Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Justin Thomas runs away from field to easily win Bridgestone Invitational

Tiger Woods barely keeps pace at Firestone Golf stars pay tribute to Jarrod Lyle at Bridgestone Invitational
Jennie Wade | 06 August, 2018, 10:18

Playing steady and smart golf all day, Thomas shot a one-under 69 to win the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational by four shots for his ninth career PGA title.

Northeast Ohio has been the place for thousands to watch world class golf for years, however, Sunday was the last time Firestone Country Club's famed South Course will host the prestigious Bridgestone Invitational. He wound up with a 73, leaving him 11 shots back and ending his streak of 10 straight rounds at par or better.

But McIlroy had already dropped a shot at the short fifth and effectively took himself out of contention with a torrid run of three consecutive bogeys around the turn, while Poulter's chances were scuppered when he dropped three shots in four holes in an outward 37.

Thomas was far from his best as he played the opening 12 holes in level par and both Stanley and Jason Day eventually closed to within two shots, only to each promptly bogey the next two holes.

But Spieth clearly blossomed more quickly as a pro than Justin Thomas, who always praised his good buddy's success through an incredible early run on the PGA Tour, including his third major title a year ago at The Open and into the PGA Championship where he was getting all the hype.

Fleetwood didn't put a foot wrong at Firestone Country Club, where he said his early tee time was a big advantage on Firestone's fast greens. That made his steady play all the more meaningful for him.

Rory and I have played together a lot.

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"We sat down and just said, what are we doing wrong?" He wound up winning the last one. You just don't know if they're ever going to see me win if I don't win here.

The World Golf Championships in Akron has a yearly economic impact of more than $21 million according to Firestone's website. When I heard everybody yell really loud I knew it was close, " Perry said.

Woods had a day to forget.

"Friday morning he was putting [before his round] and I thought he was going to go ballistic". I don't think he was so much frustrated as he was trying too hard. "You kind of get that two-, three-, four-shot lead, it's different than one".

That was his 79th PGA Tour victory and eighth at Firestone, the venue for this tournament for the last time.

The US PGA Championship - the final major of the year - begins on Thursday. I'm tied second right now, so huge improvement and a little bit of work left to do.

"I played well enough to win a few times this year and I only got over the line once", McIlroy said.

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