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Garcia leads but McIlroy lurks

AKRON, Ohio -- Spain's Sergio Garcia and British Open winner Rory McIlroy are once again battling for a title as they did last month at Royal Liverpool.

Garcia fired a three-under par 67 Saturday to hold a three-stroke lead over McIlroy after the third round of the World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club.

McIlroy won his third major title last month in England but not before Garcia threatened his lead on the back nine in the final round.

Garcia stands on 14-under 196 with McIlroy on 199 after firing a 66 and Australia's Marc Leishman third on 201 after a 68 on Saturday.

“Obviously he's been playing great, so it's going to be tough tomorrow, but I just have to keep doing what I've been doing,” Garcia said.

“I feel very, very comfortable throughout the whole week, so hopefully I'll be able to do the same thing just like (McIlroy) did to me in Hoylake. Hopefully keep him just behind me.”

England's Justin Rose, Aussie Adam Scott and American Keegan Bradley — all major winners — were another stroke adrift.

Defending champion Tiger Woods carded a two-over 72 to fall into a tie for 36th place.

Garcia, still seeking his first major title, birdied three of the first six holes Saturday in the last tuneup for next week's PGA Championship, the final major tournament of the year.

Garcia added a birdie at 11 after dropping his approach two feet from the cup but took his lone bogey of the day at 14 after finding the rough on his approach.

McIlroy also fired three birdies on the front side but found a bunker at the par-3 12th and took a bogey.

He responded by closing with back-to-back birdies to trim Garcia's margin entering the final round.

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Sergio Garcia chips from the deep rough by the 14th green, during the third round of the Bridgestone Invitational golf tournament, Saturday, Aug. 2. (AP)

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