WGC Bridgestone Invitational. Jason Has Daylight at the Top.

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Jason Day has daylight between himself and the field at the opp WGC Bridgestone Invitational leaderboard at Firestone Country Club, in Ohio.WGC Bridgestone Invitational

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jason Day

 Jason carded a -1 under par 69 second round at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational to lead at the half-way stage with a -4 under par total.

Jason was faced with a 20-foot birdie putt from the fringe on the final hole, and when his putter bumped up against the collar on the way back, he stroked it too hard, and then to compound the error missed the 6-foot par putt on the way back, making a bogey five. But overall his putting was good;

“I was very cross with myself when I was walking off.”

 “The great thing is that once I do silly things like that on 18, I soon forget about it, and I just need to start focusing on tomorrow’s round.”

“I think over the next two days it’s going to be very difficult for everyone.”

“I would love to be able to give myself more opportunities, and if I can do that, hopefully I’m holding the trophy at the end of the week.”

“The mentality won’t change with regards to how tight it is. I’ve just got to try and get it done. Even if I don’t have my best stuff, just find a way to get it done.”

David Lingmerth holds second place, a -3 under par 67 equaled the low round off the day. He is now just one shot back at -3 under par for the tournament.

First round leader William McGirt shares third place at -2 under par, a horrible second round +4 over par destroying his three shot overnight lead. Emiliano Grillo, +1 over 71 and Scott Piercy -1 under 69 today are also at -2 under for the tournament.

William blamed the wind; don’t we all;

“Trying to figure out the wind was impossible.”

 “It was a lot of down off the left with a touch of in off the right. I mean, who knows?”

Justin Thomas hit the longest drive of the day 414 yards at the par five 16th, with a  nasty lie left for his second he kind of chunked it, it hit the pin and fell in for Eagle;

“I can’t hit another drive that hard.”

Justin, -1 under 69 today, is tied with Jordan Spieth,+1 over 71, Kevin Kisner, even par 70, and Adam Scott -2 under 68, all at -1 under par in sixth place.

Jordan, following criticism for his slow play, is starting to pick up the pace;

“The quicker part actually helps me because then I just get up there and fire away.”

“The more I can do that, actually I think the better off ; kind of gun slinging mentality, just to go up and hit the way I always have played.”

WGC Bridgestone Invitational.

 

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William McGirt leads the WGC Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Ohio.

McGirt starts fast at Firestone

William McGirt / getty image

William shot a first round -6 under par 64 to lead the WGC Bridgestone Invitational by three strokes at the end of the day. He likes the fact that it does not suit the longer players off the tee;

“I fell in love with the place because length is not everything out here.”

 “You have to drive it in the fairway. You have to drive it in the correct spots in the fairways to be able to attack pins.”

“I love it because you can’t stand up there and just hit it as hard as you want, go find it and hack it on the green.”

“It’s an old, traditional-style golf course, which I absolutely love. I don’t know, maybe it’s something with Ohio I like.”

“Now that I’ve won once, I want to win twice, and I want to win three times.”

“Big thing is to go ahead and get four wins so I can play PGA TOUR Champions when I turn 50.”

Three players share second place at -3 under par after their opening rounds of 67, World number one Jason Day is there along with Jimmy Walker and Emiliano Grillo.

Jason summed up his day;

“It was just kind of a weird feeling of a day where I kind of made some good pars, kept the momentum going and all of a sudden I shot 67.”

 “I’ve just got to keep grinding until Sunday is over.”

Jordan Spieth, Anirban Lahiri, Rickie Fowler and Charley Hoffman are at -2 under par, all with rounds of 68.

Jordan thanked his putter for the  Birdies on the final four holes, and for sinking par puts from 20 and 25 feet;

“This is one of the best rounds; one of the happiest I’ve;  one of the happiest two unders I’ve ever shot for sure.”

 “I wasn’t supposed to shoot two under today. I kind of wish we kept on playing, even though I felt so kind of poor most of the round.”

“I’m really just searching for something that isn’t far off, that’s real simple, that feels like I’m more compact in my swing that allows me to time it better at the bottom.”

“Again, it really is only taking place on my scoring clubs, but that’s where you need them.”

“It’s close. It’s almost there, and when it clicks, we’re definitely in business right now the way the short game is on.”

 

 

 

 

WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Shane Lowry Lifts The Trophy.

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Shane Lowry lifts the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational trophy at Firestone Country Club,

WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

Shane Lowry / Getty Images

A delighted Shane Lowry won the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational with a bogey free final round -4 under par 66, to post a -11 under par total, which no one could catch.

