It wanted one thing spectacular to take the highlight away from Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods on the prime of the leaderboard on the Bridgestone Invitational – and belief Ian Poulter to supply it.
The person who has generated one or two headlines himself over time duly got here up with one other within the night shadows on day one, as he achieved his lowest-ever rating in his 781st spherical on the PGA Tour.
This beautiful comeback season that has already seen him win his first strokeplay match in America on the Houston Open simply retains on giving, as he opened with an excellent 62, for a one stroke benefit over People Rickie Fowler and Kyle Stanley.
Ian Poulter achieved his lowest-ever rating in his 781st spherical on the PGA Tour on Thursday
Poulter is at present on a surprising comeback season that additionally noticed him win the Houston Open
Earlier, McIlroy had opened with a kind of easy first spherical 65s which were an indicator of his profession, with Tiger not far behind alongside Tommy Fleetwood on 66, as the highest gamers took full benefit of excellent scoring circumstances.
With all of the speak on website concerning the $10 million winner-take-all duel between Tiger and Phil that has purportedly been pencilled in for Las Vegas on Thanksgiving weekend in November, how about one with a title on the road between Tiger and Rory?
McIlroy has been craving his complete skilled life for such a Sunday shootout towards his boyhood idol and, if it have been to occur right here at Firestone, he would take into account it definitely worth the wait.
‘Welcome again to your playground, Tiger,’ shouted a fan however McIlroy’s completed spherical confirmed he is additionally a giant fan of this storied format.
Tiger Woods impressed as he goes for glory on the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational
At 4 below par Woods was three pictures off the clubhouse lead held by Kyle Stanley
On the opportunity of a Woods confrontation, he commented: ‘I feel we final talked about it in 2014 however the way in which we’re each enjoying proper now I suppose there is a risk of it taking place someplace. I’ve received to be trustworthy, it is stunned me how Tiger has slipped seamlessly again into enjoying nicely practically each week after so lengthy out, however I suppose in the event you’re born with it, you by no means lose it.
‘Golf just isn’t like different sports activities with direct rivalries and so a shootout between us would possibly by no means occur. However it could be so cool if it did.’
The golf equal of a title-winning crew soccer crew grinding out a victory whereas enjoying badly is a prime participant carding an under-par rating whereas not putting the ball nicely. After eight spectacular holes to start, Woods’s ball putting deteriorated thereafter, however he nonetheless stored any bogeys away till his final gap.
‘That’s the way you win golf tournaments,’ mentioned Tiger who, lest we neglect, has gained 79 of them. ‘You are not going to play nice in each spherical, so the bottom line is turning common days into an below par rating relatively than over par.’
An eight-time winner of this occasion however enjoying right here for the primary time since 2014, Woods mentioned:’It felt just like the outdated days on the market. I’ve shared so many nice reminiscences with the followers right here over time, and hopefully there can be another.’
Patrick Cantlay is on six below with Rory McIlroy (pictured) a part of a five-way tie on 5 below
The sub-plot looming massive is the Ryder Cup, with this occasion and subsequent week’s USPGA Championship all however deciding the remaining locations within the two groups. England’s Matt Fitzpatrick and Scot Russell Knox are presently on the surface with their faces pressed towards the glass however that might all change in the event that they construct on rounds of 66 and 67 respectively.
‘I feel it would assist me simply being outdoors the automated locations in that I can assault relatively than be defensive,’ argued Fitzpatrick, who outscored his enjoying associate, Jordan Spieth by 5 pictures.
Knox was feeling ‘mentally fried’ following his great run of type in July however recharged the batteries with an Alaska cruise final week the place no-one acknowledged him. ‘I’ve a great face for mixing in,’ he mentioned, wryly.
As for the Ryder Cup, he added: ‘I feel everyone knows it is coming down to those two weeks, so it is as much as me to play nicely. I do know if I do not I’ve little or no likelihood.’