Rory McIlroy came out after a three-hour weather delay and birdied his final two holes to cut Sergio Garcia's five shot lead to just three heading into the final round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron.
Driving the ball further and straighter than ever, the 25-year old Open champion was four under for the day playing the 16th when the hooter sounded.
He made par at the par-five 16th but then pitched to 13 feet at the 17th and holed the putt before a wedge to 34 feet yielded another birdie at the last.
It all added up to a four under 66 for the Holywood native, who hit 14 tee shots well over 300 yards including a 351-yard drive at the 16th, as he finished the day three behind Garcia (67) on 11 under par.
Hoping to put some pressure on Garcia, McIlroy said: “I was just trying to get as close to the top of the leader board as possible and get into the final group for Sunday and I managed to achieve that."
McIlroy, who was drugs tested after his round for the first time since the Honda Classic, said he has "never driven the ball better" and feels comfortable as it's the foundation of his game.
Australia's Marc Leishman is alone in third on nine under after a 68 with fellow Aussie Adam Scott (65) sharing fourth spot on eight under par with Keegan Bradley (67) and Justin Rose (70).
Tiger Woods admitted he didn't play well after a 72 left him in 36th spot on one over par and needs "more reps" and also more explosiveness before he's back near his best.
It was a good day for Graeme McDowell in his quest for Ryder Cup qualifying points.
Despite dropping two shots in his last four holes, he matched his low round at the venue (2010) by firing a four under 66 to move him 18 spots to 18th on three under.
PGA Tour, Reno — Pádraig Harrington shot the equivalent of a level par 72, picking up two points to slip to tied 37th in the Barracuda Championship at Montreux Golf and Country Club n Reno.
The Dubliner, 43 later this month, has 19 points in the modified stableford format event, carding two birdies and two bogeys.
With 19 points he's 16 points behind leader Geoff Ogilvy, who had 12 points to lead by three from Jason Alred and Nick Watney on 35 points.
Challenge Tour — Benjamin Hebert will go into the final round of the Azerbaijan Golf Challenge Open with a three-shot lead over Alexander Björk after a topsy-turvy third day in Quba.
The lead changed hands several times throughout the course of a fascinating battle, but a late flourish from Hebert, combined with a brace of bogeys from Björk, enabled the Frenchman to steal the advantage on 15 under par.
Hebert’s 67 was again the lowest of the day – he flew round in a mere 62 shots on Friday – and the 27 year old is now 15 under par for his last two rounds at The National Azerbaijan Golf Club.
Ruaidhri McGee shot a 69 to lead the Irish challenge, moving up to tied 23rd on five under with Gareth Shaw tied 37th on there under after birdies at the 17th and 18th gave him a 70.