Garcia holds three stroke lead over McIlroy heading into Round 4

Garcia holds three stroke lead over McIlroy heading into Round 4

Third-Round Leaderboard

Sergio Garcia    68-61-67—196 (-14)

Rory McIlroy     69-64-66—199 (-11)

Marc Leishman 64-69-68—201 (-9)

Sergio Garcia

Garcia will enter the final round with a three-shot lead thanks to a third-round 67.  Garcia's 196 total for the week misses his low-54 by two shots (194 – 2013 Deutsche Bank Championship).

This is the first time in Garcia's 14 starts at the Bridgestone Invitational to shoot three rounds in the 60s.

Sergio Garcia has held the 54-hole lead 11 times in his career, but has only converted to victory three times. He is one of six players in PGA TOUR history to enter the final round with a six-stroke lead and lose.

Garcia went 46 holes bogey-free but missed a four-foot putt for par on the 14th hole to collect his second bogey for the week.

Garcia will be paired with Rory McIlroy for the fifth time Sunday. Garcia and McIlroy finished T2 and 1, respectively, in both of their last starts at The Open Championship two weeks ago.

With a win, Garcia would become the first Spaniard to win a World Golf Championships event and the 19th 54-hole leader to go on to win this season.

Rory McIlroy

McIlroy narrowed the lead today by making five birdies and just one bogey on his way to a 4-under 66. McIlroy once again ended his round with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 17 and 18 to close the gap and enter the final round just three shots behind Garcia.

Three of McIlroy's seven PGA TOUR victories have been in come-from-behind fashion (2010 Wells Fargo Championship, 2012 Deutsche Bank Championship, 2012 BMW Championship).

McIlroy will move to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking if he wins the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and Adam Scott finishes outside the top 5. Scott is currently T4.

McIlroy has birdied both the par-5 2nd hole and the par-4 17th hole in each round this week.

First starts after major wins:

2011 U.S. Open – T25 at Open Championship

2012 PGA Championship – T24 at The Barclays

Marc Leishman

The Australian stayed in the mix after round three by posting a 2-under 68, but a missed 14-footer for par on the 18th hole to fall five shots behind leader Sergio Garcia.

Leishman leads the field in birdies for the week with 17 through the third round.

Leishman's only PGA TOUR victory was the 2012 Travelers Championship, which Leishman won in come-from-behind fashion after entering the final round T20 and six shots back of the leader.

In five World Golf Championships starts, Leishman's best finish is a T18 at the 2012 HSBC Champions.