Friday, 20 October, 2017

Scott Hend storms into WGC Bridgestone calculations

Jason's best day since 2015 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational: Hideki Matsuyama ties course record in fifth PGA Tour win
Christy Curtis | 07 August, 2017, 00:59

Hend will start Sunday just one shot behind co-leaders Zach Johnson (65) and Thomas Pieters (66) at nine-under.

The 2014 champion hacked from rough to rough at the 10th and shaved the hole with his 12-foot par attempt, but McIlroy atoned with a birdie at the next before a sublime pitch in from the greenside rough lifted him to within two of the lead.

"Clearly the putts today were very good", Johnson said.

Scott Dunlap (63) and Brandt Jobe (64) were one shot behind; Steve Stricker (63) and Marco Dawson (66) were two back.

World No. 3 Hideki Matsuyama is two shots off the lead at seven-under 203.

Canada's Adam Hadwin, American Charley Hoffman and Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy are in a three-way tie for fifth on -6, one shot better than Scotland's Russel Knox in eighth.

Playing his first event since splitting from long-time caddie JP Fitzgerald, McIlroy had made the ideal start with a birdie on the second, but bogeyed the ninth following a wild drive to fall back to three under.

"It was good. A little weird at the start", McIlroy said about the new partnership with best friend Diamond. "It's been like that for three days and I've managed to score really well".

"If I'm four, five, six shots behind, it doesn't matter because this golf course can jump up and bite you pretty quick, and we don't know what the conditions are going to be like tomorrow anyway", Hend said.

Johnson, who won the Masters in 2007 and the 2015 Open Championship at St Andrews, carded eight birdies and three bogeys in his 65 to briefly take the outright lead, until Pieters also birdied the last. Johnson only wants to give himself a chance to win, and he says all the parts are in working order for that.

"I have myself a lot of opportunities.Just a sold day all around".

"It's just important for me to have a good week". Though his putter still isn't cooperating, his driving has been scary good this week.

"There's still 18 holes left". "I was just pouring in everything".

The Cavan girl, the current number one amateur in the world, carded a one-under-par 71 yesterday, which included three birdies and two bogeys. After the turn, he opened with a birdie at No. 10 and added three more at Nos.

The Aussie, decked out in Stars and Stripes shoes, picked up another shot at the 15th and it was somewhat fitting that he should close out the low round of the tournament with another confident putt from "only" 15 feet at the last.

While McIlroy still has not looked back to his old self on the putting surface, he has found different ways to make birdie around Firestone's tough layout, having holed four on day three.

Pieters and Johnson were at 9-under 201 going into today's final round.

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