Pieters seizes share of lead after wild day at Bridgestone
Thomas Pieters of Belgium ended his roller-coaster round with his eighth birdie, a 30-footer that rammed into the back of the cup for a 4-under-par 66 that gave him a share of the lead with Zach Johnson in the Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio.
Pieters, who led by as many as three shots with his explosive start Saturday, ran into trouble off the tee and kept dropping shots on the back nine. Moments after Johnson holed a 10-foot birdie on the 18th for a 65 to take the lead, Pieters joined him with his long putt.
Johnson, who hasn’t won since he captured his second major at St. Andrews two years ago, gave up some 30 yards to Rory McIlroy throughout their round. But on a Firestone course on which he has never seriously contended, he was efficient as ever. They were at 9-under 201. One shot behind was Scott Hend of Australia, who got into his first Bridgestone Invitational on a loophole and posted a 63 even with two three-putt bogeys.
LPGA TOUR: In weather that turned out better than expected — only one heavy shower — I.K. Kim shot a bogey-free 66 by converting a string of birdie putts at the Women’s British Open. With one round to play at St. Andrews, the 29-yearold South Korean was at 17-under 199 and had a six-shot lead over Georgia Hall (70) and Moriya Jutanugarn (67), the older sister of defending champion Ariya Jutanugarn.
Kim, five years removed from infamously missing a one-foot putt to win the Kraft Nabisco Championship, now is poised for redemption with her first major.
CHAMPIONS TOUR: About 30 minutes after his tournament record-setting 60 concluded, Paul Goydos looked at a 3M Championship scoreboard in Blaine, Minn.
Up by one shot, he predicted Kenny Perry — who had six holes to play — would be ahead by three. Not quite. Perry made just one birdie down the stretch at the TPC Twin Cities to shoot his second straight 65, leaving him tied at 130 with Goydos and Gene Sauers heading into Sunday’s final round.