AKRON, Ohio — Jason Day had no indication that Saturday at the Bridgestone Invitational would be such hard work until one swing.
His plan was to hit a draw on No. 8 with his driver, and the shot started out to the right. Trouble is, it kept going to the right until he was deep in the trees.
"That came out of nowhere," Day said. "It wasn't just down the right. It was way right. I think it's more of a mental thing when it comes to those ones because when you're sharp and you're on your game and you're hitting it great, you don't miss them that far."
It didn't help that he missed again on the next hole. And then the next one. Or that he hit only three fairways on a Firestone course that demands more.
Day still managed to turn that into a 1-under 69 to share the lead with Scott Piercy.
Piercy, coming off a runner-up finish in the U.S. Open two weeks ago at Oakmont, quickly tied Day for the lead with an eagle on the par-5 second hole and was flawless until the final hole. He had a one-shot lead until pulling his tee shot into the left rough, running a low shot through the green and into a back bunker, and having to scramble just to escape with a bogey and a 67.
They were at 5-under 205, the highest 54-hole score at this World Golf Championship since 2007.
Only nine players remained under par, and given the firm conditions of Firestone, Day believes all of them have a chance.
David Lingmerth (Arkansas Razorbacks) had a 69 and was one shot behind.
The big move Saturday belonged to U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson, who hits it a long way and has a short memory.
After warming up on the range, Johnson said he was ready for a great round of golf, adding that "I'm due." The smile suggested he did recall that he played decently at Oakmont two weeks ago.
Johnson was 5 under through 11 holes and closing in on the lead when he played the final seven holes in 1 over for a 66. Still, that was enough to get him to 2-under 208, three shots behind, along with Charl Schwartzel (67) and William McGirt (70).
Justin Thomas and Emiliano Grillo, buddies from their junior golf days, were another shot back. Thomas was in much better position until his wedge shot found the water on the par-5 16th, and his fifth shot after a penalty drop nearly went in for a par. Thomas then missed a 4-foot putt for double bogey.
The 16th also got the best of Jordan Spieth in a big way.
Spieth was starting to make putts when he debated whether to hit 3-wood on the 654-yard 16th hole, thinking he could keep it away from the water and try to make his birdie from the rough. He played it smartly instead by laying up, only it didn't quite work out that way.
His third shot came up just short and into the water. His next shot went over the green and he couldn't get up-and-down, making triple bogey.
Spieth said his caddie talked him out of the 3-wood, and he agreed.
"The big number only comes into play with a 3-wood," he said. "It really was the right decision. It's just funny how we talked about it like that."
Spieth had another 71 and was five shots behind.
Henderson still ahead
PORTLAND, Ore. — Defending champion Brooke Henderson continued her mastery of Columbia Edgewater Country Club, shooting a 70 Saturday to take a two-stroke lead after three rounds of the Cambia Portland Classic.
The 18-year-old Canadian, who claimed her first LPGA Tour win a year ago in Portland, was at 13-under 203 heading into today's final round. Henderson leads Colombia's Mariajo Uribe, who is 11-under after a 71.
Henderson, who three weeks ago won the Women's PGA Championship, has shared or held the outright Portland lead the past six rounds. Henderson is aiming to become the first back-to-back Portland winner since Annika Sorenstam in 2002-03.
Uribe is looking for her first LPGA Tour victory. In her sixth year on tour, Uribe's best finish is a third at the 2015 Manulife Classic.
Stacy Lewis (Arkansas Razorbacks) is 7 under after a 67 and is tied with two others for sixth place. Gaby Lopez (Razorbacks) is 1 under after a 73.
SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France — Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand posted a 3-under-par 68 on Saturday to move to 8 under and take a two-shot lead heading into the final round of the French Open.
Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy and South Korea's Wang Jeung-hun posted 1-under 70s, having been level with Jaidee and two other players overnight.
Jaidee played consistently with three birdies, but McIlroy's third round was erratic. The four-time major winner had six birdies, three bogeys and one double-bogey.
Wang's round featured three bogeys and four birdies.
Defending champion Bernd Wiesberger of Austria posted 70 and is one shot behind at 5-under, followed by South African Brandon Stone and four other players at 3-under.
Stone shared the overnight lead, but fell away with a 2-over 73 — including double bogey on the 18th hole.