W.G.C. Bridgestone Invitational. Rory Resplendent.

White Dragon GolfWorld Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational Logo

Rory McIlroy was resplendent in winning the WGC Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, overcoming a three shot deficit to win by two shots, and in doing so became World Number One again.

WGC Bridgestone Invitational

Rory and Trophy / Getty Images

Rory returned a final round of -4 under par 66 to post a winning total -15 under par to win the WGC Bridgestone Invitational by two shots, again, over Sergio Garcia. At the post match interview Rory stressed the importance of his well-behaved driver;

“If you’re hitting arguably the hardest club in your bag that well, then the other stuff should sort of fall in line. Whenever I drive the ball well, I always put myself in positions where I can attack flags and try and make birdies, but when I’m swinging it well with a driver that sort of funnels through the rest of my game.”

The big thing for me is if you let it affect you mentally, it makes it more difficult, if you can stay strong mentally when you’re going through the struggles you always seem to come out the other side OK. It’s when it affects you mentally you can start to lose confidence, then you’re losing confidence in your swing. It can spiral out of control, kind of like I did last summer.”

“It’s the most comfortable I’ve ever felt trying to close out a golf tournament out there today. I felt normal. I felt like it was the first round or the second round. It didn’t feel like a fourth round. What I am really proud of this week is following on from The Open with a performance like this.”

“I said straight after I did not want any let down, I wanted to keep going and performing until the end of the season. It’s great to come to one of my favourite tournaments of the year and to perform like this I am pretty satisfied.”

Sergio’s putting problems resurfaced, he carded a +1 over par 71, for his -13 under par total;

“I didn’t feel comfortable on the greens at all, with the spin of the greens changing quite dramatically after the rain, they got a little bit;  they were quite slow for the last three days.”

“I started kind of second-guessing myself every single putt, and because of that, I didn’t; the good putt I hit, I misread, and the bad ones, obviously, weren’t going the right direction either.”

Marc Leishman finished in third position on his own at -13 under par, another steady round of -3 under par 67, keeping him near the top of the leaderboard, where he has been all week.

Adam Scott missed his chance to stay at World Number One, shooting a last round +1 over par 71, to finish in a tie for 8th, he bogeyed three of his final five holes;

“I was pretty scratchy every round this week, so I was scrambling a bit, and that was good. But just lost my rhythm a little bit on a couple of holes on the back nine. Couldn’t scramble hard enough.”

” It’s all good, it’s been a lot of fun. Obviously, Rory’s in incredible form at the moment. He’ll be the man to beat next week, by the looks of things, and I’ll be gunning for him for sure.”

Phil suddenly found some real form with a final round -8 under par 62, and a T15 place, so he could be a contender next week at the PGA;

“This was a big day for me heading into next week because I feel like I’m not trying to search and find it on Thursday. I feel like my game is right there. I feel like I found what I’m looking for. I just have to keep it going and build on today’s round and put together four good, solid rounds.”

“I don’t know what will happen next week, but if I play well, I’ll look back to today’s round as being the key point.”

Tiger had to withdraw from the tournament, citing back problems, it is unlikely that he will appear next week.

 

W.G.C. Bridgestone Invitational. Sergio Streaks Seven birdies in a Row.

White Dragon GolfWorld Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational Logo

Sergio Garcia streaks seven birdies in a row at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club.

WGC Bridgestone Invitational

Sergio Garcia / Getty Images

Sergio scored seven birdies in a row on the back nine to post a second round -9 under par 61, requiring only 27 strokes on that last nine holes at Firestone Country Club. The amazing effort equaled the course record, and in doing so gave Sergio a three shot lead at the top of the WGC Bridgestone Invitational leaderboard with a -11 under par mid way total.

He said it was a magical moment, and he did not want it to end;

“Just one of those moments that you love and you enjoy and you wish there were no end. It was a combination of getting good numbers, hitting good shots. Then when I wasn’t too close from the hole, I rolled a couple of nice putts in.”

“It was definitely a dream back nine. I felt like I started well and hit some good shots early on, but still missed a couple of good birdie chances.”

“Then I obviously got a little bit lucky on the front nine. I hit three bad tee shots on four, eight and nine, and I was able to have a shot at the green and made a couple of good up and downs.”

