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Golf

4-way tie for lead as Woods falters

The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 20, 2013 at 05:07 PM
AKRON, Ohio -

Rickie Fowler had eight birdies and an eagle to give himself another shot at winning. Adam Scott did well enough to stay in the lead. PGA Tour rookie Keegan Bradley got in on the action late.

It seemed as if everyone was in contention Friday at the Bridgestone Invitational.

Except for the guy most everyone came to see.

On another soft day that was ripe for low scores, Tiger Woods missed a 2-foot putt and didn't make enough birdies to atone for his short-game mistakes during a 1-over 71 that left him in the middle of the pack.

He was only seven shots behind, but had 35 players in front of him at Firestone.

"Today was not very good," Woods said.

It was good enough for Scott, except for making the putts he holed in the opening round of this World Golf Championship. He had a 70, which is never bad at Firestone in any condition.

After opening with a 62, Scott was at 8-under 132 along with Ryan Moore (66), Fowler (64) and Bradley (65). Jason Day bogeyed his last hole for a 70 and was one shot behind with Martin Laird (67) and Robert Karlsson (65).

"The last time I shot 62 was probably a long time ago, so am I going to expect to do it two days in a row?" Scott said. "I don't think so. But it's a hard golf course, and if you're just a little off, you get quite severely penalized. There's no real secret that it's not easy to shoot a couple of 62s."

Fowler was all over the place. He made only five pars, and kept his gallery guessing the rest of the time. There were three straight birdies, and a wedge he holed from 110 yards for eagle on No. 3. He followed that with three bogeys and three pars.

"A lot of good things came out of today," said Fowler, who is still searching for his first win. "Building some confidence going into the weekend."

No one appeared to have more fun than Bradley, the nephew of LPGA Hall of Fame player Pat Bradley and a winner this year at the Byron Nelson Championship. With big crowds lingering even after Woods left the course, he could hear plenty of cheers for birdies all around him, and even some for himself as he worked his way to the top of the leaderboard.

"I had Luke Donald behind me, Phil Mickelson a few groups behind me," Bradley said. "I mean, it's something that I dream about since I was 2 years old. It's kind of happening in front of my eyes, which is a weird feeling to describe. But it's spectacular. I just can't express how much fun I'm having out there."

PGA: Vaughn Taylor shot a 6-under-par 66 to take a one-stroke lead midway through the Reno-Tahoe Open in Reno, Nev.

Taylor, who has won here twice, had an eagle and four birdies to move to 9-under 135. That's one better than Will MacKenzie, who is among four other past Reno winners in the hunt.

Steve Flesch, the 2007 champion, shot a 69, good for a tie for third with Hunter Haas and first-round leader Nick O'Hern at 7 under.

Steve Elkington birdied four of his last five holes for a 65 to get in a group at 6 under that includes 2002 champ Chris Riley and Notay Begay III, the winner of the first Reno-Tahoe tourney in 1999.

Taylor's only victories on the PGA Tour were in Reno in 2004 and 2005.

CHAMPIONS: Jay Haas aced the fourth hole and finished with four straight birdies en route to an 8-under 64 to share the lead with Palm Harbor's John Huston after the first round of the 3M Championship in Blaine, Minn.

Gary Hallberg, Tom Lehman, Peter Senior and Rod Spittle were at 65.

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