Thomas Doesn't Break Sweat in Earning Win

Tiger Woods barely keeps pace at Firestone

After two days of sensational scoring, at least by some, the harsh realities of a long, demanding course in hard-running conditions, came to the fore in the third round of the WGC Bridgestone-Invitational event at the Firestone club, Akron, Ohio.

Thomas carded one-under-par 69 at Firestone Country Club to reach 15 under and finished four shots ahead of Kyle Stanley (68), while world No 1 Dustin Johnson and Thorbjorn Olesen (both 64) tied for third at 10 under.

McIlroy carded a three-under 67 to share second on 199 with overnight co-leader Ian Poulter of England, who carded a 70. He got an unlucky break at the first hole when his approach shot hit the flagstick and clattered off the green, which set the tone for a 74 that left him seven shots back.

Day refuses to concede the elite 71-man event to prolific victor Thomas, whose 2017 US PGA Championship title is among eight US PGA Tour victories during the past three years. "I was putting it in position where I should have been giving myself birdie chances and I was having to hole five and six-footers for par, so I think my patience was rewarded".

The only regret for Thomas was a mistake that didn't cost him as much as it could have.

"We were lucky to get up-and-down for 6, but that was a stupid decision", Thomas. After winning last year's Tour Championship he revealed a list that ranged from the predictable (win on Tour) to the amazingly detailed (finish the season ranked in the top 30 in scrambling).

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"My grandpa is not emotional, but I hadn't seen him smile or be that happy, maybe ever". The list of golfers without major championships should be getting shorter, but instead it seems like it's getting deeper and possibly even better.

"It's really cool", Thomas said.

"With a three-shot lead, obviously I knew I needed to play well but you kind of have a little bit of wiggle room and you feel like you play maybe a little too conservative". "I hit a lot that didn't go in the hole, so I'm pleased with it".

"The first 10 holes were pretty good", said Johnson. Paul and Phyllis Thomas live in the Louisville, Ky., and this is the first time they saw Justin win in person on the PGA Tour.

The 14-time Major champion hit only seven of 14 fairways in regulation and 13 of 18 greens and blamed his underwhelming round on struggling to adjust to the pace of the greens. "And then I had some putts where, you know, I had some good looks at it to turn it around, build some momentum, I didn't make anything".

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