Ma­han, Casey and Sab­ba­tini lead af­ter tough day at Fire­stone

The Covington News - - SPORTS -

AKRON, Ohio— It has reached the point where ev­ery­one ex­pects to see his name atop the leader­board, and he got there Thurs­day at the Bridge­stone In­vi­ta­tional with five birdies in a seven-hole stretch on a course that felt like a ma­jor. In­deed, Hunter Ma­han is on a roll. Com­ing off four con­sec­u­tive top 10s that in­cluded his first PGA Tour vic­tory, Ma­han over­came a sloppy dou­ble bo­gey with a tor­rid stretch of birdies for a 3-un­der 67, giv­ing him a share of the lead with Paul Casey and Rory Sab­ba­tini at the Bridge­stone In­vi­ta­tional.

That other name that has be­come a fix­ture at Fire­stone — TigerWoods— didn’t fare too badly, ei­ther.

Woods is a five-time win­ner at Fire­stone and go­ing af­ter his third straight ti­tle in this­World Golf Cham­pi­onship. He opened with a 68 that in­cluded an­other mem­o­rable shot, this one a 5-wood from 245 yards in the right rough that he squeezed be­tween two trees and just over the back of the green for a sim­ple birdie on the par-5 sec­ond.

Ma­han­was play­ing Fire­stone for the first time, but that doesn’t seem to mat­ter.

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