Shane thought about lifting the trophy while sipping his morning coffee at Starbucks, he did not tee off until 2 pm;

“You just think about lifting that trophy on the 18th green.”

Then when I’m in a good frame of mind, I let myself do it, and I give myself a little slap in the face and say, right, you need to get back to work, back to doing what you do best.”

“It’s fairly special to go out and do that and such a good feel to shoot a bogey-free 66 on the golf course like that.”

“I know it will stay with me now for the rest of my career, and hopefully I’ve got a long career ahead of me.”

He spoke about the pieces of luck that came his way today, definitely outrageous, in an Irish kind of way, first on the 10th and the second on the final hole.

For the 10th he said;

“I was quite lucky because I got a drop, and the drop actually took me back onto a little bit of an up-slope, which meant I could get the ball in the air quicker, and I could end up clearing the tree pretty comfortable.” 

And the 18th;

“I was just going in there praying that I could get it down there on the green.”

” It actually had a pretty horrific lie. It was sitting down in a hole. It was almost like someone had stood on it, but it was where the crowd was walking.” 

““I was trying to get it on the front right of the green but pulled it a little bit, it went through the tree and the rest is history.”

Both of these miraculous escapes ended in birdies !!!

In second place at -9 under par was Bubba Watson, he also carded a -4 under par 67 for his last round.

Jim Furyk and Justin Rose tied for third position, at -7 under par for the tournament.

Jim lamented his poor play for the last two day’s;

“I’ll go out and say, not only didn’t I hit it well, I hit the ball very poorly the last 27 holes.”

“I was covering up with putts early in the week. And under the gun, it got me a little worse on the weekend. We’ve got some work to do.”

Justin blamed the putter for his bad day on the greens;

“I played half decent today, it’s no problem.” 

“The early three putt made me tentative with the putter. Even around the turn, I had a great chance at number ten for birdie and three putted. 

“I had a great chance at 11 and a great chance at 12.”

“I did enough tee to green, but even the putter was under pressure on the tee to green play. So it just stems from that.”

 

 

WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Jim & Justin Joint Leaders.

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Jim Furyk and Justin Rose are joint leaders of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational after 54 holes at Firestone County Club.

 

WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

Justin Rose / Getty Images

Justin shot a bogey free third round -7 under par 63 to join Jim at the top of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational leaderboard at -9 under par. Before Justin suddenly came alive he had gone 30 holes without a birdie, that all changed today;

“I guess that shows it just evens out, really, if you can stay the course and stay patient, kind of believe that you’re going to get your run eventually.”

“Yesterday, when I shot 71, I actually played really well, not much different to today.”

“I drove it just as well yesterday as I did today, which is obviously the key to setting up a good round of golf around here.” 

“It just didn’t happen really yesterday.” 

“But I came into today with a belief that I was still playing well and probably made the adjustment mentally that possibly I was giving the course a bit too much respect yesterday.” 

“I haven’t seen a putt go in all week from outside eight feet, it feels like.” 

“So to knock that ball in on the last, it was a nice bonus for sure.”

Jim could not respond to the challenge, he carded a third round -1 under par on a day when nothing really went his way. Even when finding a rare fairway on the 18th, the ball ended up in an old divot, He did manage to save par at the last, and he is still there in position to finally win at Firestone;

“I felt pretty good about the round all in all, I felt like I struck the ball pretty well on the front nine. I drove the ball beautifully and hit a lot of fairways.”

“I had opportunities but didn’t knock in some putts that I probably could have or should have, and felt like the front nine could have been better. 

“But then on the back nine, I missed a bunch of fairways. I think, when I finally did hit one on 18, I was in a divot and an awful lie.”

“I finally hit a fairway and still couldn’t make a good swing at it. I really just kind of gutted it out and ground it out and made the best I could of the back nine.” 

“I really think I scored well to shoot level par and kind of held myself in the golf tournament.” 

“Where it felt like maybe I could have got a little more out of the front, I got a lot out of the back, and it probably all evened out in the long run.”

Shane Lowry has third position all to himself, a -3 under par 67 keeping him in sight of the leaders, with his -7 under par total.

There are four players tied in fourth position, at -4 under par, five shots in arrears, Steven Bowditch, Henrik Stenson, Bubba Watson and Ian Poulter.

Ian was another player who certainly made a move on moving day, shooting a third round -5 under par 65, to get himself into contention on the last day.

WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

Fast starting Ian Poulter / Getty Images

Poults was happy with his fast start, carding birdie on three of the first six holes;

“I got off to a nice start today, which is just what I needed.”

