In the final tuneup before the 2012 PGA Championship, golf's biggest names are attempting to build some momentum at the WGC-Bridestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio.
The friendly Firestone Country Club has long been a favorite of professional golfers, particularly Tiger Woods, who has won seven times in 12 appearances at the course.
Woods looked to be in contention again this year, as he was near the top of the first-round leaderboard. He posted a solid one-under 34 on the front nine, then followed that up with consecutive bogeys on holes 10 and 11.
Unfortunately, Woods crumbled on the back nine. He bogeyed three of his last six holes, dropping him into a tie for 31st place at even par. He could still comeback to win, but he would need to play incredibly well and have some of the current leaders completely fall apart.
That's not looking too likely now, especially with the way Jim Furyk is playing. The always-steady Furyk is currently atop the leaderboard, and familiar names like Bubba Watson, Luke Donald, Retief Goosen, Keegan Bradley and Sergio Garcia aren't far behind.
Here's how the top of the leaderboard currently looks:
|1. || Jim Furyk ||-7||-7||F|
|2. || Lee Slattery ||-5||-5||F|
|T3.|| John Senden ||-4||-4||F|
|T3.|| Rafael Cabrera Bello ||-4||-4||F|
|T3. || Bubba Watson ||-4||-4||F|
|T3.|| Luke Donald ||-4||-4 ||F|
|T3.|| Ben Crane ||-4||-4||F|
|T3.|| Simon Dyson ||-4||-4||F|
|T9.|| Retief Goosen ||-3||-3||F|
Click here for the complete 2012 WGC-Brigestone Invitational leaderboard
Luke Donald has just one top-10 finish this year, but he's looking to change that at Firestone.
Through 18 holes, Donald is sitting at a four-under 66. He drained seven birdies in the opening round, but unfortunately, a few birdies set him back. Still, he's certainly one of the threats to win it all.
Hear his take on the round below.
Retief Goosen was right behind Donald, shooting a three-under 67 on Thursday. He registered a double-bogey on hole 3, but he recovered well, sinking six birdies and just one bogey the rest of the way.
The two-time US Open champ sounds off on his opening round below.
Tweets of the Day
Bob Harig of ESPN pointed out that Jim Furyk's strong performance is coming at the perfect time.
Jim Furyk is 7 under, could use a good tournament. Not yet made Ryder Cup team (although he should probably be a pick anyway).— Bob Harig (@BobHarig) August 2, 2012
Jason Sobel of the Golf Channel tweeted out a brilliant statistic comparing Tiger Woods to the Cleveland Browns.
Cleveland Browns sell for 10 times more than Tiger Woods’ career PGA Tour earnings. Since 1999: Browns have 68 wins; Tiger has 67 wins.— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) August 2, 2012
The tweet of the day goes to Bubba Watson, though, who shot a 66, then talked some trash to Olympian Michael Phelps.
Day 2 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will take place on Friday, so stay tuned to Bleacher Report for all the latest news and updates.