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Padraig Harrington Leads WGC-Bridgestone Inivitational

Sports Betting News - August 7th, 2009 - Written by Ryan Smith

After the first round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Padraig Harrington holds a two stroke lead after shooting a six under 64 on Thursday. He is two shots ahead of three golfers who are tied at four under, while Tiger Woods is four shots back after shooting a 68. Harrington has struggled tremendously this season while working on a swing change, but played beautifully yesterday which left him atop the leader board. This has been a dismal year thus far for a player who won two majors a season ago. Harrington won both the British Open and PGA Championship titles in 2008, but has missed six cuts and has zero top ten finishes so far this season. Towards the end of his first round yesterday, Harrington made two key birdie putts from around twenty five feet each that he hopes will be a sign of things to come this week.

Over the years Tiger Woods has been completely dominant at this tournament. This year marks the eighth time that this event is being played at Firestone Country Club. Remarkably, Tiger has won six out of those eight tournaments held here shooting a 68 or better in the first round each time. For his domination at Firestone, Woods has earned over $8 million while playing here. After his two under 68 yesterday, Woods is once again in prime position to make a run at winning again this week. Woods played a very steady first round which saw him make only one bogey. On the 8th hole, he drove his ball into the right trees which led to him making a bogey five on the hole. He made the turn at even par for his round, but finishing strong shooting two under on the back nine. After the first round was complete, Tiger was in a tie for tenth place.

Three golfers were tied for second place after shooting a four under 66 in their first rounds. Scott Verplank, Tim Clark, and Prayad Marksaeng all played well on Thursday, and trail leader Padraig Harrington by only two strokes. Zach Johnson and Steve Stricker both shot three under 67s, which put left them three shots behind the leader. Joining Tiger at two under was Sergio Garcia, who is hoping to have a strong showing this week after a disappointing season thus far. Yesterday was marked the return of Phil Mickelson, who has not competed since this year's US Open. Mickelson finished with an even par 70 that left him six strokes back of the lead.  After struggling with his swing for much of this season, it will be interesting to see if Harrington can continue to play well after a great start in the first round. Yesterday's two under 68, gave Tiger his eleventh straight round of shooting under par at Firestone. As the week continues, we will see if any of the other golfers can prevent Tiger from winning his seventh title at this event.

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