Russell Knox one shot off the lead in Akron

Russell Knox on the ninth green during the first round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club. Picture: Getty Images
Russell Knox on the ninth green during the first round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club. Picture: Getty Images
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Scottish No 1 Russell Knox got off to a promising start in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio, where Rory McIlroy declared himself satisfied with the first page of a new chapter in his career.

Knox carded a four-under 66 to sit second, a shot behind Belgian Thomas Pieters, with McIlroy, Open champion Jordan Spieth and Jon Rahm all in a group behind the Scot. Bidding for his second WGC title after winning the HSBC Champions in China in 2015, Knox looked back to his best as he signed for an eagle and four birdies at Firestone Country Club in Akron.

McIlroy was playing his first round since splitting from long-time caddie JP Fitzgerald, with his best friend Harry Diamond stepping in as a replacment.

“It was good,” McIlroy said of his first round in the event since winning it in 2014. “I’m taking a little bit more responsibility on myself.”