Woods OK, but Still Good Enough to Lead by 7
Akron, Ohio — Even when Tiger Woods is just good, he’s capable of distancing himself from everyone else.
Woods followed one of the best rounds of his life with a solid 2-under 68 on Saturday in the third round of the Bridgestone Invitational, giving him a seven-shot lead and setting him up for a remarkable eighth victory at Firestone Country Club.
Unlike in a second-round 61 that could easily have been a 59 or even lower, Woods didn’t recover from all of his errant shots. He bogeyed the ninth, 14th and 16th holes, failing to bounce back from mediocre shots.
Yet he still was good enough to put himself in position for yet another lopsided victory, one that will likely mark him as the player to beat next week in the PGA Championship at Oak Hill.
Woods was at 15-under 195.
He began the third round with a seven-shot lead after rounds of 66 and the career-best 61 — the fourth time he has gone that low, also matching the tournament record originally set by Jose Maria Olazabal in 1990.
Henrik Stenson was second after a 67. Jason Dufner was eight strokes back after a 67, and Luke Donald (68), Bill Haas (69) and Chris Wood (70) followed at 6 under.
Defending champ Keegan Bradley, with a 71, was another shot back along with Miguel Angel Jimenez, who put up the day’s low round with a 65. Rounding out the top 10 were 2011 Bridgestone winner and reigning Masters champ Adam Scott and Zach Johnson.
Woods has overwhelmed everyone in the elite field, which includes 48 of the top 50 players in the world ranking.
Women’s British Open
St. Andrews, Scotland — Inbee Park wanted tough conditions at St. Andrews to try to make up an eight-shot deficit in her pursuit of a fourth straight major. It turned out to be too tough for anyone.
The third round of the Women’s British Open was suspended by gusts that topped 40 mph and kept golf balls from staying put on the greens. After waiting six hours for the wind to calm, players were told to return Sunday morning for a marathon finish.
Whether that becomes a break for the leaders — Na Yeon Choi at 10-under 134 was an hour away from teeing off — won’t be known until today. .
Blaine, Minn. — Tom Pernice Jr. moved into position for his second Champions Tour title, shooting a 7-under 65 to take a two-stroke lead over Tom Kite in the 3M Championship.
Pernice had a 13-under 131 total at TPC Twin Cities after opening with a 66.
The 63-year-old Kite, trying to become the oldest winner in the history of the 50-and-over tour, also shot 65 — his lowest score at the TPC Twin Cities in five years.
Kenyan Wins Maine 10K Race
Cape Elizabeth, Maine — Kenyan Micah Kogo won Maine’s biggest road race, the 10-kilometer run in Cape Elizabeth.
Kogo won Saturday’s Beach to Beacon race in a time of 28 minutes, 3 seconds. It was his second Beach to Beacon win in three years.
The top woman finisher was fellow Kenyan Joyce Chepkirui, who ran the course in 31 minutes, 23 seconds.
There were 6,238 runners, many with the Boston Marathon bombing fresh on their minds.
The starting horn for Saturday’s race was sounded by Karen Rand, a former Westbrook resident who lost one of her legs in a blast at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15.
Top Seed in Carlsbad Final
Carlsbad, Calif. — Top-seeded Victoria Azaranka beat seventh-seeded Ana Ivanovic 6-0, 4-6, 6-3 on Saturday to advance to the final in the Southern California Open.
Azarenka, ranked No. 3, won a sloppy match as both players committed more unforced errors than hit winners. The two-time Australian Open champ will face the winner of the late match between wild-card entrant Virginie Razzano and fifth-seeded Sam Stosur.
The win will propel Azarenka, the former world No. 1, past Maria Sharapova into the No. 2 slot when the new rankings come out Monday.
Washington — Taking control by breaking serve immediately after a rain delay, eighth-seeded John Isner hit 29 aces and came back to beat unseeded Dmitry Tursunov 6-7 (7), 6-3, 6-4 on Saturday to reach the Citi Open final.
In today’s final, Isner will face top-seeded Juan Martin del Potro, the 2008 and 2009 champion in Washington, or No. 3-seeded Tommy Haas. They were to meet in the second men’s semifinal; both women’s semifinals also were scheduled for Saturday night.
U.S. Star Seattle-Bound
London — Clint Dempsey is returning to Major League Soccer, ending his six-year spell in English soccer.
The 30-year-old Dempsey played for the New England Revolution from 2004-06 before joining Fulham in 2007. He moved to Tottenham last summer and scored 12 goals in 43 games, but wasn’t a regular.
Tottenham didn’t say what team Dempsey was going to, but reports had him linked to the Seattle Sounders.
The team website asked fans to arrive 15 minutes early to Saturday night’s game against FC Dallas for what the club called a “special presentation.”