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Fowler 11 shots better on Saturday ... what gives?

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AKRON, Ohio – On Friday at Firestone, Rickie Fowler had three bogeys, a double bogey and just a single birdie. In other words, a reason to look forward to next week’s PGA Championship. For Fowler, however, his second-round 74 set the stage for the week’s best rebound round.

Fowler was 11 strokes better on Day 3 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, finishing his day without a bogey and a third-round 65 that vaulted him back into contention at 8 under par, six strokes off the lead.

“Yesterday was just one of those ones where I couldn't get momentum going the right way, didn't make anything, so it was nice to come back and clean things up,” said Fowler, who was tied for seventh place.

Full-field scores from the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

WGC-Bridgestone Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

Fowler explained that his turnaround was more a product of the South Course, which was as benign as it’s ever been for Rounds 1 and 2.

“This golf course, especially when it starts to firm up a little more and more, it's a really fine line,” he said. “Yes, the fairways may be 30 plus yards wide, but if you don't land them in the middle, they tend to want to run out and get into the rough.”

Statistically, the biggest difference between the two rounds was Fowler’s putting despite hitting four fewer fairways on Saturday compared to Round 2. On Saturday, he gained 2.7 shots on the field in strokes gained: putting, compared to minus .65 strokes on Friday.