt pretty good today," he told reporters.

"It was a little blustery, the wind was up and the greens were soft but at least the ball was flying. I feel very good about what I'm doing with basically my whole swing. I hit a lot of good shots.

"I had a really good feel for the distance today, and (caddie) Joey (LaCava) and I really read the wind right today. We changed a few shots out there, and we both had a really good handle on what we were doing feel-wise with the wind."

The 14-time major winner who last won at Firestone in 2009, rolled in four birdies in his final nine holes to move into contention at the front

"I've played terrible coming in here and I've played really well coming in and, for some reason on this golf course, I just see it," he said. "It's just one of those venues.

"Luckily over the years I've taken advantage of it. I have played well and I've scored well, and I've won my share of tournaments here."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 1251 GMT (2051 HKT)
It's a big dilemma: Be with your wife for the birth of your first child, or stay at work and try to earn $11 million. For Billy Horschel, it's a no-brainer.
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 1140 GMT (1940 HKT)
She's just 19 but Hyo Joo Kim is already showing she's ready for the big time after recording the lowest ever round at a major championship.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
Masters champion Bubba Watson says winning the $10 million FedEx Cup jackpot would bring forward his retirement from the game.
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 1131 GMT (1931 HKT)
EVIAN-LES-BAINS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 15: A view of the 14th green during the third round of The Evian Championship at the Evian Resort Golf Club on September 15, 2013 in Evian-les-Bains, France. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
The world's top women golfers will be chasing a $3.25 million prize purse at one of the most stunning courses on the LPGA Tour.
September 3, 2014 -- Updated 1219 GMT (2019 HKT)
Tom Watson selects Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson as his wildcard picks for the Ryder Cup contest with Europe.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 1352 GMT (2152 HKT)
Ian Poulter kept Europe clinging on in their Ryder Cup battle with the United States in Chicago.
Ian Poulter, who has constantly haunted the U.S. in Ryder Cup golf, is back after being chosen as a wildcard by European captain Paul McGinley.
August 25, 2014 -- Updated 1540 GMT (2340 HKT)
Tiger Woods has split with his longtime coach Sean Foley after not winning a major during their four-year tenure.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 1105 GMT (1905 HKT)
Success just keeps on coming for Rory McIlroy, but the world No. 1 is already targeting more titles following his second PGA Championship win.
August 8, 2014 -- Updated 1424 GMT (2224 HKT)
From Seve's "spine-shivering" moment to Jack Nicklaus' "perfect explosion," David Cannon has captured many of golf's defining images.
August 7, 2014 -- Updated 1320 GMT (2120 HKT)
They came home as casualties of war -- physically shattered and mentally broken. But golf is proving to be an unlikely salvation for U.S. veterans.
August 5, 2014 -- Updated 1231 GMT (2031 HKT)
You are the one hitting the shots, but the man standing over your shoulder could hold the key to your golfing destiny.
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1227 GMT (2027 HKT)
PINEHURST, NC - JUNE 10: Rory McIlroy (R) of Northern Ireland talks with his dad Gerry McIlroy (L) during a practice round prior to the start of the 114th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, Course No. 2 on June 10, 2014 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
He has been there for all three of his son's major wins, but the latest triumph may well have been the sweetest yet for Rory McIlroy's father.
ADVERTISEMENT