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McIlroy tames Garcia, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational to reclaim World No. 1 ranking

Final Round – World Golf Championships –WGC-Bridgestone Invitational –Firestone Country Club – Akron, Ohio –

It was quite a week of changes in the world golf climaxing with Rory McIlroy’s maiden World Golf Championships victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

McIlroy chased down overnight leader Sergio Garcia making four birdies in the opening five holes at Firestone Country Club in Akron to take a two-shot lead. From there, he outdueled with the Spaniard to win for the second straight tournament against the world’s best.

The win also returned McIlroy to the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking surpassing Adam Scott, who finished T-8 in Akron. Rory finished 15-under overall and two clear of Garcia – who logged his third runner-up start of the season on the PGA Tour to go along with a T-3 at The Players.

Marc Leishman, the first-round leader after a 64, was alone in third at 12-under. He was also T-5 at the Open Championship. Keegan Bradley, Justin Rose, Patrick Reed and Charl Schwartzel all ended up T-4 at 9-under. Schwartzel carded a 64 Sunday, while Reed posted a 65.

After capturing the BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour in May, McIlroy ramped up his game. He backed it up with a third career major championship at the Open two weeks ago and now his WGC triumph.

The Northern Irishman’s tee ball led the way. His driving and putting – both streaky at times – are clicking on all cylinders at the moment. At 7-to-1 betting odds at www.ladbrokes.com heading into Akron, McIlroy will also be the favorite next week at the PGA Championship.

The news of the day belonged to Tiger Woods, who withdrew with a lower back injury on the front nine. Woods may miss the PGA and will probably now lose his shot at a captain’s pick for the U.S. Team at the Ryder Cup in September.

Other Golf News:

  • Playing a Modified Stableford scoring system, Geoff Ogilvy (+49 points) won the PGA Tour’s Barracuda Championship in Reno, Nevada. The Aussie engineered his 8th career PGA Tour victory as a 66-1 long shot.
  • Kenny Perry (23-under) made birdie at the final hole at TPC Twin Cities to capture the 3M Championship by a stroke over Bernhard Langer. Perry was an 8-1 pick heading into the event. It marked his 6th career Champions Tour title.
  • Garcia managed just one birdie on Sunday at the Firestone. His putter, which helped him log a second-round 61, failed to produce birdies in the final round.
  • Justin Hicks was runner-up to Ogilvy in Reno. Hicks shot 64 Sunday earning +18 points to zoom up the leader board. Last week in Canada, he finished third behind Tim Clark and Jim Furyk with a final-round 64.
  • Langer, who continues to lead the Charles Schwab Cup Standings, has 14 Top 10 finishes in 15 starts in 2014.