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Weather pushes up Rd. 3 tee times at Bridgestone

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AKRON, Ohio – With inclement weather expected, players will be off early Saturday at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

The PGA Tour announced that third-round play will be conducted in threesomes off split tees, with times pushed into the morning to avoid potential afternoon storms. As a result, leader Sergio Garcia will tee off at 9 a.m. ET alongside Justin Rose, who trails Garcia by three shots, and Marc Leishman, who is in a tie for third, four shots back.

After a second-round 64, Rory McIlroy earned a spot in the second-to-last grouping and will play with Rickie Fowler two weeks after the two were paired for the final round of the Open Championship. Charl Schwartzel will round out the trio, which will begin play at 8:50 a.m.

The 8:40 a.m. threesome off the first tee will include Patrick Reed and Keegan Bradley, both at 5 under and six shots off the lead, and Graham DeLaet, who is one shot further back in a tie for ninth.

The first groups of the day will tee off at 7 a.m., and Tiger Woods will have an early wakeup call after a 1-over 71 in the second round. At 1 under for the championship, Woods trails Garcia by 10 shots and will play in the 7:40 a.m. group with reigning Masters champion Bubba Watson and FedEx Cup leader Jimmy Walker

The latest forecast from the PGA Tour calls for partly cloudy skies Saturday in Akron with a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon.

The forecast is more optimistic for Sunday’s final round, with only a 20 percent chance of a “passing shower or thunderstorm” in the area.