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. Tim Horton Jersey . 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. "Ive 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, Ill 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. McIlroy had a six-shot lead going into the final round at Hoylake. Garcia, playing in the group ahead, made a spirited run at McIlroy and got within two shots late in the round until he faltered and Boy Wonder pulled away. "Obviously, Rory is playing great, and we get along nicely as of right now," Garcia said. "I think were both excited about it. Were definitely going to play hard. It will be nice to see if I can do the same thing he did to me a couple of weeks ago. So well see." This time, its McIlroy who has to chase. "My goal today was to try and get in the final group," McIlroy said. "Sergio didnt quite have that luxury of seeing what I was doing on the last. It will be nice to play alongside him tomorrow and at least keep an eye on whats going on. Try to apply a bit of pressure when I can, but just really looking forward to getting in there and having another chance to win a tournament so soon after what happened at Hoylake." Rickie Fowler also was in the hunt at Hoylake, though he took himself out of the picture on the final hole. He went from the left trees to a plugged lie in the bunker, having to brace his right good against the side of a hill. He left it in the bunker and wound up with a double bogey for a 72, putting him 10 shots behind. This isnt a two-man race for a World Golf Championship title. Marc Leishman had a 68 and was five shots behind, while Adam Scott returned from the rain delay carrying only his long putter, the only weapon he needed to convert one last birdie for a 65 that at least left him with a slim chance. He was six shots behind, along with Keegan Bradley (68) and Justin Rose (70). The race wont feature defending champion Tiger Woods. The eight-time winner at Firestone made only one birdie on Saturday -- he failed to birdie a par 5 for the second straight day -- and shot 72. He was 15 shots behind. Garcia, who won the Qatar Masters this year, has been building toward moments like this. Two weeks after his runner-up finish to McIlroy at Hoylake, the Spaniard has performed so solidly at Firestone that he went 37 consecutive holes without a bogey. Along with four birdies in 11 holes to start his third round, he built a six-shot lead for a brief moment until missing the 14th green long and failing to convert a 5-foot par putt. Three pars at the end helped keep in front. He pulled his lay-up shot on the par-5 16th into deep rough, which felt even thicker after the rain delay. Garcia managed to judge it perfectly to clear the water. He hooked his tee shot on the 17th hole and hit 8-iron safely onto the green. The biggest challenge was the 18th, where he had to clear trees with a shot from the rough. He opened up the face of a 7-iron to play a big cut with such elevation, and it cleared the back bunker, leaving him 75 feet away. "Where I hit it, I couldnt really do much more than that and hope to make a good two-putt," he said. He lagged it down to 5 feet, and lightly pumped his fist when it fell. Every shot matters, especially with someone like McIlroy right behind him. "The one on 18 is the one that felt the best," Garcia said, "because it was probably the toughest to make par." Marty Mcsorley Jersey .J. Hardy finally got in on the fun Saturday, against a likely opponent. John Marino Jersey . He managed to save par, and went on to put together his best opening round of the year. Calcavecchia and Wes Short Jr.Melbourne, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) - Stanislas Wawrinka defeated an injured Rafael Nadal in Sundays mens final at the 2014 Australian Open. The eighth-seeded Swiss upset the world No. 1 star 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 at Melbourne Parks Rod Laver Arena, where the Spaniard labored mightily with a back injury on Australia Day. Trailing a set and a break, Nadal actually left the court for a medical timeout in the second set, only to return to a chorus of boos. The Grand Slam title is the first of Wawrinkas career, in his 36th major event, as he becomes only the second-ever Swiss to corral a major singles championship, joining the great Roger Federer, who was blown out by Nadal in a semifinal here on Friday. "Rafa, Im really sorry for you, I hope your back is going to be fine, youre a really great guy, good friend and really amazing champion," Wawrinka said during the trophy presentation. "Last year I had a crazy match, I lost it. I was crying a lot after the match. But in one year a lot happened -- I still dont know if Im dreaming or not but well see tomorrow morning." In the fourth and final set on Sunday, Wawrinka broke Nadal for a 4-2 lead, only to see the gritty Spaniard break right back to hang in there. Wawrinka, however, promptly broke Nadal again and then served out the bout on his first match point by swatting one final forehand winner. Wawrinka blew through the first set and was ahead in the second when Nadal first showed signs of a back problems, as a retirement looked like a real possibility at the time, with Nadal striking sub-80-mph serves. The Lausanne native Wawrinka was aggravated during Nadals medical timeout, demanding that officials tell him why the Spaniard needed the break. Wawrinka then aggressively finished off the second set before Nadal fought back in the third. Nadal saved break points to hold in the opening game of the third set and then broke Wawrinka and held for a 3-0 lead. He won the third set as Wawrinka started piling up some errors, with the Swiss appearing unable to handle the pressure of being in his first Grand Slam final. But Wawrinka composed himself once again in the fourth and ultimately cruised to victory. Thhe Swiss slugger prevailed in 2 hours, 21 minutes by firing 19 aces among his 53 winners (53-19) and tallying three more service breaks (5-2) than Nadal on Day 14. Craig Adams Jersey. "He deserves to win the title," Nadal said of Wawrinka. "Im very happy for him, hes a great guy. "Im obviously disappointed and very sad about what happened. But thats life, thats sport. Ive really had a lot of great moments in my career. Thats a tough one. Just accept it and try to keep working hard for whats coming." Nadal has had a tough go of it with injuries at the Aussie Open. He missed last years edition during a seven-month layoff with knee injuries and illness, and his quarterfinal losses in 2010 and 2011 were affected by injuries. Wawrinka had been 0-12 lifetime against Nadal, including a round-of-32 Aussie Open loss in 2007, and had never taken a set off the Spanish great prior to Sunday. The 2009 champion Nadal was playing in his third career Aussie Open final (1-2) and second in three years. The 28-year-old Wawrinka appeared in his first career Grand Slam final. The 27-year-old Nadal played in his 19th career Grand Slam final overall (13-6), tying Ivan Lendl for second on the mens all-time list. Wawrinka will move up to a career-high No. 3 in the world on Monday after beating the top-two players in the world this week. He improved to 6-9 in his career finals overall, including 2-0 already in 2014, as he has yet to lose this year (10-0). The last player to beat the top-two seeds at a Grand Slam was Sergi Bruguera at the 1993 French Open. Nadal fell to 61-25 in his career finals, as he was trying to become the first man in the Open Era to win each Grand Slam twice. Wawrinka became the first player to beat both Nadal and Djokovic at a major event. The "Big Four" of Nadal, Djokovic, Andy Murray and Federer had won 34 of the previous 35 Slams. American legend and 14-time Grand Slam champion Pete Sampras was on the court for the trophy presentation Sunday. A win by Nadal would have tied him with Sampras on the mens all-time list. Wawrinka colleted $2.35 million for the biggest win of his career, while Nadal settled for $1.175 million. ' ' '
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Dec 05, 2019
birdie putt a little body
birdie putt a little body