AKRON, Ohio –- Sergio Garcia was in the trees left of the 18th fairway, looking through a gap in the branches to find a way out. Ahead of him was Rory McIlroy, giving his 35-foot birdie putt a little body English before it fell for birdie.
Garcia never lost command of the Bridgestone Invitational on Saturday, even after a storm delay of just over three hours. He started with a three-shot lead, stretched it to six shots at one point and closed with three good pars for a 3-under 67, three shots ahead of McIlroy.
The Spaniard just lost a small measure of comfort.
McIlroy, coming off a wire-to-wire win in the British Open, might be the last player anyone wants to see right behind.
''I've got to keep doing the same thing, make sure that I have good confidence in myself, that I play nicely, and then see what happens,'' Garcia said. ''If Rory comes out, or whoever is behind us comes out, and get crazy like I did on Friday, then it is what it is. But hopefully, I'll be able to play well again and be all the way up there tomorrow.''
Garcia, who seized control with a career-best 61 on Friday, was at 14-under 196.
McIlroy birdied his last two holes for the second straight day for a 66, and he got his wish – a spot in the final group.
Sunday is set up as a replay of The Open – only with the roles reversed.
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