Misfiring Woods and McIlroy stay in contention, Golf News & Top Stories

Woods hit only one fairway over the second half of his round

Justin Thomas tried valiantly to have Jarrod Lyle's yellow bucket hats shipped to OH so the world's best golfers could wear them during the WGG-Bridgestone Invitational. Woods is an eight-time victor at Firestone, which is hosting this World Golf Championship for the last time.

Marc Leishman carded a 67 to sit a shot back of fellow Australian Day, in a tie for fifth, and is also confident of making a final-round charge.

Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy battled inconsistent wedge play, his frustration eased by a holed bunker shot at the 17th, which helped him join South Korean Kim Si-woo three back. He made just a single bogey - at the sixth hole - and cruised to a closing 69 for a four-stroke victory.

At one stage, Day rocketed into a tie for second courtesy of an incredible hole-out for birdie at the par-three 15th.

That wasn't a problem for Thomas, whose six birdies included a chip-in from 30 feet behind the green on the par-3 12th.

The impromptu meeting was much more than simply a pep talk, the reigning PGA Tour player of the year doesn't need that.

"I'm glad I finally played well around here, just in time to leave", he said.

"It's great we keep getting in position", he said.

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"I was just signing my card there and realized I hadn't had a five", Fleetwood said.

Former world No.1s Day and Woods wowed enormous crowds by trading blows in a sharp display of golf.

"It's really cool", Thomas said.

"My goal today I was trying to get to 18 under, because I knew if I got to that I didn't think anyone would catch me". Thomas had a couple of early setbacks but was commanding thereafter, plotting his way round the treacherous terrain so efficiently that he shot a 67 and finished with a three-stroke lead at 14 under par. "I just didn't hit the putts hard enough. I hit a lot that didn't go in the hole, so I'm pleased with it". According to Titleist tour rep JJ VanWezenbeeck, a fitting session with Thomas prior to the Players in May showed the 9.5-degree TS3 gave the reigning PGA champ better ball speeds along with a desirable launch-to-spin ratio.

Paul was a career club professional and played at Firestone in the 1960 US PGA Championship, missing the 54-hole cut.

Bridgestone is also Tiger's last chance to prepare for the final major of the calendar year: the PGA Championship next weekend in Missouri.

Of the three joint halfway leaders - Ian Poulter, Tommy Fleetwood and Justin Thomas - there was no doubt about who managed the conditions the best.

Woods had a day to forget.

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