Rory McIlroy fired a final round, four under par 66 on Sunday afternoon at the World Golf Championship Bridgestone Invitational and leaves town with the World Number One Ranking. The 550 FedEx Cup points for the winner at Firestone Country Club pushed the 25 year-old McIlroy into third place on the FedEx Cup list and put an extra $1.530 Million Dollars in his bank account.
Beginning his day with a three shot deficiet and playing alongside the 54-hole leader, Rory McIlroy split the narrow tree-lined fairways at Firestone Country Club with drives that averaged 337.2 yards and a 60.71 accuracy average. The driving distance was good for first place, and the accuracy was a tie for 12th.
“This is better,” he said. “Mentally, I’m really sharp. I didn’t start to think about score. I didn’t think about where I was in the tournament. I just playing shot after shot after shot. So yeah, it’s good.”
By Rory winning the Bridgestone, former number one Adam Scott needed to finish in fifth place or better to retain his number one ranking. Scott matched Garcia’s one over par 71 on Sunday, and with a run of bogeys on the back nine, fell into a tie for eighth place, and goes to Valhalla next week as the new number two in the world.
“Obviously, Rory is in incredible form at the moment,” Scott said. “He’ll be the man to beat next week by the look of things. And I’ll be gunning for him, for sure.”
Third round leader, Sergio couldn’t find the same lightning in the bottle he had on Friday when he matched the course record set by fellow countryman, Jose Maria Olazabal, and defending champ, Tiger Woods.
Sergio didn’t play poorly on Sunday, but unlike Friday, the 34 year-old Spaniard couldn’t make a putt on Sunday. The fleeting Golf Goddess kept him in the game all day, but relegated him into yet another runner-up finish in a big tournament.
Garcia fired a one over par 71 on Sunday and just couldn’t mount any kind of charge. His three-shot lead at the start of the day evaporated and turned into one-shot deficit by the fourth hole. It wasn’t Sergio’s day.
“Everybody saw it,” Garcia said. “He played very, very well. He drove the ball miles and very, very straight for the most part. He gave himself a lot of birdie looks.”
Rory McIlroy looks unbeatable as everyone moves to Valahall this week for the final major for the 2014 golf season. Rory ran away with the PGA Championship two years ago at Kiawah Island, and looks to be in a better spot now.
Valhalla should be another golf course where the young Ulstermen can continue to pound the ball off the tee, and takes what the game gives him.
After getting the lead on Sunday at Firestone, Rory didn’t seem to have his best stuff, but was able to play just well enough to win. Sounds a lot like a young Tiger Woods back in the day!