Bridgestone Invitational: Graeme McDowell makes solid start

Graeme McDowell
Graeme McDowell has not won a tournament since July last year
Bridgestone Invitational first-round leaderboard
-5 D Lee (NZ); -4 G McDowell (NI), J Furyk (US); -3 J Rose (Eng), R Fowler (US). Selected others: -2 P Casey (Eng), L Westwood (Eng), I Poulter (Eng); E J Spieth (US).

Graeme McDowell shot a four-under 66 to sit one stroke behind leader Danny Lee after the first round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio.

The Northern Irishman has struggled for form this season, managing just one top-10 finish - ninth at February's Dubai Desert Classic.

But the 36-year-old carded five birdies in his opening round to sit alongside American Jim Furyk.

New Zealander Lee shot seven birdies and two bogeys for a five under 65.

Former US Open champion McDowell started the year ranked 20th in the world but has now slipped to 60th.

"It's been a rough year, no doubt about it," he said.

Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth will become the world number one with victory on Sunday

"I've just been working hard on the game and trying to find a direction forward. I feel like I'm starting to do that now, and it's just a case of shooting some numbers and getting the confidence back a little bit."

England's Justin Rose had been four under after six holes but finished with a 67, leaving him two shots off the lead alongside Scottish Open winner Rickie Fowler.

Fellow Englishmen Paul Casey, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter are a shot behind, alongside Victor Dubuisson and Henrik Stenson.

Masters and US Open champion Jordan Spieth, who would replace Rory McIlroy as world number one with a victory on Sunday, finished his first round with a level-par 70.

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