“Then the back nine was, I don’t know, I just started hitting good shots, rolling the putts in, and everything seemed to happen. I was just enjoying it as much as I could.”

“It obviously feels great to be able to shoot the course record or equal the record on a course like this, which is not; even playing soft; that easy a course.”

“You have to drive the ball very, very well. You have to put the ball on the greens on the right spots because you can get some really, really fast putts. So to be able to do it and obviously being in a group with Tiger and Jose Maria, but still, to be able to be in that group, it feels really good.”

Justin Rose is in second place at -8 under par, he had a good second round of -3 under par 67 and said he was happy about the way he has started this tournament;

“I am really happy with the way I turned the long game around, and to hit 16 greens out there is pretty solid, but for the most part I just hit it close to the hole as well.”

“Early in the round, the putts kept sliding by. I wasn’t seeing the line all that well and I think 18 was the first putt I made. From there I felt pretty comfortable with the putts and I had a couple of good looks coming in. All in all, it’s a good start to the tournament.”

Third position is tied between Rory McIlroy and Marc Leishman, both posting half-way totals of -7 under par. Rory could reclaim top spot in the Official World Golf Rankings if he collects the trophy at Firestone and Adam Scott fails to make the top five. He said he knew Sergio was playing well in front of him, he could hear the crowd cheering;

“He obviously played in front of us, and he seemed like he was playing well. Every time I looked back, he was putting a ball in the hole, and the crowd was cheering. I knew that he was making a few birdies, and I knew I had to make a few birdies just to try and stay in touch. It was nice just to make a few coming in.” 

“I’m still four back going into the weekend, but I feel like that could have been a lot more. So it’s a good finish. I do have a good relationship with Sergio, and it’s just great to see him play like this again.” 

“I grew up idolising the guy. He’s obviously really happy with everything that’s going on. He seems in a really good place, and it’s good to see him play like this.”

Phil’s miserable malaise continues, even hitting a marshal with his ball today. A wayward tee shot on the fourth hole in today’s second round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational struck the official. Phil being Phil, he went on to par the hole, but it did not improve his second round score of +3 over par for +4 over total.

W.G.C. Bridgestone Invitational. Leishman Leads at Firestone.

White Dragon GolfWorld Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational Logo

Bridgestone Invitational

Marc Leishman / Getty Images

 

Aussie Marc Leishman leads at the W.G.C. Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Ohio.

 

Marc shot -6 under par 64 , at Firestone Country Club to lead the WGC Bridgestone Invitational by just one shot, reporting that he played well and kept the ball  in the fairway;

“I drove the ball well. It makes this course a lot easier when you’re on the fairway. It’s pretty tough when you’re playing from the rough. Then, I hit my irons really well and was rolling the ball awesome. So it’s a pretty good combination for a tough golf course like this, something I can hopefully keep going.”

Three players are tied in second place, just that one shot behind, at -5 under par following their opening rounds of 65. Ryan Moore, Charl Schwartzel and Justin Rose are the guys right behind the leader.

Sergio and Tiger are at -2 under par, Rory at -1 under while an ailing Phil Mickelson could only manage +1 over par 71. Phil arrived late and is still in recovery mode from Strep Throat.

Rory is playing for the World Number One spot;

“There’s still so much to play for, No. 1 spot is up for grabs. Trying to get myself as far up the FedExCup points as possible. I haven’t won a World Golf Championship before.”

“Got another major coming up next week. It hasn’t been that hard for me to refocus and get back to work.”

Tiger feels he is making some progress;

“I hit a lot of good shots, I dropped shots at three holes out there today, got it right back on the very next hole.”

” I feel like I made some progress, as I said, this is only my seventh round back, so it’s just going to take a little time. I’m starting to get in the flow of things. If you look at my iron shots into the holes today, a majority of them were pin-high. So I’m starting to get the feel back in my hands and get my trajectory under control.”

Sergio is excited, and loves Firestone Country Club;

“I love the golf course. I think this is definitely one of the best golf courses we play all year.”

“We’ve always enjoyed it. I think the people always come and support it. It’s great to see nice big crowds here, and the golf course is really one of the best we play.”

