Round-up: McIlroy, Power and Maguire in the mix
 Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy set a tournament record for drives over 300 yards in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational — 38 — but remains three shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Thomas Pieters at Firestone Country Club

Denied by a luke-warm putter, the four-time major winner added a two-under 68 to rounds of 67 and 69 to share fifth place with Charley Hoffman and Adam Hadwin on six-under.

Pieters shot 66 and Johnson a 65 to take a one-shot lead over Scott Hend (63) on nine-under par with Hideki Masuyama (67) a shot further back in fifth on seven-under

"I felt like I could have got a lot more out of it," McIlroy said. "I think if I would have walked off today with a 65 or a 66, I would have felt that was a fair reflection of how I played. 

"Left a few out there, but only three behind going into tomorrow and I can get off to a fast start and try and put a bit of pressure on the guys up ahead of me.

"I think with how soft the golf course is and how good I'm playing and, especially where I'm hitting it off the tee, I can be as aggressive as I want to out there. I've seen some good improvements with my iron play over the past three days. I think the plan is to go out and be aggressive, make a bunch of birdies and see where that leaves me.

"I'm hitting the driver really well. When you're confident with it and you can go at it 100 percent, it feels good. It brings you back to three years ago when I was doing the same thing here. 

"Hopefully that continues and I can keep it up, not just through tomorrow, but obviously into next week as well.

"I was three behind going into Sunday last time and I think the took the lead by the sixth tee box. There's obviously a few more guys up around the lead this time around but I'm going to need to start like that again.

McIlroy is first in strokes gained off the tee at 4.952 above the field average, first in driving distance (344.2 yards), T11 in accuracy (24 of 42 fairways) and second for scrambling.

Power moving forward in Reno

At the Barracuda Championship in Reno, West Waterford's Seamus Power made six birdies and two bogeys to rack up 10 points in the Modified Stableford event and move up four places to tied 14th.

The 30-year old is 11 points behind leader Greg Owen at Montreux Golf & Country Club but should he finish where he is, he is projected to move up from 126th to 119th in the FedEx Cup standings with one event remaining before the playoffs.

The top 125 after the Wyndham Championship in a fortnight retain their cards and qualify for the first event of the FedEx Cup playoffs, the Northern Trust (formerly the Barclays) from August 24-27.

Leona on course for Smyth Salver Trophy at Kingsbarns

Amateur Leona Maguire made two birdies in an immaculate, two-under par 70 to share 22nd place behind runaway leader In-Kyung Kim in the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Kingsbarns and remain on track to win the Smyth Salver Trophy awarded to the leading amateur for the second year running.

The 22-year old World No 1 is on six-under par, 11 strokes behind the leader, who made six birdies in a third round 66 to post a third-round total of 17-under-par 199 — the lowest in the history of the event since it became a Major.

The world number 21 from South Korea bettered by one-stroke the record 54-hole total set by the 2016 champion Ariya Jutanugarn 12 months earlier at Woburn.

In so doing, the 29-year-old from Seoul will take a six-stroke lead into the final round on Sunday, which equals the largest 54-hole lead in the championship, held by Lorena Ochoa in 2007, who went on to claim the title on the Old Course at St Andrews.

Scores

In the race for the Smyth Salver Trophy, Leona has a three-stroke advantage over England's Sophie Lamp with Sweden's My Leander eight shots behind her on two-over.