Thomas cruises to WGC-Bridgestone victory

06 August, 2018, 10:17 | Author: Marlene Myers
  • Tiger Woods made five birdies and just one bogey in his opening round

Tiger Woods on Friday teased his fans with a hot start to his second round at the Bridgestone Invitational, but could not maintain the run in a slightly disappointing day at a venue he has all but owned.

PGA TOUR rookie and World No. 81 Aaron Wise fashioned a 3-under-par 34-33=67 in the final round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational to conclude his WGC debut on 8-under 272, up 10 spots to T7 with play still in progress.

Woods, playing a Firestone course where he has eight victories for the final time in the tournament's history - this will be the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis, Tenn., next season - shot a three-over 73 on Sunday in Akron, Ohio.

Rory McIlroy made three straight bogeys around the turn, carded 73 and finished seven shots behind, while Ian Poulter putted uncharacteristically poorly and was never a factor after four bogeys in the first seven holes.

His last nine holes saw two double bogeys, three bogeys, three birdies and just one par.

Thomas captured his first World Golf Championship and heads to his title defense at the PGA Championship with plenty of momentum.

He set the tone early by hooking a pitching wedge over a steep lip in a fairway bunker to just short of the green and saving par with a 6-foot putt, then holing a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-5 second. That made his steady play all the more meaningful for him.

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"I think what he learned is that he has to play his game and not force it, " said Thomas' caddie, Jimmy Johnson, who has been working with Thomas for three years after a long stint with Steve Stricker. After winning last year's Tour Championship he revealed a list that ranged from the predictable (win on Tour) to the amazingly detailed (finish the season ranked in the top 30 in scrambling).

"I was just signing my card there and realized I hadn't had a five", Fleetwood said.

"For sure, especially contending on a golf course like (Firestone)", Leishman said. "I'm really putting well", the 42-year-old American told Golf Channel. I was so far back that I had to play a great round just to get in the top 10.

Day, the 2015 PGA Championship victor, is similarly confident of sharpening up in time for a bid at an anticipated second major title.

"I needed to go get it today and I didn't do it".

Thomas, 25, took a three-shot lead into Sunday's final round of this year's tournament. "I hit a lot that didn't go in the hole, so I'm pleased with it".

His grandparents, Paul and Phyllis Thomas, watched him win for the first time on the PGA Tour. Woods did not dispute the fact that before each of the 12 tournaments he played this year before the Bridgestone, he spent some amount of time practicing the week before the event.

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