Retief Goosen took advantage of a Firestone South course that played long and short on his way to a 4-under-par 66 that gave him a one-shot lead in the Bridgestone Invitational yesterday in Akron, Ohio.
One year after Tiger Woods was the only player to break par, Goosen and 32 other players in the 80-man field met only minor resistance on a balmy afternoon at this World Golf Championship event.
Vijay Singh and former Masters champion Zach Johnson were among those at 67, while Steve Stricker was headed for the outright lead until running into trouble off the tee late in his round, losing three shots in two holes and joining another large group at 68.
The length came from rain earlier in the week that softened Firestone and made it play every bit of its 7,400 yards.
And the short? That would be the rough.
"Last year, the rough here was almost out of control. This year, the rough is very average and it's part of an experiment they're doing," PGA Tour policy board member Stewart Cink said.
PGA - Michelle Wie put herself in contention to make her first cut in eight tries on the PGA Tour, shooting a 1-over 73 in the opening round of the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open that left her eight strokes behind leader Jeff Overton.
Playing on the men's tour for the first time since January 2007, Wie had three birdies, four bogeys, and rallied to save par on several holes at the 7,472-yard mountain course at Montreux Golf & Country Club on the edge of the Sierra Nevada.
Wie, playing on a sponsor's exemption, has failed to make it to the weekend in her seven previous bids on the PGA Tour.
Overton, a former all-Big Ten golfer at Indiana, birdied four of the first five holes and made eight birdie putts on the day - seven from 10 feet or closer - to go with a lone bogey for a 7-under 65 and a two-shot lead over Harrison Frazar, Brian Davis, John Merrick, and Marco Dawson at 67.
LPGA - Juli Inkster had the sort of opening round Annika Sorenstam was hoping for at the Women's British Open, a bogey-free 7-under 65 that left the 48-year-old American one shot ahead of the field in Sunningdale, England.
While Sorenstam struggled to a 72 in what the Swede says is her final major before she quits tournament golf at the end of the season to start a family, Inkster went out among the earliest in the field to shoot an eagle and five birdies. Her 65 matched the lowest opening round at any Women's British Open.
Inkster, whose last major title was the 2002 Women's US Open, is a stroke ahead of seven - Ji-Yai Shin, Ji Young Oh, Yuri Fudoh, Momoko Ueda, Jo Head, Laura Diaz, and Stacy Prammanasudh. Defending champion Lorena Ochoa was three strokes behind.
Champions - Fred Funk fired a 5-under 65 to take the first-round lead at the US Senior Open in Colorado Springs.
Funk, who leads John Cook by one stroke, had two birdies and an eagle on the first four holes and added birdie putts on 16 and 17 before finishing with his only bogey of the day.
Cook rebounded from his collapse at the British Senior Open last week, carding a 66 that made him the clubhouse leader until Funk's pair of late birdies.
On Sunday, Cook blew a three-shot lead with eight holes to go and then lost to Bruce Vaughan in a playoff at Troon, Scotland.
Greg Norman shot a solid 70, the same as Brad Bryant.
Ouimet - Jay Driscoll of Wollaston shot a 1-under 71 for a one-shot lead over veteran Steve Tasho of Brockton after the second round of the 41st Francis Ouimet Memorial Tournament at Framingham Country Club. Driscoll is at 2-over 146 with the final round of the 54-hole tournment today at Woodland Golf Club.
Two-time Mass Amateur champion Tasho had three straight birdies on the back nine for a 73 to add to his first-round 74.
Legends Tour - Two Bedford, N.H., natives qualified at Granite Links for the final two spots in this weekend's BJ's Charity Classic. Tina Tombs, who now lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., shot 76 and Laura Shanahan Rowe shot 77.