Jeev slips down ladder; Harrington stays ahead

Jeev slips down ladder; Harrington stays ahead

Irishman and Woods set up mouthwatering last-day meeting

Padraig Harrington

There was an unmistakable pattern in his cards in the last three days and Jeev joined three others, including his playing partner for the last two rounds Ernie Els, at three-over 213 after rounds of 70, 71 and 72 at the Firestone Country Club.

After six holes of glitch-free journey, Jeev had a bumpy ride as he bogeyed the seventh and eighth holes to go two-over at the turn.

On his way back, Jeev double-bogeyed the par-four 11th hole to go four-over. Birdies on the 15th and 16th holes were clearly not enough a damage control exercise as Jeev settled for a card of 72.

However, Padraig Harrington and six-times champion Tiger Woods set up a mouth-watering last-day duel with electrifying displays on the back nine.

Overnight leader Harrington reeled off four birdies in six holes from the 12th on the way to a three-under-par 67 at a rain-softened Firestone, stretching his advantage to three strokes.

Although the Irishman briefly faltered with a bogey at the par-five 16th where he duffed his fourth shot from a greenside bunker, he drained a 19-footer on the 17th green to finish at 10-under 200. Harrington is bidding to win his first title on either the PGA or European tours since last year's PGA Championship at Oakland Hills. Woods, seeking his fifth PGA Tour victory of the year on one of his favourite layouts, birdied four of the last six holes for a superb 65, matching the best score of the day.

The 14-times major winner, whose approach play and putting were in sizzling order, sank a seven-foot birdie putt at the last to secure second place at seven-under.

South African Tim Clark, playing with Harrington in the final pairing, carded a 71 to lie five strokes off the lead in a tie for third with American Jerry Kelly (69).

Clark, however, was later given a two-stroke penalty for incorrectly replacing his ball on the 16th green after initially removing it so Harrington could putt, his error dropping him back into a tie for 14th at three-under. British Open champion Stewart Cink of the US (68) and Masters winner Angel Cabrera of Argentina (68) were among a group of 10 players bunched at four-under.