“Obviously, it all depends a little bit on how the course plays. If it doesn’t rain, this course can play quite tough. Some of the holes are very, very difficult to hit. But it’s like any other week, obviously if I’m on, if I feel comfortable, if I feel confident, I think I can do well. I’ve done fairly well before.”

“But if you’re a little bit off, it’s the kind of golf course that’s asking you to hit a lot of different shots. Mainly off the tee, it’s asking you a lot. You have to be very patient and realise that it’s probably not going to be the easiest week that you have all year.”

 

 

Bridgestone Invitational. Tiger Triumphs.

Tiger Woods claimed his expected victory as he triumphed in the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club.

A very fine No. 79

Tiger Woods /Getty Images

A last round of even par 70 was good enough for Tiger to take the spoils in the Bridgestone Invitational tournament at Firestone Country Club with a seven shot victory. He thought that was pretty OK, so did his son, and they are looking forward to next week and picking up Major number 15;

” That was pretty cool. This week was nice, I was able to get the lead and I held it, and it was awfully special for me to have him here to witness it because he understands it now. He understands when I make birdie, when I make par, and he understands the difference. Do I want it any more?  No, it’s the same, each and every major, I always want them. I’ve been successful 14 times, and hopefully next week will be 15.”

Tied second place with Henrik Stenson was Keegan Bradley, the defending champion, finishing at -8 under par, Keegan said coming second was a big event;

” It was a really weird feeling because it was like a tournament within a tournament, I felt like, coming in second is a big accomplishment considering Tiger had such a big lead. It’s very tough to give Tiger that many shots. The round he shot on Friday was pretty special. You know, I hate to sit here and go on and on about how good he is, but he is. It’s difficult because I really want to get up there and contend with him, but this week he’s playing really well.”

Sharing a distant fourth place at -6 under par were Zach Johnson, Miguel A Jimenez and Jason Dufner.

 

 

WGC Bridgestone Invitational.Nothing Can Stop Tiger.

Nothing can stop Tiger Woods winning the WGC Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club.

All business

Tiger Woods / Getty Images

Tiger had a modest third round of -2 under par 68, giving him a tournament total of -15 under par, and still a seven shot lead over the rest. Tiger admitted that he did not quite have it today but will go out tomorrow to execute his game plan;

I’ll just go out there and execute my game-plan, it all starts with what the weather is doing, and then I build it from there. We’ll see what I do tomorrow. You know, today was a day that I didn’t quite have it, but I scored. And that’s the name of the game, posting a number, and I did today. I grinded my way around that golf course. Any time you can go into a major tournament or any tournament with a win under your belt, it’s nice. It validates what you’re working on and you have some nice momentum going in there.”

Henrik Stenson is alone in second place at -8 under par, he had a -3 under par 67 third round score and has a battle on his hands to keep that second prize.

Jason Dufner, in third place, is a mighty eight strokes back at -7 under par total after his third round -3 under par, 67, but he can still play for second, after acknowledging Tiger’s record here at Firestone;

“Yeah, he has a pretty good track record here, there’s quite a few events out here that he does really well. Torrey Pines comes to mind, Bay Hill comes to mind, the Memorial. So he obviously feels comfortable on those courses, and it’s our job to try and chase him down if we can.”

 Luke Donald, Bill Haas, and Chris Wood, are all at -6 under par for the tournament and the tussle between them and Henrik and Jason for second and third will be worth watching.

 

 

 

WGC Bridgestone Invitational. Lucky Tiger Leads.

Tiger Woods leads the WGC Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, partly due to a generous ruling which enabled him to get a free drop from a poor lie.

Eyes on the prize

Tiger Woods / Getty

Tiger Woods was on his way to posting a 59, when on the last hole he hit a wayward tee shot, leaving him behind some tall tree’s. He attempted to go over the tree’s but did not get enough height, the ball rebounding off the tree and then the hospitality tent, coming to rest on a bare lie. A generous official gave him a free drop off the bare lie, he subsequently made the green and sunk a 25 ft putt to save par, for a round of -9 under par 61. He is now seven shots clear of the field at -13 under par, and with that sort of lead even Cheyenne Woods, daughter of Tiger’s half-brother, Earl Dennison Woods Jr, could defend that total.

