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In brief: Jim Furyk holds four-stroke lead at Bridgestone

Bubba Watson is one of three golfers at 4-under at the Bridgestone Invitational, four shots behind leader Jim Furyk. (Associated Press)
Bubba Watson is one of three golfers at 4-under at the Bridgestone Invitational, four shots behind leader Jim Furyk. (Associated Press)

Golf: Jim Furyk is two rounds away from erasing a couple of bad memories at Firestone.

Even with a bogey on his last hole for the second straight day, Furyk did plenty right Friday in the Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio, for another 4-under 66 that gave him a four-shot lead going into the weekend.

Furyk ran off three birdies in a four-hole stretch late in his round to reach 8-under 132 in the World Golf Championship event.

It’s a familiar position for Furyk at Firestone, where he has done everything right except leave with the trophy. During a seven-hole playoff against Tiger Woods in 2001, Furyk missed three birdie putts inside 12 feet for the win, and Woods finally closed him out on the 79th hole of the tournament.

More painful was three years ago when Furyk led wire-to-wire and was in the 18th fairway on Sunday when one bad swing led to a double bogey and he lost by one.

Bubba Watson (66) and Dustin Johnson (67), whose power is suited for this monster of a course, joined Shane Lowry of Ireland (66) at 4 under.

• Monty in front: Colin Montgomerie birdied three of the final four holes for an 8-under 62 and the first-round lead in the Champions Tour’s Shaw Charity Classic in Calgary, Alberta.

Australia’s Peter Senior was a stroke back. Corey Pavin was tied for third at 65 with Scott McCarron, Tommy Armour III, Michael Allen, Skip Kendall and Stephen Ames. Former Pullman resident Kirk Triplett fired a 68.

• Gonzales, Steele on top: Andres Gonzales had 11 birdies and a bogey in a 21-point round for a share of the lead with Brendan Steele in the Barracuda Championship.

Steele matched Gonzales at 26 points after two rounds in the PGA Tour’s only modified Stableford event, scoring 18 points with an eagle, seven birdies and a bogey at Montreux Golf and Country Club in Reno, Nevada.

Players receive eight points for double eagle, five for eagle, two for birdie, zero for par, minus-one for bogey and minus-three for double bogey or worse.

Spokane native Alex Prugh sits on 12 points and is tied for 39th.

• Piller, Bertsch tied: Martin Piller and Shane Bertsch each shot 9-under 62 to share the second-round lead at 15-under in the Tour’s Digital Ally Open in Overland Park, Kansas.

Phelps dominates in 200-meter butterfly

Water sports: Leaving no doubt that he’ll be ready for the Rio Olympics, swimmer Michael Phelps turned in the fastest time in the world this year in the 200-meter butterfly, winning at the U.S. nationals in San Antonio in a stunning 1 minute, 52.94 seconds.

Phelps was banned from world championships as part of his punishment for a second drunken-driving arrest.

• U.S. gets gold: The United States women’s water polo team won the world championship for the first time since 2009, beating the Netherlands 5-4 in the gold medal game in Kazan, Russia.

Two goals from tournament MVP Rachel Fattal and a dominant goalkeeping performance from Ashleigh Johnson, who made a crucial last-minute save, paced the U.S.

Cilic, Nishikori win at tennis’ Citi Open

Miscellany: Reigning U.S. Open tennis champion Marin Cilic moved into the final four at the Citi Open in Washington for the first time since 2010 by beating 18-year-old Alexander Zverev of Germany 7-5, 7-6 (3).

Earlier, second-seeded Kei Nishikori withstood Sam Groth for a 6-4, 6-4 victory.

On the other half of the draw, John Isner – twice the runner-up in Washington – delivered 20 aces and defeated Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania 6-3, 5-7, 6-3. In an all-U.S. semifinal, Isner will face Steve Johnson, who beat yet another American, Jack Sock, 7-6 (5), 6-1 in the last match.

In the women’s quarterfinals, Sam Stosur advanced when Monica Niculescu stopped playing because of a left abdominal strain while trailing 4-0.

Stosur will face Sloane Stephens, who picked up a 6-4, 6-4 victory over 19-year-old wild-card entry Louisa Chirico.

The other women’s semifinal will have Ekaterina Makarova, a 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 winner over Irina-Camelia Begu, against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who edged Christina McHale 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (5).

• Woods wears yellow: Mike Woods gave his Optum team back-to-back wins in cycling’s Tour of Utah, pulling away from the field on the uphill finish of Stage 5 to capture the yellow jersey.

The breakaway was swept up on the last of seven circuits in Salt Lake City, and Woods was sitting fifth wheel as the field headed toward the finish.

He survived the tough finishing kick after Kiel Reijnen and Jure Kocjan went too soon in their final sprint.

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