AKRON — Justin Rose never lost belief that he was playing well even as he went 30 consecutive holes without making a birdie in the Bridgestone Invitational.
The streak ended on his first hole Saturday.
And he kept right on going.
Rose had a good start and a strong closing kick with three birdies over his last four holes, including a 40-foot putt on the 18th hole. It was the longest putt he has made all year, and it gave him a 7-under 63 and a share of the lead with Jim Furyk.
“I guess that shows it just evens out, really, if you can stay the course and stay patient, kind of believe that you’re going to get your run eventually,” Rose said. “Yesterday, I actually played really well. … It just didn’t happen yesterday. But came into today with a belief that I was still playing well.”
Furyk, who had a four-shot lead going into the weekend, finished with six straight pars and he had to work hard for the last one. After spending much of the back nine in the rough, he finally drilled one right in the middle on the 18th hole, only for it to settle in a sand-filled divot.
“I finally hit a good drive on 18 and I’m licking my chops to get down there, knowing I’m going to have a short iron in my hand,” Furyk said. “Not only was I in a divot, it was a pretty bad lie. I felt like there was raised sand behind the ball.”
His only option was to punch an 8-iron that he tugged slightly into the collar. His chip rolled out through the green, and he holed a 12-foot putt for his par and a 69 to join Rose in the lead at 9-under 201.
Furyk was more excited than usual, pumping his fist when it fell.
Being tied for the lead wasn’t that big of a deal for someone like Furyk, who has been around long enough to know the tour stopped giving charity money away for a 54-hole lead. And while every shot counts over 72 holes, this was more a matter of finishing the right way. He made bogey on his last hole the previous two rounds.
“That always leaves a little bit of a sour taste, and I didn’t want to do that three days in a row,” Furyk said. “Knocking the putt in was nice. In the whole scheme of things, it’s nice to have the shot. It’s just a good way to finish off the day.”
They were two shots ahead of Shane Lowry of Ireland, who had a 67.
Steve Bowditch also had a 63 earlier Saturday and was in a group four shots behind that included Ian Poulter (65), Henrik Stenson (68) and Bubba Watson (69). Watson had a chance to get closer to the lead until he missed a short birdie putt on the 16th and dropped a shot on the next hole.
RENO, Nev. — J.J. Henry birdied the final hole to take a one-point lead in the Barracuda Championship, the PGA Tour’s only modified Stableford event.
Henry had a 41-point total at Montreux Golf and Country Club, scoring 17 points in the third round with nine birdies and a bogey. Players receive eight points for double eagle, five for eagle, two for birdie, zero for par, minus-one for bogey and minus-three for double bogey or worse.
The 40-year-old Henry won the 2012 event for the last of his two PGA Tour titles. He’s 150th in the FedEx Cup standings, with only top 125 advancing the first event in the playoffs.
David Toms and Sweden’s Jonas Blixt were tied for second. The 48-year-old Toms had 10 birdies and two bogeys in an 18-point round. Blixt had a 16-point day.
Shaw Charity Classic
CALGARY, Alberta — Miguel Angel Jimenez eagled the par-5 18th hole to match the course record of 9-under 61 and tie Colin Montgomerie for the second-round lead in the Shaw Charity Classic.
With wife Susanne working her first tournament at his caddie, Jimenez matched Fred Couples’ course record set last year. The 51-year-old Spanish player made seven birdies in a nine-hole stretch in the middle of the round. He set up his closing eagle with a 7-wood to 9 feet.