A bittersweet farewell to the World Golf Championships in Akron

Tiger Woods barely keeps pace at Firestone

Tiger Woods barely keeps pace at Firestone

The comment turned out to be prophetic, but then some would call Thomas' final-round performance a prevent defense along the lines of what Tiger Woods once did so well in his prime, an ability to know when to make the pack come to you.

Jason Day insists the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational is still wide open, predicting a volatile final round is going to feel like a major championship Sunday.

Woods, an eight time victor of the tournament at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, had opened with a promising 66 on Thursday, and was five off the lead before plummeting down the leaderboard with a 73 on Saturday.

Playing two groups in front of Perry, Short got within two shots with three holes to go, but Perry made a birdie putt at 16 for a three-shot cushion.

Fleetwood, who has been in remarkable form of late, made seven birdies in a bogey-free round of 63 to move to 11 under with Poulter and Thomas.

Thomas, who will defend his US PGA Championship title at Bellerive Country Club next week, has a star-studded chasing pack breathing down his neck, with 2014 champion Rory McIlroy and Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter in a tie for second on 11 under.

That wasn't a problem for Thomas, whose six birdies included a chip-in from 30 feet behind the green on the par-3 12th. And with only 71 players in the field, there is more money to go around.

"I'm glad I finally played well around here, just in time for it to leave", said Thomas.

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"We think this tournament is good for the city, it's good for the Northeast Ohio region, with all the visitors and guests here", said Janelle Lee, from Canton. He had gone five months since his last victory, a playoff win at the Honda Classic.

"It's great we keep getting in position", he told Golf Channel.

"I'm going to have to", Woods said.

The world number three, who will start the defence of his US PGA Championship next Thursday, birdied the second hole but dropped back to 14 under with a bogey at the par-four sixth. I said, I don't know why, or its really been that long or what, but I'm nervous today. The difference was two more putts. "I hit a lot that didn't go in the hole, so I'm pleased with it".

"This is my first PGA Tour win with him here and it's really special".

"Very similar to the first day". I had a little bit of a pull, a little bit of a block, a little here, a little there.

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.

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