McIlroy moves to No. 1 with Bridgestone win
Rory McIlroy has become golf’s newest €20 million man and world number one while he also has a new victory trophy to drink from after capturing the WGC – Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio this morning.
McIlroy made it back-to-back triumphs coming from two shots down in shooting a final round 66 to win the stunning Gary Player ceramic trophy by two strokes with a 15–under par tally and just a fortnight after being handed the Claret Jug.
Rory McIlroy has returned to world number one with victory at the Bridgestone Invitational (Credit: www.golffile.ie)
Garcia in contrast could only manage one birdie in his 71 for a 13-under par score just two days after birding his closing eight holes in a Firestone course-record equalling 61.
Australia’s Marc Leishman finished in outright third place following a final round 67 to fall just three shots off the lead. The result will give the Victorian enormous confidence heading in to this week’s PGA Championship.
McIlroy earned a cool €1.140m first prize cheque that has taken his European Tour prizemoney through the €20 million barrier with earnings from 139 events of €20.562 million
The 25-year-old Irishman also moved back to world number one ahead of this week’s PGA Championship with Australia’s Adam Scott needing to be inside the top-five to retain top spot on the rankings but ending in a share of eighth place after a last day 71 for a seven under par score.
It is the first time since March 2013 McIlroy has been world number one and he now heads to this week’s PGA Championship in the Blue Grass State of Kentucky looking to make it three from three and also land a fourth Major Championship title.
McIlroy went into the final round of the US$9 million event trailing two shots behind Garcia but three birdies in succession over the opening three holes put McIlroy in front of his newly-engaged rival.
And at the third there was a bizarre incident when an errant Garcia drive hit a female spectator on her wedding finger, knocking the diamond from her engagement ring.
Early efforts to find the stone were unsuccessful and with Garcia promising to buy her a new ring before another spectator found the diamond much to the delight of the woman.
However the bogey cost Garcia the lead with McIlroy holing a three-metre birdie putt.
McIIroy went two in front when he sunk a two meter birdie at the fifth but then found himself back level with Garcia when he bogeyed eight and the Spaniard holed a five-meter birdie at nine.
McIlroy then got his nose back in front when he drilled a 99-yard wedge shot from the right semi rough to eight feet for the fifth birdie of his round and move to 15-under par.
The fire died in Garcia’s Firestone drive when he dropped another shot at the 15th handing back to McIlroy a two shot lead.