Altvater: Woods in command after third round at WGC-BridgestoneWritten by Fred Altvater | | BackNine@toledofreepress.com
Tiger Woods posted a two-under-par 68 to maintain his seven shot lead at the WGC-Bridgestone at Firestone Country Club on Saturday (Aug. 3).
He has won seven previous WGC-Bridgestone tournaments and it appears he will add No. 8 to his resume.
He is one of the best frontrunners of all time. Woods is 52-4 when holding at least a share of the 54-hole lead and has never lost when holding a seven-shot lead.
He is hitting the ball long, averaging nearly 320 yards with his driver and is finding 65 percent of the fairways. Long drives in the fairway result in short iron shots that can be hit into the correct spot on the green.
He is ranked No. 2 in the field this week in greens-in-regulation, putting average and strokes gained putting.
This is the type of performance that golf fans were accustomed to seeing from Woods in 2000-01 when he was winning four major championships during a 12-month period.
Although he has two top-10 finishes in major tournaments this year he has yet to capture a major. His last major title came at the 2008 U.S. Open when won in a playoff with Rocco Mediate.
A win this week at Firestone would be his fifth win of the season and solidify his hold on the No. 1 spot in the FedEx Cup and on the Official World Golf Rankings.
Henrik Stenson finished runner-up at the Open Championship at Muirfield in his last start and he will be paired with Woods in the final round on Sunday.
Jason Dufner at seven-under par is eight shots behind the leader and will be paired with Luke Donald, who is six-under par in the penultimate group.