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Woods stays in charge at Firestone

Tiger Woods remained in command after the third round at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

Tiger Woods remained in command after the third round at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

AKRON - Tiger Woods failed to replicate the sizzling form he produced on Friday but remained in imperious command with a seven-shot lead after Saturday's third round at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

In pursuit of his fifth PGA Tour victory of the season, Woods "grinded" out a two-under-par 68 on a warm, breezy day at Firestone Country Club to maintain his overnight lead.

The American world number one, winner of a record seven World Golf Championships (WGC) titles here, struggled at times for accuracy off the tee as he mixed five birdies with three bogeys for a 15-under total of 195.

Woods had distanced himself from the field with a stunning 61 on Friday and will head into Sunday's final round with an intimidating record, having triumphed 52 of 56 times on the PGA Tour when holding at least a share of the 54-hole lead.

"I feel pretty good," the 14-times major champion told reporters. "Today was a day that I didn't quite have it, but I scored. And that's the name of the game is posting a number, and I did today. I grinded my way around that golf course.

"It was playing a little blustery. As smooth as yesterday was, as difficult as today was, it's just one of those things where I was just trying to build on my lead somehow. And for most of the day I was doing that.

"Ended up being a dead push for the day, but that's not too bad, either. Hopefully I can seal the deal tomorrow and get ready for the PGA (Championship) at Oak Hill," he added, referring to the year's final major next week.

Woods' closest challenger going into the final round is Swede Henrik Stenson, who fired a 67 to leave him at eight under.

"I'm just going to try and play my game, and I'm excited to go out and play with him tomorrow (in the final pairing)," said Stenson. "He's obviously playing great, and it'll be a good test, a good measurement.

"We might just be there for watching the final victory lap. We'll see tomorrow. But I can only do so much. I can play my game and see where that takes me."

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