Akron, OH, United States (4E Sports) – Sergio Garcia fired a 3-under-par 67 Saturday to protect a three-stroke advantage heading into the final round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
Garcia followed his record-tying 61 in the second round with four birdies and a bogey at the par-70 Firestone Country Club for a 54-hole total of 14-under-par 196, three strokes ahead of Rory McIlroy.
McIlroy, who recently won the Open Championship, shot a four-under-par 66 to move to solo second at 11-under 199.
“Obviously 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 of McIlroy.
“I feel 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,” added Garcia, who is eyeing his ninth PGA title.
First-round leader Marc Leishman carded a 68 for third, five strokes behind Garcia. Adam Scott (65), Justin Rose (70) and Keegan Bradley (67) are tied for fourth place at 8-under 202.
Defending champion Tiger Woods carded a 2-over 72 Saturday to slip into a share of 36th place.
Garcia padded his lead to six strokes after Rose bogeyed the 13th hole, dropping him into a tie with McIlroy, Bradley and Leishman at 9-under.
However, he bogeyed the 14th and parred the 15th before play was delayed for over three hours due to inclement weather.
When play resumed, McIlroy made two straight birdies to cut Garcia’s lead to three. The Spaniard then settled for a three-shot lead with a par putt on the final hole.
“The restart was a little tougher. 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,” Garcia said.