When asked if he was miffed at not carding a 59 Tiger responded with;

” Disappointed, absolutely not, a 61′s pretty good. I’m not bummed. How about just pleased, I’m very happy I was able to post that. I just kept thinking, whatever lead I had, `Let’s just keep increasing it.’ It’s at seven now, I believe. So that’s not too bad after two days.”

It seemed like every fan on the course was cheering Tiger towards the magic 59, and he said he heard their excitement;

“Oh, they were excited, you could hear it more than feel it. You definitely could hear it, they were into it. It’s nice to be playing in front of people who are excited like that, especially people who aren’t yelling just because your ball gets in the air. You know, we are pros. I had opportunities to make putts there at 15 and 17. 

Keegan Bradley and Chris Wood are tied in a distant second place, at -6 under par, they face competition to finish in second place from Bill Hass and Henrik Stenson who are on -5 under par.  Jim Furyk, Luke Donald, Jason Duffner and Bubba Watson are all at -4 under par.

Keegan was top of the leaderboard when he finished his second round, and watched Tiger birdie the first two holes, he hoped the birdie fest would not continue, he was wrong;

Tiger, those first couple holes out there are definitely birdie holes, so I’d expect him to do that. You know, I hope he doesn’t go too low.”

This tournament is all over bar the engraving of the Trophy, actually they could even do that right now.

WGC Bridgestone Invitational. Webb Simpson 1st Round Leader.

Webb Simpson is the 1st round leader at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, South Course.

Opportunity knocks

Webb Simpson / Getty Images

Webb had a first round of -6 under par 64 to lead the WGC Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone by just one shot.

Webb said he had profited from his caddie Paul Tesori’s knowledge of the Firestone course;

“Well, I knew it all through my caddie Paul Tesori, who’s been here so many years, I just kind of had to listen to him. It’s hard for us players to listen to our caddies, but he basically showed me where to go yesterday and told me where to hit it, where the lines were, what clubs to hit. I didn’t feel like it was my first time because he has so much experience here.”

Henrik Stenson is in second place at -5 under par, 65 to occupy that position on his own. Henrik was upset about his bogey on the last hole, and the fact his new shoes caused a blister and he swapped back to his old pair;

“I wish I didn’t bogey the last hole, it’s one area I’ve got to get better at. When I’m between clubs, hitting more club and swinging easy is where I’ve been struggling. You know, there’s always something to work on. I feel like I’ve let a couple of tournaments go that maybe I should have closed out. They might not match the outfit perfectly, but it felt like I had socks on compared to the other ones.”

You notice there was no mention of the shoe maker, I guess there was too much money involved.

There are four players tied in fourth spot at -4 under par, they are; Ryan Moore, Chris Wood, Keegan Bradley and Tiger Woods.

Tiger reported that he had really concentrated on the wind factor and how he has taken advantage of the Firestone course in the past;

“I hit a lot of good shots. I had a really good feel for the distance today, and Joey and I really read the wind right today. We changed a lot of shots out there, and we both had a really good handle on what we were doing feel-wise with the wind. Luckily, over the years I’ve taken advantage of it. I have played well and I’ve scored well, and I’ve won my share of tournaments here.”

Keegan is trying to ignore the pressure to do something crazy;

” It’s business as usual, I just want to not put too much pressure on myself to do anything crazy. I know this golf course fits me, so to let the course come to me is big here.”

Phil Mickelson, coming off his fantastic victory at the British Open two weeks ago, unfortunately seemed to struggled with his concentration and came in with a +2 over par 72.

“Tonight I’ll get a little bit more rest and try not to do too much and see if I can come out tomorrow a little bit more focused.”

Rory McIlroy will defend his title at the PGA next week, I don’t think he has a hope, Rory has not won a tournament since the PGA, in a year of amazing up and down swings that included a Ryder Cup victory and a whole series of disappointments. Rory shot an even par round of  70. He said he was just throwing shots away;

“I just threw a few shots away around the greens. You know, you start to save shots there and all of a sudden you’re -3, -4 or 5-under par.”