Thomas opens three-shot lead over McIlroy at Bridgestone


"My irons, I just tended to hit exactly where we were picking the spots and I holed a few putts", Fleetwood said. "It was either going to be 62 or 63 or something in the mid 70s. Sometimes it works out; sometimes it doesn't".

"To get the adrenaline rush you get when you're right there having to hole a 15-footer or even a three-footer, it makes all the practice worthwhile". He made five birdies, including a 50-foot putt from just short of the 18th green as he was making the turn.

Starting on the first hole, where he missed the fairway with a 3-wood and was just above the lip of a bunker and forced to take an awkward stance, Woods was out of position far too often.

"I'm fine", he said.

"It was very similar to the first day, " Woods said. I struggled hitting the putts hard enough this week.

"It was definitely one of the better putting days I've had in a while", Thomas said.

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He also didn't prepare as well as he had for other events.

As recently as last September he wasn't sure if he'd return to competitive golf, but his comeback has steadily gained steam to see him rose from outside the top 500 in the world rankings at the start of the year to 50th.

That had been missing during recent years in his aborted attempts to play with back problems but was a big factor in his relative success this year. "I did not hit the ball as well today but we had so much control and I had a very clean card at the end". Barring an incredible string of birdies, Woods will have to settle for a forgettable finish with one week left until the PGA Championship. He has committed to the first two tournaments and is all but a lock for the third, meaning a lot of golf for him over the next month. It is moving to Memphis, Tennessee, in 2019.

"I just played like crap", said the 14-time major champion, who started the day tied for 10th and five shots off the lead and finished 11 off the pace. He followed with a tie for sixth at The Open, which helped him narrowly qualify for the Bridgestone, where he has won eight times.

Players Championship victor Webb Simpson holed a wedge from 111 yards for eagle at the par-five 16th and joined Woods on six-under in the World Golf Championships event. So I'm excited for it, and I think it's going to be great prep for next week as well. "I was just trying to get as many as I can". He's looking to become the second three-time victor of the event. Maybe that comes next week at the 100th PGA Championship, but following a 6-over weekend finish at Firestone, contention in St. Louis would certainly be a surprise.