Steve also got a good start to the day and carried it on to match Justin with a -7 under par 63 today;

 “The front nine was very much a struggle again with my golf swing. I felt uncomfortable, and I was stuck in some places.”

“Then I made a really good swing on 14. I hit a really good drive down there and created a feeling that I had the last sort of six or seven weeks.” 

“From there, I didn’t miss a golf shot. I hit it dead where I wanted to hit it basically. Hopefully, I can carry it into tomorrow.”

 

WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Furyk Fires Up Firestone.

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Jim Furyk fires up the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, taking the half-way lead in Akron, Ohio.

WGC_Bridgestone Invitational

Jim Furyk / Getty Images

Jim took control of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational posting another -4 under par 66 in the second round, to give him a four shot lead at the top of the leaderboard on -8 under par for the tournament.

Jim really wants to win here

“I would say that I’m disappointed I’ve never won here.  It’s one of my favorite courses we play.”

“Before I’d won at Hilton Head at 2010, that was a course. Colonial is a place I’d like to win. Riviera, here, all really good classic golf courses.”

“So I’m disappointed, but to have like a chip on my shoulder or — no.”

“It’s another year and opportunity, and we’re only halfway. Just go out, and I’m going to try to do the same things this weekend and not really look at the leaderboard that much and go try to shoot under par every day.”

“I felt like I was moving in the right direction today.”

Sharing second place, those four shots back are Bubba Watson, Shane Lowry and Dustin Johnson, all at -4 under par.

Bubba and Shane carded -4 under today while Dustin added one shot his total with a -3 under round today.

Bubba and Dustin were all over the course, and Shane played more conventionally.

Yesterday’s leader Danny Lee slumped to a +2 over par 72 and dropped into a tie for fifth place with Graeme McDowell and Henrik Stenson, at -3 under par for the competition.

There is no cut in the World Golf Championships tournaments so even the guys right at the bottom of the table get to play the weekend, just get some practice in, for there is no way to catch the leaders.

Today the golf world said goodbye to Louise Suggs, the founder of the LPGA, and a Hall of Fame member. Louise reached the grand old age of 91.

In other news, Rory McIlroy has his name of the start sheet for the U.S. PGA Championship at  Whistling Straits. He is due to tee off with Masters and U.S. Open champion Jordan Spieth and British Open winner Zach Johnson.

Rory has posted a video of him hitting a driver, with the caption;

 “Feels good to hit the driver again.”

Seems like a big gamble, apart from swinging and hitting, it is a long walk round a Major golf course.

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

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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 Survives Soggy Saturday

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Sergio Garcia survived a soggy Saturday at the Firestone Country Club in the third round of the WGC Bridgestone Invitational, maintaining his position at the top of the leaderboard. The round included a three-hour delay due to thunderstorms.

 

WGC Bridgestone Invitational

Sergio on soggy Saturday / Getty Images

Sergio cared a -3 under par 67 to keep his place at the top of the WGC Bridgestone Invitational with a -14 under par tournament total, a three shot lead going into the final round tomorrow. That lead is over Rory McIlroy, who Sergio tried to chase down last at Royal Liverpool. This time it will be Rory doing the chasing, and Sergio is looking forward to the challenge, he also spoke about the good par he made on 18 today;

“Obviously, Rory is playing great, and we get along nicely as of right now, I think we’re both excited about it. We’re definitely going to play hard. It will be nice to see if I can do the same thing he did to me a couple of weeks ago. So we’ll see.”

“The one on 18 is the one that felt the best, because it was probably the toughest to make par. Where I hit it, I couldn’t really do much more than that and hope to make a good two-putt.”

Rory birdied the final two holes today to reduce the arrears, with a -11 under par total;

” My goal today was to try and get in the final group, Sergio didn’t quite have that luxury of seeing what I was doing on the last. It will be nice to play alongside him tomorrow and at least keep an eye on what’s going on. “

“Try to apply a bit of pressure when I can, but just really looking forward to getting in there and having another chance to win a tournament so soon after what happened at Hoylake.”

It would be wrong to assume this is just a two-horse race, Marc Leishman posted a -2 under par a 68 and was five shots behind at -9 under, in third spot alone.

Adam Scott returned from the three-hour rain delay carrying only his long putter, the only weapon he needed to convert one last birdie for a -5 under par 65 that at least left him with a slim chance. He is six shots behind the leader, sharing fourth place with Keegan Bradley and Justin Rose all at -8 under par.

Defending champion Tiger Woods made only one birdie on Saturday, and he also failed to birdie a par 5 for the second straight day, shooting +2 over par 72, 15 shots behind.