AKRON, Ohio (AP) — A steady diet of pars kept Jim Furyk in the lead Saturday in the Bridgestone Invitational, but not by much.
Furyk made his only birdie on the par-5 second hole and had to rely on a couple of strong par saves on the back nine at Firestone for an even-par 70, giving him a one-shot lead over Louis Oosthuizen going into the final round of this World Golf Championship.
Furyk began the week with a 63, and he’s not sure he didn’t hit the ball better in the third round. Under three days of sun-baked conditions, the greens lost their moisture and enough wind arrived to make players think more than they would prefer.
Oosthuizen had to scramble for pars at the start before he settled into his round of 68.
Keegan Bradley, who can move into the top eight in the Ryder Cup standings with a runner-up finish, had a 67 and was four shots behind. He will be in the final group Sunday, when the tee times are pushed forward to avoid thunderstorms forecast throughout the day.
And that could change everything.
Instead of approach shots that spun back, even a wedge was taking a big bounce forward, making it tough to get it close. Furyk wasted the few opportunities he had early in the round, missing from 7 feet for birdie on the third and from 6 right behind the hole on the par-3 fifth hole.
“We had a little bit more wind going on, the greens firmed up a little bit, and I just felt like it was a lot harder to get iron shots close to the pin,” Furyk said.
Furyk led by five strokes on the front nine, though Firestone didn’t yield many birdies. He was at 11-under 199.
Rory McIlroy, with an outside chance of returning to No. 1 in the world if he were to win, had a 67 and joined Steve Stricker (68) at 6-under 204, five shots behind. Stricker looked to be closing in on the lead until he hooked his tee shot on the par-5 16th into the base of a pine tree and had to take a penalty shot to be able to make a swing.
Top-ranked Luke Donald also was chipping away, as he often does, until he hit a tree on the last for a bogey for a 71, falling seven shots back.
BLAINE, Minn. (AP) — David Peoples matched his career best with a 10-under 62 on Saturday to take a three-stroke lead in the Champions Tour’s 3M Championship.
Peoples, who twice shot 62 on the PGA Tour, made six straight birdies at the TPC Twin Cities to get to 10 under through seven holes, also birdied Nos. 10, 12 and 13 and closed with an 8-foot birdie putt on No. 18. Winless on the 50-and-over tour, he had a 14-under 130 total.
Eduardo Romero was second after a 65, and Joe Daley was another stroke back after a 67.