Akron - Spain's Sergio Garcia and British Open winner Rory McIlroy are once
again battling for a title as they did last month at Royal Liverpool.
fired a three-under par 67 Saturday to hold a three-stroke lead over
McIlroy after the third round of the World Golf Championships
Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club.
his third major title last month in England but not before Garcia
threatened his lead on the back nine in the final round.
stands on 14-under 196 with McIlroy on 199 after firing a 66 and
Australia's Marc Leishman third on 201 after a 68 on Saturday.
he's been playing great, so it's going to be tough tomorrow, but I just
have to keep doing what I've been doing," Garcia said.
very, very comfortable throughout the whole week, so hopefully I'll be
able to do the same thing just like (McIlroy) did to me in Hoylake.
Hopefully keep him just behind me."
England's Justin Rose, Aussie Adam Scott and American Keegan Bradley -- all major winners -- were another stroke adrift.
Defending champion Tiger Woods carded a two-over 72 to fall into a tie for 36th place.
still seeking his first major title, birdied three of the first six
holes Saturday in the last tuneup for next week's PGA Championship, the
final major tournament of the year.
Garcia added a birdie at 11
after dropping his approach two feet from the cup but took his lone
bogey of the day at 14 after finding the rough on his approach.
McIlroy also fired three birdies on the front side but found a bunker at the par-3 12th and took a bogey.
He responded by closing with back-to-back birdies to trim Garcia's margin entering the final round.
his bogey at 14, Garcia had a five shot lead over McIlroy and Leishman
and he had parred the 15th when play thunderstorms stopped play for more
than three hours.
When play resumed, McIlroy and Leishman each birdied the 17th, and McIlroy also rolled in a 34-footer at 18 to get within three.
Garcia parred his final three holes after the delay.
just unfortunately misread a couple putts here and there, and then I
hit a couple not so good putts," Garcia said. "The restart was a little
"I didn't play my best there, but I managed to keep it
together. I made three good pars to finish with and tomorrow will be
another day."- McIlroy momentum -
McIlroy was delighted to be in contention in his first start since his Open triumph.
came here this week talking about wanting to just keeping the momentum
going and not really dwell on the Open too much and keep moving forward
and I have done that really well this week," said McIlroy, who could
have a chance to overtake Scott atop the world rankings with a win on
Woods, meanwhile, was finding little solace in returning to a Firestone course where he has won eight times.
former world number one, playing just his third event since back
surgery in March, hit just six fairways in a round that included one
birdie, one bogey and a double bogey.
"If I could just hit the
ball a little better," said a frustrated Woods, who was also caught on
television cursing at a cameraman who got too close.
"I hit it
pretty decent today, which was nice, I just didn't (putt) well at all
again. I couldn't get comfortable with my setup and it just kind of
worked out that way."
Leading scores after Saturday's third round of the World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational (USA unless noted, par 70):
196 - Sergio Garcia (ESP) 68-61-67
199 - Rory McIlroy (NIR) 69-64-66
201 - Marc Leishman (AUS) 64-69-68
202 - Adam Scott (AUS) 69-68-65, Keegan Bradley 68-67-67, Justin Rose (ENG) 65-67
204 - Brandt Snedeker 68-68-68
205 - JB Holmes 69-69-67, Henrik Stenson (SWE) 71-66-68
206 - Hideki Matsuyama (JPN) 70-71-65, Harris English 69-69-68, Ryan Moore 65-73-68, Gary Woodland 70-68-68, Thomas Bjorn (DEN) 69-68-69, Jim Furyk 69-68-69, Patrick Reed 67-68-71, Rickie Fowler 67-67-72
207 - Kevin Stadler 71-70-66, Graeme McDowell (NIR) 71-70-66, John Senden (AUS) 74-66-67, Branden Grace (RSA) 69-71-67, Hunter Mahan 71-65-71, Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 65-69-73
208 - Zach Johnson 70-70-68, Noh Seung-Yul (KOR) 69-69-70
209 - Fabrizio Zanotti (PAR) 70-71-68, Matt Jones (AUS) 70-70-69, Bill Haas 71-69-69, Jimmy Walker 69-70-70, Jamie Donaldson (WAL) 68-70-71, Matt Kuchar 71-66-72