London, Aug 03 : Spanish golf ace Sergio Garcia has advanced to the final round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational with a three shots lead over Northern Irish golf ace Rory McIlroy. A third-round 67 took Garcia to 14 under par at Firestone Country Club; a day after the Spaniard fired a course record equalling 61. Northern Ireland’s Open champion McIlroy, who began the day four strokes back, signed for a 66, while England’s Justin Rose , second overnight, hit a 70 to fall six off the lead, The BBC reported.

Garcia chased McIlroy all the way in last month’s Open at Hoylake before finishing joint-second with Rickie Fowler. But the Spaniard now has the opportunity to put that behind him by claiming his first World Golf Championship title on Sunday. Tee times had been brought forward several hours because of forecast thunderstorms, but the final group had just finished the 15th hole when the threat of lightning forced players off the course.

Garcia held a five-shot lead over McIlroy and Australia’s Marc Leishman at the time, but when play eventually resumed three hours and 15 minutes later due to bad weather, the Spaniard struggled to recapture his rhythm and had to battle to par the final three holes, the report added.