Justin Thomas makes his move at Bridgestone
Justin Thomas will take a three-shot lead into the final round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational after carding a three-under 67 to move clear of the field.
Thomas fired five birdies in seven holes around the turn on Saturday to finish at 14-under, three ahead of Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter.
The 25-year old will head into Sunday looking to clinch a third PGA victory of the season, just a week ahead of his defence of the PGA Championship.
<p><blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Chip-in birdie. 2-shot lead. <a href=”https://t.co/hud35h2bRd”>pic.twitter.com/hud35h2bRd</a></p>— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) <a href=”https://twitter.com/PGATOUR/status/1025840401045807105?ref_src=twsrc^tfw”>August 4, 2018</a></blockquote>
<script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script></p>
He will play with McIlroy in the final group after the four-time major winner shot a blemish-free 67, with birdies on the second, ninth and 17th holes.
Speaking after his round, McIlroy said he was happy with his game.
“I drove the ball well, gave myself plenty of chances, didn’t convert too many but even when I put myself out of position I held some good pars,” he said.
“If I can just make a couple more birdies tomorrow and keep the bogies off my card, I shouldn’t be too far away.
“I’ve putted well this week and every facet of my game feels pretty good.”
Overnight leader Poulter couldn’t keep the pace, the Englishman hit four birdies and four bogeys in an even-par round of 70.
Aussie Jason Day lies in fourth place on 10 under after a 69 while compatriot Marc Leishman was a shot further back in a tie for fifth spot alongside Kyle Stanley.
Rickie Fowler (65) and John Rahm (68) were on eight-under par.
Tommy Fleetwood, who had led overnight with Thomas and POulter slid down the leaderboard after a 74.
Another player who struggled was Tiger Woods, the eight-time winner hit a single birdie as he went round in 73 to finish 11 shots off the pace at three under.
“I’m fine. I just played like crap,” Woods said. “I didn’t warm up very well, I didn’t hit the ball crisp or clean.”
Rory McIlroy flying high after opening round of US Open at Winged Foot
The Northern Irishman is two shots behind leader Justin Thomas, who shot a five-under-par 65 at Winged Foot.
A little more relaxation brings a little more action for Rory McIlroy at US Open
The Northern Irishman shot 67 on the opening day to sit two behind clubhouse leader Justin Thomas.
Prayers answered for Rory McIlroy as US Open hopeful makes speedy start
The Northern Irishman is two shots off the lead after an opening 67 at Winged Foot.
WATCH: Tiger, Rory, Rahm and DJ on what makes Winged Foot so difficult
Golf’s big buns give their thoughts on the tough test that lies ahead at the US Open.
WATCH: Social media star pays tribute to Mickelson with special US Open song
Take a listen to the most heartfelt and emotional song about Phil Mickelson ever created.
All eyes on USGA when the 120th US Open gets under way at Winged Foot
The fact that last year’s championship took place without controversy over the set up of the course was a welcome relief for the organisation.
Tiger Woods ranks Winged Foot as one of the most difficult courses ever
Tiger Woods is under no illusions as to the challenges facing the field when the US Open tees off at Winged Foot on Thursday.
On This Day in 2004: US power couple Phil and Tiger tamed by Europe at Ryder Cup
Woods and Mickelson were ranked second and fourth in the world respectively but Montgomerie and Harrington bested them.