"Wasn't very sharp that first day, but I made everything".
Johnson, the No. 1-ranked golfer in the world, earned $510,000 for his efforts on a sunny day with temperatures in the 90s in Akron. The prize pool was increased slightly this year and the purse now ranks sixth among PGA Tour events in 2018, behind only the four majors and The Players Championship.
"It was definitely one of the better putting days I've had in a while", Thomas said.
After a bad drive led to a bogey at the first hole, he fired up a large gallery with three birdies in the next four holes, but picked up only one birdie the rest of the way.
"It's really cool", Thomas said.
"I got a little choked up when I saw grandma and grandpa over there", Thomas said. Of the four majors this year, though, this one will probably be the least-discussed when it comes to the course, which means the focus will be on the players.
Thomas, who defends his title next week in the PGA Championship, goes after his third victory of the season, but first in five months.
The victor had nine points in the round and 47 overall under the format that awards eight points for albatross, five for eagle, two for birdie and zero for par, and subtracts a point for bogey and three for double bogey or worse.
"Obviously we're all thinking of (Lyle) and it would be very nice to obviously have a good week", Leishman said.
"My goal today I was trying to get to 18 under, because I knew if I got to that I didn't think anyone would catch me".
From that heart-to-heart, Thomas threw everything he had at the game's best and came away with the most dominant victory of his career.
Grandfather Paul played in the 1960 PGA Championship at Firestone.
"I played well enough to win a few times this year and I only got over the line once", McIlroy said. "(Hitting) nine out of 14 fairways today is a good number if I can do that tomorrow hopefully I'll have a chance". I hit it both ways. Only two of the best of the modern era have done it. Thomas will have the challenge of not only defending his win last week at Firestone but also his win past year at Quail Hollow at the PGA.
As for Firestone, it has been an unbelievable run for Woods at the course that will no longer be host for the tournament - it is moving to Memphis next year.
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