Furyk opens 4-stroke lead at Firestone

Jim Furyk carded a second straight 4-under-par 66 and held a four-stroke lead over Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson and Shane Lowry of Ireland midway through the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio.

Furyk, who has 17 victories on the PGA Tour but never has claimed one of the World Golf Championships, recorded seven birdies and actually held a six-stroke lead before making a bogey when he missed a six-foot par putt on his last hole, No. 9.

“I feel really good about it,” said Furyk, who plans to attend the induction of his friend Jerome Bettis of the Pittsburgh Steelers into the Pro Football of Fame down the road in Canton on Saturday night. “I hit a few bad shots down the stretch yesterday, but felt I hit the ball better today. I was very confident with my driver.

“I missed a couple of putts early (in the second round), but made a bunch later, with seven birdies, and ended up with a good score. I made a bad swing on the last hole, but you can get away with some of those if you make a few putts.”

Watson recorded his own 66 thanks to six birdies, while Johnson birdied the last two holes to shoot 67, and Lowry was alone in second until he missed an 11-foot par putt on the last hole while finishing at 66.

First-round leader Danny Lee of New Zealand salvaged a 72 with his only birdies on Nos. 17 and 18, and was five shots back in a tie for fifth with Henrik Stenson of Sweden, who had a 69, and Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, who came in at 71.

Jordan Spieth, the Masters and U.S. Open champion, posted a 68 and was another stroke behind in a tie for eighth with Lee Westwood (70) of England, Brooks Koepka (69), Webb Simpson (70), Justin Rose (71) of England, Jason Day (69) of Australia, Sergio Garcia (67) of Spain, Patrick Reed (67) and Robert Streb (70).

Rickie Fowler, the Players champion, shot 72 and was seven shots back in a tie for 17th with Keegan Bradley and Kevin Na of Diamond Bar, who both had 70s.

Zach Johnson, who won the Open Championship at St. Andrews in his last start, registered his second 70 and was another stroke behind in a tie for 20th, while Phil Mickelson bounced back from his opening 76 with a 70, but was tied for 62nd.

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