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.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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.