By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
AKRON, Ohio -- The bogey at the 18th hole admittedly left a bit of a sour taste in his mouth. Overall, though, Adam Scott was pretty pleased with that 66 he shot Saturday in the third round of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
The reigning Masters champion has improved with each round at Firestone Country Club where he won the 2011 Bridgestone Invitational. After making four bogeys and one double in that opening 73, he has only dropped one shot in each round of 68 and 66.
"It'll be nice to play another solid round tomorrow, kind of nearly bogey free today, just dropped that one on the last, and that's good golf around here, and also good to get those rounds in before a major next week where dropped shots are so costly," Scott said.
Scott persevered on Saturday despite hitting just six fairways. He managed to find 12 of 18 greens in regulation, though, and took just 27 strokes with the putter.
The Aussie got off to a solid start, making three birdies in his first four holes. He made a 15-footer at No. 1, two-putted from 19 at the par-5 second and drained another from 18 at the fourth hole. Scott would have made it four straight had he been able to convert from 7 feet at No. 3.
Scott then chipped in twice for birdies on the back nine but missed the 18th green and was unable to convert an 8-footer to save par.
"Going to have to be really hot tomorrow, but it was a good round out there," Scott said. "Anything in the 60s is a good score around here no matter what the conditions are. There's always plenty of trouble. The game is sharpening up to where I want it to be, so I'm happy about that so far."
AKRON, Ohio -- Tiger Woods has gone quiet since that opening spurt of consecutive birdies but no one is making much of a move on the seven-time World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational champ as the back nine beckons.
Woods reeled off six straight pars after those opening birdies but ended a bogey-free stretch at 37 holes when he couldn't save par after finding the fairway bunker at No. 9. Woods, who turned in 34, is 15 under and seven strokes ahead of Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley and Chris Wood.
Dufner has played 10 holes while Bradley and Wood turned in 34 like their playing partner, Woods.
Dufner has had the most adventurous round so far Saturday -- opening with four straight birdies on putts of 3, 8, 15 and 8 feet. The momentum was halted when he missed the green at the par-3 fifth and three-putted from 14 feet for a double but Dufner got a stroke back with a 13-footer for birdie at No. 6 and turned in 32.
Phil Mickelson, who won The Open Championship in his last start, continues to improve with each round. He shot 72 in the first round, 71 in the second and is 3 under through 16 holes on Saturday, which has put him at even for the week.
Rory McIlroy is looking at his first sub-par round of the week, as well. He's 3 under for the day through 15 holes and 2 under for the tournament.
Tiger Woods hits his 145-yard second shot to 12 feet on the par-4 first hole and sinks the putt for birdie to get the third round of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational off to a positive start.
AKRON, Ohio -- Tiger Woods has picked up where he left off, almost, with birdies on his first two holes during the third round of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
Woods, who played his first three holes in 4 under on the way to a 61 on Friday, made a 13-footer for birdie at the first hole and two-putted for another from 39 feet at the par-5 second.
So even with Jason Dufner's torrid start, which includes birdies on his first four holes, Woods still leads by seven at 15 under. Keegan Bradley, who is playing with Woods, made a 40-footer for eagle at No. 2 and joins his buddy Dufner at 8 under.
Bubba Watson, who dropped $497.76 and a $100 tip to buy dinner for more than 60 people at Chipotle on Friday, is 6 under after birdies at Nos. 2 and 3. Also at that number are Bill Haas and Henrik Stenson.
Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson have finally gotten things headed in a positive direction, as well. McIlroy has played his first eight holes in 2 under while Mickelson is 3 under through 10 and has gotten back to even par for the tournament.
Phil Mickelson hits his 209-yard approach shot to 8 feet on the par-4 14th hole and makes the putt for birdie during the third round of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
AKRON, Ohio -- How well is Tiger Woods playing this week at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational? Well, here are some numbers to consider.
>>> Woods needed only 22 putts during the second-round, matching his second-best career putting total. His best came at the 2004 PLAYERS Championship when he shot a third-round 68 and went on to tie for 16th.
>>> This is the 47th time Woods has held or shared the 36-hole lead and he's gone on to win 36 of those events. The largest lead he has lost after 36 holes is four strokes at the 2009 PGA Championship when he finished second to Y.E. Yang.
>>> Woods shot his fourth career round of 61 on the PGA TOUR on Friday. Since 1983, Robert Gamez is the only other player on TOUR with as many rounds of 61 or better. Of the three previous events in which Woods has shot 61, he won only the 2000 Bridgestone Invitational.
>>> Woods' seven-stroke advantage matches his largest career 36-hole lead. He went on to win the last time he led by that many at the 2000 Bridgestone Invitational.
>>> Woods 36-hole mark of 66-61—127 is the second-best 36-hole score in tournament history, two stokes off the 125 total he scored (64-61) through 36 holes in 2000.
>>> The eagle for Woods on No. 2 was the eighth eagle of the year for Woods, twice his total for all of 2012 combined. It is the sixth eagle of Tiger’s career on the second hole at Firestone. He is a combined 39 under on that hole in his 54 career rounds at Firestone Country Club.
>> Woods has dominated the World Golf Championships since the series’ inception in 1999 with 17 wins in 41 starts for a winning percentage of 41. He hoisted his first World Golf Championships’ trophy since 2009 earlier this year at the Cadillac Championship. If Woods were to go on to win on SUnday, it would mark the sixth season in which he won multiple World Golf Championships events (1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007)
Chris Wood won his first European Tour event earlier this year.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
AKRON, Ohio -- The TV and radio announcers will be challenged today with Tiger Woods and Chris Wood in today's final pairing along with Keegan Bradley.
Woods is 13 under and leads the other two by seven strokes after two rounds of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. He tied the Firestone Country Club course record -- for the second time -- on Friday when he shot 61.
The 25-year-old Wood is playing with Woods for the first time. Bradley, on the other hand, has played with Woods five times previously, most recently on Thursday and Friday at the Memorial Tournament -- and they're paired together in the first two rounds of next week's PGA Championship.
Wood, as might be expected, is excited to play with the world No. 1. The three tee off at 1:10 p.m. ET.
"He's up here as high as you can get in my book as far as what he's achieved is just phenomenal," the Englishman saiid. "Like I said, he's been my golfing hero since I was 10, when I started the game, really. To be out with the world No. 1, Tiger Woods, is going to take a bit of getting used to, I think."
Wood wasn't surprised by Woods' 61. The two hit balls next to each other on the range Friday and Wood said Woods "looked really impressive, totally in control. It's going to be a real challenge for me (Saturday)."
An opportunity, as well.
"But I've got to forget about all that sort of thing," Wood said. "As hard as it's going to be, I've just got to try and play my game and enjoy the experience because I never got to meet Seve, which I would have loved to have done, and to play with Tiger ... in a final group in a big event is pretty special. I won't forget it."
AKRON, Ohio -- Roughly a half-inch of rain fell at Firestone overnight but the storms cleared a little earlier than expected.
Drier air has arrived and a mix of sun and clouds greet the players as the third round gets under way at 11:10 a.m. ET. In anticipation of the storms that began Friday night and lasted throughout the night, players are being sent off the first and 10th tees in threesomes.
The high on Saturday will reach 76 degrees and the winds will come from the northwest at 10-15 mph.
Sunday's final round will be contested under mostly sunny skies with a high temperature of 74. Winds will remain in the 10-15 mph range.