Sunday, 06 August 2017
Hideki Matsuyama  (Getty Images)
Hideki Matsuyama (Getty Images)

Hideki Matsuyama produced a brilliant front nine at Firestone Country Club to open up a one-shot lead in the final round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

The World Number Three already has a World Golf Championships title to his name at the WGC-HSBC Champions and he turned in 30 to get to 12 under and lead the way from American Charley Hoffman.

Zach Johnson was then at ten under, a shot clear of Russell Knox and two ahead of World Number Four Rory McIlroy and Thomas Pieters.

Matsuyama spectacularly chipped in from 58 feet from the back of the second green for an eagle to quickly move into the lead at nine under.

The final pairing of Pieters and Johnson became the latest players to birdie the second but Matsuyama also got to double figures when he holed from three feet on the third.

Hoffman had made birdies on the second and fourth and when he rattled off two in a row from the sixth, he was on the move up the leaderboard.

That did not keep pace with Matsuyama, however, as the Japanese holed from 15 feet on the sixth and nine feet on the ninth to establish a two-shot cushion.

Hoffman would not be shaken off, though, and an approach to four feet on the 11th cut the lead back to one.

Johnson had dropped a shot on the third but an impressive lengthy putt from the fringe on the ninth reignited his hopes, while Pieters missed two short putts to finish the front nine with a pair of bogeys.

Knox has made hay on the the opening holes all week and when he put his approach on the first to six feet and took advantage of the par five next, he was nine under for those two holes and seven under for the tournament.

An approach to four feet on the eighth and an 18-foot putt on the 11th then kept him in contention for a second WGC title.

A hot putter had helped McIlroy to birdies on the second, fourth and sixth but a bogey on the ninth left him with a mountain to climb.

Adam Hadwin was at seven under, a shot clear of Scott Hend, Paul Casey and Rickie Fowler.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1MATSUYAMA, HidekiJPN18-16
2JOHNSON, ZachUSA18-11
3HOFFMAN, CharleyUSA18-10
4PIETERS, ThomasBEL18-8
T5CASEY, PaulENG18-7

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