AKRON, Ohio -- The World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational is looking more and more like a two-man race. Here are some interesting facts should Jim Furyk or Louis Oosthuizen win:
* Earns his 17th PGA TOUR victory at the age of 42 years, 2 months and 24 days in his 476th career start on TOUR.
* Is projected to move from No. 25 into the top 10 in FedExCup points with 1,550 points.
* Becomes the second-oldest winner of a World Golf Championships event (Vijay Singh, 2008 Bridgestone Invitational, 45 years, 5 months, 12 days).
* Moves into a tie for 47th on the TOUR’s all-time wins list With 17.
* Wins for the first time in wire-to-wire fashion and becomes just the third to do so at the Bridgestone Invitational, joining Tiger Woods (2000) and Stewart Cink (2004).
* Becomes the fourth player in his 40s to win this season, joining Steve Stricker, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els. There have been 11 winners in their 20s (12 wins) and 14 in their 30s (18 wins).
* Becomes the 11th (out of 33 events) third-round leader/co-leader to win this season.
* Earns his second PGA TOUR victory at age of 29 years, 9 months and 17 days in his 47th career start on TOUR.
* Is projected to move from No. 41 into the top 20 in FedExCup points with 1,290 points. He could move as high as No. 13 in the standings.
* Becomes become the first South African to win the Bridgestone Invitational and the second to win a World Golf Championships event (Ernie Els).
* Becomes just second player in history to record his first two PGA TOUR wins at a major championship and a World Golf Championships event, joining Martin Kaymer (2010 PGA Championship, 2011 HSBC Champions).
* Records the 23rd come-from-behind win of the 2012 PGA TOUR season in 33 stroke-play events.
* Now has a win, runner-up (Masters) and third-place (Shell Houston Open) finish this year.
* Belted his PGA TOUR career-long drive during the third round, a 430-yard drive on the par-5 16th hole.
AKRON, Ohio – Jim Furyk has taken advantage of a Firestone layout that absorbed more than two hours of rain on Sunday morning by making birdies on his first three holes Sunday to open a two-shot lead.
Furyk made a 4-footer on the first hole, two-putted from the fringe at the par-5 second and rolled in a 10-footer at the third hole. He’s now 14 under and two ahead of Louis Oosthuizen, who missed a 6-footer at the third hole or else he would have matched Furyk’s start.
Rory McIlroy two-putted from 8 feet at the second hole and made a 4-footer at the next to move to 8 under. Reigning PGA champ Keegan Bradley, who is playing in the final group, made a 25-footer at the third hole to join the 2011 U.S. Open champ, six strokes behind Furyk.
Meanwhile, Tiger Woods shot 31 on the front side and has moved to 4 under for the tournament.
AKRON, Ohio – Jim Furyk, Louis Oosthuizen and Keegan Bradley have hit their opening shots and left the first tee at Firestone Country Club.
Will Jim Furyk win for the first time since the 2010 TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola? Can Louis Oosthuizen add a World Golf Championships title to the British Open he won two years ago? Will Keegan Bradley atone for last year’s collapse on the final nine holes?
Oh, and can Tiger Woods continue the momentum? He’s 3 under through seven holes right now.
We’re interested in your opinions below.
AKRON, Ohio – Play officially resumed at 12:03 p.m. ET under gray skies. The rain has stopped, though, and the forecast looks good for the rest of the afternoon.
Jim Furyk, Louis Oosthuizen and Keegan Bradley are in the day’s final group, now set to tee off at 12:44 p.m.. Furyk owns a one-shot lead over Oosthuizen and a four-stroke edge on Bradley.
The official delay was two hours and 48 minutes.
AKRON, Ohio -- Looks like Mother Nature might cooperate. Tournament officials just announced that the final round of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational will resume at noon ET.
Players are now heading to the range to prepare as the grounds crew tidies up the course. The band of thunderstorms that appeared so ominous earlier in the day appears to have broken up.
Play was originally suspended at 9:15 a.m. ET.
AKRON, Ohio -- As Luke Donald tweeted below, every cloud has a silver lining.
With rain coming down in buckets and lightning flashing through the sky, the players waiting out the delay in the locker room get a chance to watch the Olympic final between Scotland’s Andy Murray, who is representing Great Britain, and Roger Federer of Switzerland.
With the delay possibly significant, the pros will probably get to see the gold medal decided. Here’s what some of the players were tweeting.
@McIlroyRory Play suspended... Get to watch the tennis now! Result! Let's go @andy_murray!!
@JustinRose99 Rain delay here in Akron but got a prime seat in front of the tennis! Not all bad! yfrog.com/h35dvxwj
@Graeme_McDowell Storm delay here in Akron. Could be a long
wait. Tennis final just started. #thatstiming #fedmurro
@RickieFowlerPGA I guess the storm knew that the tennis was on and would be fun to watch #Olympics
UPDATE: And now that Murray has won, the pros from the UK weigh in again:
@JustinRose99 Well done Andy Murray! That was seriously impressive!! #teamGB #Gold
@LukeDonald MURRAY!!!!!!!! #getin
@IanJamesPoulter Huge Gold for Andy. Congrats that was some incredible tennis. Best rain delay ever. GBI another gold rolls in.
AKRON, Ohio – The threat of lightning in the area has forced suspension of the final round of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
It’s not raining yet, but there is a significant cell of storms is on the horizon. Players have been taken off the course.
