Sergio Garcia holding off Rory McIlroy challenge

Rory McIlroy is  congratulated for making a birdie, by Charl Schwartzel of South Africa
Rory McIlroy is congratulated for making a birdie, by Charl Schwartzel of South Africa

A fortnight after trying to catch Rory McIlroy at Royal Liverpool, Sergio Garcia will attempt to hold off the Open champion in the final round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday.

But the Spaniard has the opportunity to put that near-miss behind him by claiming his first World Golf Championship title at Firestone Country Club, despite suffering from a lengthy weather delay in Akron.

Tee times had been brought forward several hours due to 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 Marc Leishman at the time, but when play eventually resumed three hours and 15 minutes later, the 34-year-old struggled to recapture his rhythm and had to battle to par the final three holes.

In contrast, McIlroy missed a good birdie chance on the 16th but picked up shots on the 17th and 18th to card a third round of 66 and finish 11 under, three behind Garcia, who returned a 67.

"I came here this week talking about wanting to just keeping the momentum going and not really dwell on The Open too much and keep moving forward and I have done that really well this week," McIlroy said. "I'm obviously really excited to give myself another chance to win a tournament tomorrow.

"I drove it great at the Open as well and have been driving it great all year and that's why my results have been pretty good. Driving is the foundation of my game and if it's good it seems like everything feeds down from there and I've never driven the ball better than I am right now."

Leishman and world number one Adam Scott were two and three shots behind McIlroy respectively, the Australian pair having finished joint fifth together in the Open.

"It's great to see all the guys continue their good play," McIlroy added. "Sergio was chasing me down at Liverpool, I'm going to try and chase him down this week and we'll see what happens. It's a great leaderboard with a lot of good names and hopefully it will be a good battle tomorrow.”