Sabbatini shares fourth after blazing front four

On Thursday, Rory Sabbatini tied for fourth in the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational first round with a card of four-under-par 66, four shots off leader Adam Scott.

Sabbatini raced out the gates to take an early lead at four-under, a score he would retain at the close of day one in the $8.5-million tournament.

A birdie on the first set the ball rolling ahead of the par-five second, where he moved a second shot below par.

The momentum would carry him to a further two consecutive birdies, and he lead at four-under through four.

This year’s Honda Classic winner bogeyed the seventh and had his momentum slowed before closing the front nine at three-under.

Beyond the turn, Sabbatini found a birdie on the 13th to move back to four-under-par.

He followed it with another birdie on the 14th, but almost immediately dropped from five-under with a bogey on the par-three 15th.

Sabbatini’s holed a birdie on the par-five 16th, impressive as players must push hard to make the green in two due to the length of the hole, which played at 574 metres yesterday.

The 18th would see Sabbatini drop a further shot to move into a nine-way tie for fourth place, while leader Adam Scott carded a bogey-free round of 62 for a one shot lead over Australian Jason Day.

Players had great opportunities to score well below par due to soft, receptive greens, but they had to master their putting.

Sabbatini carded seven birdies in his round, and on the statistical side was fifth for putts from greens in regulation.

The conditions at Firestone saw plenty of scores below the par mark of 70, and Sabbatini must focus on making fairways to avoid bogeys, which offset an otherwise superb round.

Should Sabbatini improve his first round driving accuracy of 57% he will build a good tournament score on his four-under-par foundation.

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