Tiger Woods had just hit his drive at the third hole when the horn sounded. He birdied the par-5 second hole, getting up and down from just in front of the green, to get into red numbers for the tournament at 1 under.
AKRON, Ohio -- The skies were overcast as the first players teed off in the final round of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
The sun made a brief appearance behind the clouds but the weather was expected to worsen as the day progresses. The best chance for thunderstorms, which could be heavy at the outset with frequent lightning, appears to be between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The on-sight meteorologist predicts an accumulation of an inch of rain before the skies clear around 3 p.m. The temperature will be in the upper 70s to low 80s and the winds will range from 10-20 mph.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
AKRON, Ohio -- Louis Oosthuizen is right where he wants to be.
That’s because he goes into Sunday's final round of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational with a chance to win another big event. He trails by one and will play in the final group with the leader, Jim Furyk, and reigning PGA champ Keegan Bradley.
"Tomorrow is a great opportunity for me, a great spot to be in and to test myself in these events," the quiet South African said. "I mean, this is as big as, almost as big as a major. It's a great track, and just going to try and do my best tomorrow."
Oosthuizen knows what it's like to win a major after capturing the British Open at St. Andrews in 2010 by seven strokes. He also knows what it's like to see one slip from his grasp as Bubba Watson beat him on the second playoff hole at Augusta National and denied him a chance at the Green Jacket.
Oosthuizen admitted the first few days after that Masters loss were hard -- although a win the following week at the Maybank Malaysia Open eased the pain "quite a bit," he said.
"Obviously I was disappointed not getting the win, but you get those tournaments where you're on the bad end of it," Oosthuizen said. "But you know, I didn't mind the way I finished second at the Masters. I got outplayed by a brilliant shot in the playoff, and I did really well the last round. I hung in there, so I was very pleased with the way I played."
Oosthuizen said he hasn't seen the shot Watson bent out of the trees to the right of the 10th fairway and onto the green on the second playoff hole again. "I've seen it once, and that was enough for me," he said good-naturedly. When pressed, he admitted, "If it comes on, I'll have a look. But I won't surf the Internet for it."
And had it not been for that career-defining shot by Watson, the albatross Oosthuizen made with a 4-iron from 253 yards on the second hole that Sunday would have been the shot of the tournament. It was just the fourth double eagle in the history of the Masters.
But Watson’s shot eclipsed the rarest of the rare. Still, Oosthuizen has a chance to make more history on Sunday at Firestone Country Club where he's one of just three players to shoot the first three rounds in the 60s this week.
This marks the third time Oosthuizen has been inside the top three in a PGA TOUR event this year, too. (In addition to the Masters, he led by two at the Shell Houston Open where he finished third.)
And there's nothing like a final-round pairing in a World Golf Championships to get Oosthuizen's juices flowing.
"That's what I work for,' he said. "That's what I practice for, to give myself good chances in these events, majors. After Malaysia there was quite a bit of a slump, just not finding any rhythm in my game, and since Colonial, Scottish Open, I started hitting the ball better and working on a few different things with Pete.
“And yeah, I'm getting there. I feel like I'm swinging it really well now."
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
AKRON, Ohio -- Firestone Country Club just might owe Keegan Bradley something.
He entered the final round of last year's World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational trailing by two and was just one behind when he made the turn. But everything went sour on the back nine that Sunday as Bradley's bid disintegrated with a closing 41 that left him tied for 15th.
"I really felt devastated here last year," Bradley said earlier this week.
Turns out, Bradley says, that free-fall was instrumental in his victory the following week at the PGA Championship -- particularly when he made triple bogey on the 15th hole seven days later at the Atlanta Athletic Club because "I kind of knew how to handle it a little better," he said.
Bradley will defend his PGA Championship title next week at Kiawah Island. But first he has another chance to win the Bridgestone Invitational, starting the final round alone in third at 7 under, four strokes off the pace being set for the third straight day by Jim Furyk.
"It's weird how it all worked out," Bradley said, joking about biorhythms. "My scores are pretty darned identical almost. It's kind of weird, but it feels about the same."
Bradley put himself in position with a 67 on Saturday that he called "one of my best (rounds) of the year" and included three birdies and just one bogey. He's been putting extremely well this week, taking just 24 in the third round and ranking second in the field. He's also tied for sixth in fairways hit and 18th in greens in regulation.
"I think I'm sitting great," Bradley said. "I'm kind of happy that I got myself back into position. I was kind of here last year, in a position to win, and I'm just going to enjoy it. I love so much being in contention. This is fun for me. It's kind of boring when you're not able to do this every week."
Bradley, who tied for eighth earlier this year at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, has had a solid sophomore season. He nearly won his third PGA TOUR event at the Northern Trust Open, losing to Bill Haas in a playoff, and has two other top-10s.
The New Englander hasn't finished better than 24th in his last 10 starts, though, so this week is a confidence boost at the just right time. Particularly with Bradley ranked one spot shy of automatically qualifying for the U.S. Ryder Cup team when the team is finalized next week.
Tournament officials have moved tee times up due to the threat of thunderstorms and players will be sent off the first and 10th tees in threesomes. As a result, Bradley will play in the final group with Furyk and Louis Oosthuizen, who trails by one.
"A lot has happened since that round, and I think that I'm better equipped for it this year," Bradley said.