WGC-Bridgestone Invitational 2018: Justin Thomas Tied for Lead at 11 Under

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 3, 2018

AKRON, OH - AUGUST 03:  Justin Thomas walks across the ninth hole during World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational - Round Two at Firestone at Firestone Country Club South Course on August 3, 2018 in Akron, Ohio.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Justin Thomas, Ian Poulter and Tommy Fleetwood are tied for the lead at 11 under following Friday's second round of the 2018 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio.

Fleetwood led all golfers with a seven-under 63 in Round 2. The trio of leaders hold a two-stroke advantage over the rest of the field with Kyle Stanley and Jason Day tied in fourth at nine under. Rory McIlroy and Si Woo Kim are next on the leaderboard at eight under.

Tiger Woods, an eight-time winner of the Bridgestone Invitational, also remains within striking distance in a tie for 10th at six under.

Thomas is attempting to break out of a summer swoon. After a 25th-place finish in June's U.S. Open, he recorded a 56th-place result in the Travelers Championship and then missed the cut last month at the Open Championship.

The third-ranked player in the world has looked like he's back on track so far this week. He tallied seven birdies, including five over his last eight holes, and one bogey Friday. Every facet of his game was on point with 64.3 percent driving accuracy, 72.2 percent greens in regulation and 4.9 strokes gained putting.

Meanwhile, Fleetwood has showcased terrific form in recent months but is still searching for a victory to show for it. He's finished no worse than 12th in his last four starts, including three finishes of seventh or better, highlighted by finishing second in the U.S. Open.

He recorded seven birdies in his bogey-free round Friday. His iron play led the charge as he found 88.9 percent of the greens in regulation, giving himself consistent looks for birdie, and he took advantage.

Poulter is looking for his second win of the 2018 campaign. His first was one of the most dramatic in recent memory as defeated Beau Hossler in a playoff at the Houston Open in order to secure a last-second berth in The Masters.

He held the solo lead after the opening round with an eight-under 62. He recorded five birdies and two bogeys during Friday's action to maintain a share of the top spot.

Woods tallied three birdies on a four-hole stretch early in the second round. He otherwise struggled to build momentum, however, and will need a strong weekend to record his first victory since the 2013 Bridgestone Invitational. That would bring his comeback full circle.

All told, the stage is set for an entertaining finish in Ohio. There are a lot of high-profile players in the mix, and Firestone has left the door open for low scores, which gives golfers in the star-studded field incentive to attack the pin all weekend.

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