Belgian Thomas Pieters surges into lead at WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

Belgian Thomas Pieters surges into lead at WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

Marc Leishman signed off with a respectable 69 to sit at three-over, two shots ahead of countrymen Sam Brazel (70, five-over) with Rod Pampling near the bottom of the leaderboard (80, 19-over).

Jimmy Walker, one week away from the defense of his PGA Championship title, fired a five-under 65 to seize a two-shot lead after two rounds of the World Golf Championship-Bridgestone Invitational on Friday. This week and beyond, the consensus is growing that although others will no doubt intrude from time to time on their private party, it is these...

"Honing in the wedges with that distance control has been the key, and I think especially the scoring irons", Johnson said.

Pieters made only three pars over his last 11 holes, yet he still has his best chance to win in America. "Obviously, it's been nine years since I've had anyone else on my bag".

However, after finding rough off the ninth tee and coming up short of the green, the four-time major victor hit a clumsy pitch which ran through the green and failed to get up and down to save par.

Johnson also birdied the last hole at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, briefly taking sole possession of the lead before Pieters, who led by as many as three strokes, joined him.

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Playing his first event since splitting from long-time caddie JP Fitzgerald, McIlroy had made the ideal start with a birdie on the second, but bogeyed the ninth following a wild drive to fall back to three under. Hideki Matsuyama had a 67 and was two shots behind. I haven't had too many this year, it's been kind of rough.

He finished the day tied third, one shot back.

"My ball striking was good, driver was not good. and I managed to score really well, so pretty happy", said Pieters, a three-time victor on the European tour.

It was a similar story on the back nine and, by the end of the round, he had hit drives of over 300 yards at every hole bar the par threes.

He had four birdies on each side with one bogey, capping his round with a 15-foot birdie putt at 18.

Short-game master Spieth wielded his magic putter to sink consecutive monster birdies late in his round, before ending his day with a sand save at the last, holing a seven-footer for par. "All I want is a chance to be in contention on Sunday afternoon and we'll see what happens". Lexi Thompson, who started the third round two shots behind, stumbled to 74 and wound up 10 shots back.

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