William McGirt, who won the Memorial Tournament earlier this month, posted a six-under par 64 at Firestone County Club in Akron, Ohio, on Thursday in the first-round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
McGirt, who made six birdies and no bogeys, leads by three over Jason Day, Emiliano Grillo and Jimmy Walker, who all shot 67s.
“This golf course is kind of like Muirfield [Village],” he said, referring to the course on which he won the Memorial. “From the time I stepped on it I liked it. It really fits my eye well. I’m just kind of comfortable on older-style golf courses. And I just love the look of this one.”
Jordan Spieth, meanwhile, closed with four consecutive birdies to post a two-under par 68. Spieth, who hit only six of 14 fairways and seven of 18 greens in regulation, was rescued by his expertise with the putter.
"I was making some nice par saves to grind it out and then those par saves turned into birdie putts," Spieth said. "I really won the battle in my head today. I could have shot four or five-over pretty easily the way I was striking the ball tee to green."
Dustin Johnson, in his first start since his victory in the U.S. Open, shot a one-under par 69.
“I played pretty solid all day long,” he said. “I was happy with the performance. I didn’t get a whole lot of practice in last week.”
Defending champion Shane Lowry opened with a six-over par 76.