AKRON: Tiger Woods failed to replicate the sizzling form he produced on Friday but remained in imperious command with a seven-shot lead after the third round at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
In pursuit of his fifth PGA Tour victory of the season, Woods ‘grinded’ out a two-under-par 68 on a warm, breezy day at Firestone Country Club to maintain his overnight lead.
The world number one, winner of a record seven World Golf Championships (WGC) titles, struggled at times for accuracy off the tee as he mixed five birdies with three bogeys for a 15-under total of 195.
Woods had distanced himself from the field with a stunning 61 on Friday and headed into yesterday’s final round with an intimidating record, having triumphed 52 of 56 times on the PGA Tour when holding at least a share of the 54-hole lead.
“I feel pretty good,” the 14-times major champion told reporters. “It was a day that I didn’t quite have it, but I scored. And that’s the name of the game is posting a number, and I did. I grinded my way around that golf course.
“It was playing a little blustery. It was difficult. It’s just one of those things where I was just trying to build on my lead somehow. And for most of the day I was doing that.
“Ended up being a dead push for the day, but that’s not too bad, either. Hopefully I can seal the deal and get ready for the PGA [Championship] at Oak Hill,” he added, referring to the year’s final major next week.
Woods’ closest challenger going into the final round is Swede Henrik Stenson, who fired a 67 to leave him at eight under.
“I’m just going to try and play my game,” said Stenson. “Woods is obviously playing great, and it’ll be a good test.”
“We might just be there for watching the final victory lap. We’ll see. But I can only do so much. I can play my game and see where that takes me.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2013.
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