No. 1 Day grabs lead at Firestone

Top-ranked Jason Day of Australia, who has won three times this season on the PGA Tour, is back on top again.

Day carded a 1-under-par 69 in breezy conditions and took a one-stroke lead over David Lingmerth of Sweden midway through the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio.

“It was tough,” said Day, who took the lead with a five-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole and a 17-footer for eagle on the 17th before lipping out a six-foot par putt on the last, but was the only player with two rounds under par. ” … This course, the way it sits, with that wind that was kind of westerly, it was difficult.

“You had to really choose the right gust to hit it on, and it was fluctuating ever so slightly from southwest to northwest, so it was going back-and-forth. You know, it feels like it’s into the wind, but it really wasn’t.

” … Just really pleased at the short game over the last two days, and I’m hoping that the long game can pick itself up over the weekend and give myself a few more opportunities on the greens.”

Lingmerth, whose only PGA Tour victory came in the 2015 Memorial Tournament, birdied four of the first holes but also made bogey at No. 18 in a 67.

William McGirt, the first-round leader at 64, played the last 10 holes in 5-over to shoot 74 and was two shots back in a tie for third with Scott Piercy, who had a second straight 69, and Emiliano Grillo of Argentina, another player who closed with a bogey while carding a 71.

Second-ranked Jordan Spieth had an early birdie and two bogeys to go with 15 pars in a 71 and was another stroke behind in a tie for sixth with Adam Scott of Australia, who sank a 49-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole in a 68, Justin Thomas, who chipped in from 53 yards out of the rough at No. 16 en route to a 69, and Kevin Kisner, who overcame a double-bogey 7 on the 16th hole to total 70.

Kevin Na of Diamond Bar and Brian Stuard recorded 69s and were four down in a tie for 10th with Young-han Song of South Korea, who would up at 70, and Jimmy Walker, who stumbled to a 73.

K.T. Kim (67) of South Korea, Bubba Watson (69), Charl Schwartzel (69) of South Africa, Kevin Chappell (70) of Fresno and UCLA, Matt Kuchar (72), Branden Grace (72) of South Africa, Charley Hoffman (73) of Poway and Rickie Fowler (73) were another stroke back in a tie for 14th.

Phil Mickelson (70) was tied for 27th, Justin Rose (76) of England was solo 34th, Jim Furyk (72) and Zach Johnson (74) were in a tie for 35th, and defending champion Shane Lowry (72) of Ireland was tied for 47th.

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