AKRON, Ohio, July 31 (UPI) -- Retief Goosen, seeking his first win on American soil in three years, grabbed a one-shot lead Thursday after one round of the Bridgestone Invitational.
The two-time U.S. Open winner fired a 4-under 66 at the Firestone Country Club in the final World Golf Championship tournament of the year.
That group included U.S. Open runner-up Rocco Mediate, Jim Furyk, Justin Leonard and Phil Mickelson, ranked second in the world behind the absent Tiger Woods.
Mickelson, who often has significant highs and lows during his rounds, produced an unusually steady effort. He birdied the second and 18th holes and parred every other one.
Padraig Harrington, coming off his second straight British Open title, was in the group at 69 -- along with Sergio Garcia, Ernie Els and Adam Scott.
Kenny Perry and Anthony Kim, both multiple winners on the PGA Tour this year, faded during the opening round. Kim had a 71 and Perry made five bogeys, shot a 74 and finished in front of only six players in the 80-player field.
Woods is out for the remainder of the year following knee surgery.