Shane Lowry showed signs that he has shaken off some of his US Open disappointment when he posted a level par 70 in the third round of the WGC Bridgestone Invitational in Akron.
The defending champion moved up seven place on the leaderboard to tied 40th on eight over par after a round featuring four birdies and four bogeys.
Lowry had his first decent day of the week on the greens, taking just 28 putts and holing his share from distance.
But he remains a long way from the top of the leaderboard where Scott Piercy shot 67 to join Jason Day (69) in a one shot lead on five under par.
Sweden’s David Lingmerth is solo third on four under after a 69 with Brian Stuard moving up to fourth on three under after a 67.
US Open champion Dustin Johnson was one of the big movers, carding a 66 to leap 17 places to tied fifth with Charl Schwartzel and Wiliam McGirt on two under.
World No 2 Jordan Spieth dropped back to tied 10th when he made an eight at the par-five 16th and then followed a fine long range birdie at the 17th with a bogey at the last for 71 that leaves him five off the lead on level par.
Akron, Ohio June 30-July 3, 2016 FedExCup Pts: 550
Firestone Country Club Par/Yards: 35-35—70/7,400Purse: $9,500,000
Third-Round Notes – Saturday, July 02, 2016
Weather: Skies were mostly cloudy this afternoon with northwest winds at 5- 10mph, and an afternoon high in the upper 70s.
Scott Piercy 69-69-67—205 (-5)
Jason Day 67-69-69—205 (-5)
David Lingmerth 70-67-69—206 (-4)
Brian Stuard 71-69-67—207 (-3)
Dustin Johnson 69-73-66—208 (-2)
Charl Schwartzel 72-69-67—208 (-2)
William McGirt64-74-70—208 (-2)
Emiliano Grillo 67-71-71—209 (-1)
Justin Thomas 70-69-70—209 (-1)
Jason Day, T1 (-5)
With rounds of 67-69-69, the world’s No. 1-ranked player and current FedExCup leader, Jason Day, shares the 54-hole lead at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. Day and co-leader Scott Piercy are the only two players to shoot under par in each of the first three rounds of the event.
This is the 13th time that Day has held or shared the 54-hole lead at a PGA TOUR event. He has converted each of his last five 54-hole leads into victories.
Jason Day’s 54-hole leads
Date Tournament Finish
- 5/15/2016 THE PLAYERS Championship 1
- 3/20/2016 Arnold Palmer Invitational 1
- 9/20/2015 BMW Championship 1
- 8/30/2015 The Barclays 1
- 8/16/2015 PGA Championship 1
- 7/19/2015 The Open Championship T4
- 6/21/2015 U.S. Open T9
- 4/26/2015 Zurich Classic of New Orleans T4
- 8/24/2014 The Barclays T2
- 9/6/2010 Deutsche Bank Championship T2
- 5/23/2010 HP Byron Nelson Championship 1
- 3/15/2009 Puerto Rico Open T2
Day is a three-time winner this season (Arnold Palmer Invitational, World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play, THE PLAYERS Championship) and leads the current FedExCup standings by 255 points over fellow Australian Adam Scott.
Day owns 10 PGA TOUR victories, including the 2014 and 2016 World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play. Should he go on to win this week, Day would join fellow Australian Geoff Ogilvy with three World Golf Championships titles. Tiger Woods, with 18, is the only player with more World Golf Championships victories. Day would become the first player to win back-to-back World Golf Championships events since Woods won the Cadillac Championship and the Bridgestone Invitational in 2013. Day would join Woods as the only players to win back-to-back World Golf Championships.
In his last 21 starts, dating back to the 2015 U.S. Open, Jason Day has 14 top-10 finishes including seven victories.
Day is making his seventh start at the Bridgestone Invitational. He finished T12 last year and T4 in 2011 for his only two top-15 results at Firestone Country Club. Day posted a first-round 63 in 2011 when he finished T4.
Day’s Strokes Gained stats:
Stat R1 Rank R2 Rank R3 Rank Cumulative
Strokes Gained: Off the Tee 15 14 50 22
Strokes Gained: Tee To Green 2 13 38 5
Strokes Gained: Approach The Green 2 18 47 T9
Strokes Gained: Around The Green12 31 7 7
Strokes Gained: Putting31 8 2 5
Scott Piercy, T1 (-5)
Scott Piercy, who finished runner-up at the U.S. Open, shot a 3-under-par, 67, to share the lead with Jason Day going into the final round at the Bridgestone Invitational. Piercy nearly had the only bogey-free round of the third round until a blemish on the 18th hole cost him a stroke.
The last time Scott Piercy and Jason Day were paired together in the final group was at the 2015 BMW Championship. Day shot 69 (-2) to win the championship while Piercy recorded a final-round 70 (-1) to finish third.
Piercy’s runner-up finish at Oakmont was his second top-10 finish of the season and first since a T7 at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia last fall.
This is the fifth time that Piercy has held or shared the 54-hole lead on the PGA TOUR. Piercy has converted his last two 54-hole leads into victory at the 2015 Barbasol Championship and the 2011 Reno-Tahoe Open.
Piercy has missed just 2 of 17 cuts this season and ranks No. 38 in the FedExCup standings. In his six previous full seasons on the PGA TOUR, the least amount of cuts that he has missed over the entire season is 8 in 2013.
A three-time winner on the PGA TOUR, Piercy is playing in the event for the third time with his best finish (T19) coming in 2012. Piercy’s best finish in a World Golf Championships event is T2 at the 2012 HSBC Champions.
In 2016, Piercy has top-30 finishes in each of the first two major championships, THE PLAYERS Championship and the World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play and Cadillac Championship. He is one of four players (Piercy, Dustin Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen and Jason Day), to finish in the top 30 in each of these events this year.
