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August 10, 2009

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Harrington has three-shot lead but Tiger lurks

PADRAIG Harrington and six-time champion Tiger Woods set up a last-day duel for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational with electrifying displays on the back nine in Saturday's third round.

Overnight leader Harrington reeled off four birdies in six holes from the 12th on the way to a three-under 67 at a rain-softened Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, stretching his advantage to three strokes.

Although the Irishman briefly faltered with a bogey at the par-five 16th where he duffed his fourth shot from a greenside bunker, he drained a 19-footer on the 17th green to finish at 10-under 200.

"I'm obviously happy with my day's work," Harrington said. "The key is to keep breaking 70. That makes sure everybody else, if they're going to win this tournament, they'll to have to play well."

Three-time major winner Harrington is bidding to win his first title on either the PGA or European tours since last year's PGA Championship at Oakland Hills.

Woods, seeking his fifth PGA Tour victory of the year on one of his favorite layouts, birdied four of the last six holes for a superb 65, matching the best score of the day.

The 14-time major winner, whose approach play and putting were in sizzling order, sank a seven-foot birdie putt at the last to secure second place at seven-under.

South African Tim Clark, playing with Harrington in the final pairing, carded a 71 to lie five strokes off the lead in a tie for third with American Jerry Kelly (69).

Clark, however, was later given a two-stroke penalty for incorrectly replacing his ball on the 16th green after initially removing it so Harrington could putt, his error dropping him back into a tie for 14th at three-under.

British Open champion Stewart Cink of the US (68) and Masters winner Angel Cabrera of Argentina (68) were at four-under.


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