Pro Golf Weekly

Thomas, Fleetwood, Poulter Share Halftime Lead at Firestone

At the halfway mark of the WGC Bridgestone Invitational, Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Thomas and Ian Poulter share the lead at 11-under par. The day’s low round belonged to Fleetwood, who signed for a card comprised of 11 pars and seven birdies en route to a blemish-free 63.

Tommy Fleetwood
Tommy Fleetwood tees off on the 17th hole during day two of the 2018 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone CC in Akron, Ohio. Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

“Yeah, no 5s on the card is always something nice to look at,” said Fleetwood, when asked about his flawless scorecard.

“Played well. Got out of position a couple of times. When I did, I kind of got away with the tee shot on 14 and made a really good 4. Fairway bunker, and played it left and made a good 4.

“Overall I drove it well. My irons, I just tended to hit exactly where we were picking the spots and I holed a few putts. You’ve got days like that where it’s going well and you’ve just got to make the most of them.

Thomas matched the Englishman’s seven birdies – highlighted by five over his final eight holes, but added a bogey to finish with a 64.

“I played well overall. I putted a lot better today or I made more putts. I gave myself quite a few opportunities, but not as many as I did yesterday, but I was just able to capitalize on more of them today,” said Thomas, who has converted his four most recent 36-hole leads to wins.

“I just, you know, I had one mistake there on 16, which is a bad mistake by both Jimmy and myself, the decision that we made, but we were able to get away with the bogey, so it’s all right.”

After a first-round 62, overnight leader Poulter carded a more pedestrian 69, but it was good enough to maintain a spot on top of the big boards at Firestone.

Jason Day
Jason Day walks off the 12th tee during day two of the 2018 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone CC in Akron, Ohio. Credit: Chris Condon/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

Hometown favorite Jason Day closed with three birdies on his final four holes (Nos. 15, 16 and 18) to post a 66 and reach 9-under par, alongside Kyle Stanley, who shot 68.

Rory McIlroy (67) and Si Woo Kim (68) were T6 at 8 under, one clear of Haotong Li (67) and Luke List (68).

A logjam of six more players were tied for 10th at 6-under par, headlined by Tiger Woods, who finished with four birdies against two bogeys, good for a day-two 68.

Webb Simpson (65), Louis Oosthuizen (66), Tony Finau (66), Marc Leishman (69), and John Rahm (70) were the others at T10.


2018 WGC BRIDGESTONE INVITATIONAL


TOP 10 LEADERS

POS-PLAYER-TO PAR (TODAY)
1. Ian Poulter -11 (-3)
1. Justin Thomas -11 (-6)
1. Tommy Fleetwood -11 (-7)
4. Jason Day -9 (-4)
4. Kyle Stanley -9 (-2)
6. Rory McIlroy -8 (-3)
6. Si Woo Kim -8 (-2)
8. Haotong Li -7 (-3)
8. Luke List -7 (-2)
10. Tiger Woods -6 (-2)
10. Jon Rahm -6 (E)
10. Marc Leishman -6 (-1)
10. Tony Finau -6 (-4)
10. Webb Simpson -6 (-5)
10. Louis Oosthuizen -6 (-4)


ROUND-TWO HIGHLIGHTS


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STAT LEADERS

DRIVING
1. Bubba Watson – 341.5 (T46)
2. Jhonattan Vegas – 340.2 (T66)
3. Rory McIlroy – 339.9 (T6)

FAIRWAYS
1. Kyle Stanley – 78.6% (T4)
2. Ian Poulter – 71.4% (T1)
3. Kodai Ichihara – 71.4% (T68)

GREENS
1. Jason Day – 86.1% (T4)
2. Ian Poulter – 80.6% (T1)
2. Tommy Fleetwood – 80.6% (T1)
2. Jon Rahm – 80.6% (T10)
2. Tony Finau – 80.6% (T10)

Statistics provided by STATS LLC


EXIT QUESTION FOR FLEETWOOD

What would a win here in the states on the PGA TOUR mean to your career?

TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Massive, well, massively, yeah. Next step is a PGA TOUR win, so a WGC would be a lovely way to do that. They’re the biggest events in the world — majors, WGCs, PLAYERS, and of course the BMW at Wentworth.

Those are the biggest tournaments you’re going to play and they’re the best fields in the world, so if you can win one, I mean, it’s great to be in contention again and winning them shows you’re a proper player.

Transcript provided by Tee Scripts


Jeff Smith

Jeff is a writer and content producer for Pro Golf Weekly. He is working on a book, documenting the 2017 and 2018 seasons on the major golf tours.

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