Piercy’s Strokes Gained stats:
Stat R1 Rank R2 Rank R3 Rank Cumulative
Strokes Gained: Off the Tee 13 3 5 3
Strokes Gained: Tee To Green 8 7 1 1
Strokes Gained: Approach The Green 8 6 29 3
Strokes Gained: Around The Green26 50 1 9
Strokes Gained: Putting35 23 32 27
Third-Round Lead Notes
Three players tied for the 54-hole lead matches the most in the tournament’s history dating back to 1999 with the 2008 event in which eventual winner Vijay Singh was tied with Phil Mickelson and Lee Westwood going into the final round.
Nine Bridgestone Invitational champions have carried the lead from round three, the most recent being Tiger Woods in 2013. Third-round leaders have gone on to win 14 of 31 PGA TOUR events this season.
David Lingmerth, 3rd (-4)
Playing in the final group alongside world No. 1, Jason Day, Sweden’s David Lingmerth shot a 1-under 69 and finished one shot behind the leaders following 54 holes.
Lingmerth and first-round leader William McGirt are the two most recent winners of the Memorial Tournament held in nearby Columbus, Ohio. Lingmerth finished T6 last year in his only previous start at the Bridgestone Invitational with weekend rounds of 66-68.
Lingmerth's uncle, Goran, was a kicker for the nearby Cleveland Browns in 1987.
Lingmerth’s lone top-10 finish this season came in a playoff-loss at the CareerBuilder Challenge. He has made 14 of 18 cuts on the PGA TOUR this season with 6 top-25 finishes and is No. 39 in the FedExCup standings. Thanks to his 2015 victory at The Memorial Tournament , Lingmerth finished last season at a career-best No. 37 in the FedExCup.
Dustin Johnson, T5 (-2)
U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson shot the low round of the day with a 4-under-par 66 and finished the third round at T5, three shots off the pace. Johnson’s best result in six previous starts at this event is 15th in 2010.
Johnson leads the PGA TOUR with 9 top-10 finishes this season and has 7 top-5 finishes in his last 10 starts on the PGA TOUR.
If Johnson wins the Bridgestone Invitational and Jordan Spieth finishes 5th or worse, Johnson will move to no. 2 in the Official World Ranking, the highest ranking of his career.
The third-round score of 66 was Johnson’s best third-round score of the 2015-16 PGA TOUR season.
Each PGA TOUR player who wins a TOUR event after having the 54-hole lead – a feat commonly called “sleeping on the lead” – will receive a new TEMPUR-Breeze bed from Tempur-Pedic, Official Mattress of the PGA TOUR. One fan who has entered the Sleeping on the Lead Sweepstakes at www.tempurpedicgolf.com and one military member from the PGA TOUR’s Birdies for the Brave® program will also each take home a new TEMPUR-Breeze bed. This program will run from the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational until the TOUR Championship.
Jordan Spieth moved up the leaderboard to 3-under-par heading into the 667-yard 16th hole, but his approach to the green found the greenside pond and Spieth eventually took a triple bogey on the hole.
Since winning the Safeway Open, the opening event of the 2015-16 PGA TOUR Season, in a sudden-death playoff over Kevin Na, Emiliano Grillo has failed to record another top-10 finish in 16 further events. Grillo enters the final round at 1-under-par, T8.
Justin Thomas joins Grillo at 1-under-par following an even-par 70 in the third round. In the second round, Thomas recorded just the third eagle on the par-5, 667-yard 16th hole since the start of the Bridgestone Invitational in 1999 and first since 2008. Soren Hansen (Rd. 2, 2008) and Charley Hoffman (Rd. 2, 2007), are the only other players to eagle the hole in Bridgestone Invitational history.
Grillo and Thomas are each playing in their first Bridgestone Invitationals.
No player has won all four World Golf Championships events, and only Tiger Woods has won three of them. His 18 WGC victories is well ahead of his nearest rival, Australia’s Geoff Ogilvy with three. Nine players have two WGC titles to their credit – Darren Clarke, Jason Day, Ernie Els, Dustin Johnson, Hunter Mahan, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter and Adam Scott – with Day (T1), Johnson (T5), Mickelson (T33) and Scott (T18) in this week’s field seeking a third title to join Ogilvy.
Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott climbed the list of players with the most World Golf Championships appearances (Dell Match Play, Cadillac Championship, Bridgestone Invitational and HSBC Champions since it become a World Golf Championships event in 2009) and now share third place on the list with Ernie Els with 48 appearances. Jim Furyk is now sixth on the list with 47 appearances. Lee Westwood has the most events with 54.
- Westwood, Lee 54
- Garcia, Sergio 49
- Els, Ernie 48
- Mickelson, Phil 48
- Scott, Adam 48
- Furyk, Jim 47
- Woods, Tiger 44
- Poulter, Ian 44
Two former Florida State University golfers withdrew during the first round. Daniel Berger withdrew with a shoulder injury after hitting his opening tee shot. Berger receives $50,500 but the money is unofficial and he will not receive FedExCup points. Earlier this year, Berger also pulled out of the World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play after hurting his hand on a rock during a swing. Brooks Koepka also withdrew during the first round with an ankle injury.
Davis Love III, who received the Ambassador of Golf Award at a ceremony on Wednesday, withdrew after the first round with a hip injury.
R1 – William McGirt
R2 – None
R3 – None
Front nine Back nine Total
R1 35.83136.000 71.831
R2 36.01736.207 72.224
R3 35.37935.810 71.190
Cumulative 35.74236.006 71.748