Henrik Stenson (Getty Images)
Henrik Stenson insists he will try to keep the pressure on Tiger Woods during the final round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational despite the World Number One’s huge lead.
Woods retained the seven shot advantage he established with a brilliant 61 on Friday with a two under par 68 as he seeks an eighth victory at Firestone Country Club.
Swede Stenson took up the mantle of nearest challenger with a three under par 67, and insists there is still a chance of catching Woods if he can pull something spectacular out the bag.
“I'm just going to try and play my game, and excited to go out and play with him tomorrow,” said Stenson, who has continued the impressive form that saw him third in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and second at The Open Championship last month.
“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.
“I'm very pleased. I think I've been playing solid for three days. I would have had to putt a bit better so I could squeeze a couple in on the greens.
“But I'm still struggling to find another seven or eight to touch him after three rounds, that's for sure. I think he's out putted me by a whole lot. I'm not sure tee to green if he's been much better, but on the greens for sure. He's obviously playing great, and we all know what he's done here in the past.
“I’m just happy with the way I'm playing, and if he's too far ahead, he's too far ahead. It might be a race for second, but we'll see tomorrow.”
England’s Chris Wood had a front-row seat for Woods’ 68 today after starting the day in a tie for second, and he believes the 14-time Major Champion is unlikely to be caught.
Wood, who sits an impressive tied fourth on his tournament debut after bogeying the last for a level par 70, said of his golfing idol being overhauled: “No, I don't think so. He’s pretty under control I would have thought. He shot 61 – there are a lot of good players here, but he seems to be playing really solid.”
On the experience of playing alongside his golfing hero the 25 year old added: “It was probably better than I could have hoped for to be honest. It was totally an experience for me, that.
“He's chipped in on 13 and I've never heard a noise quite so loud on the golf course. I loved every minute; chatted away a little bit, and after three or four holes I felt a lot more settled than I thought I might.
“If he misses the green or he's out of position, it's absolute master class in damage limitation.
“Around the greens, his up and downs, his short game, his scrambling - any time he was out of position, he's either going to hole it or get up and down. I think I can look at that and feel like I can focus a lot of my time on that sort of area.
“I want to finish as near as I can to him, really, because that's probably going to be second.
“That will do a lot for me. I'm here to try to break into the top 50 in the world, and I've got a good chance tomorrow. If I can go out there with the same sort of mindset I had today, it was a big test for me today, so I feel like I did okay.”