Tiger Woods gets off to a solid start at Firestone

Posted: August 02, 2014

AKRON, Ohio - Tiger Woods showed signs of a positive recovery Thursday at the Bridgestone Invitational.

Not just from back surgery, but from making bogeys.

Woods bounced back with birdies all three times that he made mistakes, opening with a 2-under 68 on a soft, gentle day for scoring at Firestone. It left him 4 shots behind Marc Leishman of Australia and hopeful that this time he can build on a solid start.

Woods opened with a 69 at the British Open two weeks ago, only to plunge down the leader board the rest of the week at Royal Liverpool.

For so many players, the opening round of this World Golf Championship felt like either a warm-up or an audition for bigger events to follow. Ryan Moore was among three players at 65, a good start for someone looking for one big week to get him on the Ryder Cup team.

Dustin Johnson is taking a leave of absence from golf to seek help for "personal challenges," a swift end to his season that will keep him from playing the PGA Championship, the FedEx Cup playoffs, and the Ryder Cup.

In a statement, the 30-year-old Johnson said his leave of absence was effective immediately.

Johnson last year got engaged to Paulina Gretzky, the daughter of NHL great Wayne Gretzky.

Western Amateur

CHICAGO - Temple junior Brandon Matthews shot a 68 for a four-round total of 287 in the Western Amateur Championship, but he tied for 39th and was not among the 16 who qualified for match play at Beverly Country Club. Doug Ghim of Arlington Heights, Ill., earned medalist honors after shooting a 65 for a 14-under-par 270.

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