2014 Bridgestone Invitational: Final Thoughts


Jul 31, 2014; Akron, OH, USA; Phil Mickelson tees off on the tenth hole during the first round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational golf tournament at Firestone Country Club – South Course. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Rory McIlroy was impressive in his come-back win at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on the Firestone Country Club, but there were some other good stories out there on Sunday afternoon, and none bigger than the eight under par 62 put up by Phil Mickelson.

Phil Mickelson has struggled all year with his game, and has still yet to put up a top ten on US soil in the 2014 golf season. Lefty finished T15 on Sunday, and looked to have all phases of his game working before he moves on to Valhalla this week.

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With Tiger Woods’ health a big question mark, maybe Phil can impress Ryder Cup Captain, Tom Watson this week and either make the team that goes to Gleneagles, or play well enough to be a captain’s pick.

Patrick Reed slid into the final “play-in spot” with the departure of Dustin Johnson last week, and showed us on Sunday that he belongs on the team.

Reed shot an impressive five under par 65 on Sunday, and had it not been for a one over 71 on Saturday, may well have been in contention when they came down the stretch.

South African, Charl Schwartzel had an impressive 64 on Sunday, and like Reed, if he had put up a better number on Saturday, may have put a challenge up on Sunday as well.

If the 2011 Masters Champ could putt, he would be a top player in the world game. Schwartzel is tee-to-green as good as anyone on the tour, but can’t seem to get putts to drop when he needs them to go in the hole.

Keegan Bradley stepped up on Sunday, and although he is currently in 15th place in the Ryder Cup standings, is showing Captain Tom that if he doesn’t play his way on the team, he would be a good Captain’s Pick.

I was a little disappointed in Justin Rose on Sunday at Firestone. I thought his game was good enough to make a run, but it never came. On a day where there were some low scores out there, Justin kept shooting himself in the foot.

The rain-delay on Saturday derailed some games that were in the hunt. One of those games belonged to Matt Kuchar. The Kuch was also able to card a five under 65 on Sunday, and looks to have his game on the mend.

Kuchar was able to move up on Sunday and post a T14 finish after poor scores on Thursday, and Saturday.

Adam Scott was the second biggest loser on Sunday, the biggest loser was of course, Tiger Woods, and with his number one ranking on the line, was unable to mount a defense.

It was Rory McIlroy who broke up Scott’s glory at Royal Melbourne back in December, and he did it again yesterday. On a day where he just needed to finish in the top five, he couldn’t get it done.

Rory has Adam Scott’s number, and now has his number one ranking as they move on to the last major of the year.

The big story coming out of Firestone on Sunday is that of Tiger Woods.

Trying to hit a shot out of the rough on the second hole, he had to step into the fairway bunker and it appeared he hurt his back again.

After making a double bogey at the eighth hole, he shook hands with playing partner, Bubba Watson, and left the property. He was at home in Florida before Rory struck the last putt on the 18th green.

Tiger may be forced to do what he should have done earlier. Take his back injury serious, take the remainder of the year off and get his back and golf swing fixed. He then would be ready to make his final run in 2015.

Tiger Woods has tinkered so much with his golf swing that he has destroyed his body, his golf game, and has put doubt into everyone’s mind if he can catch Sam Snead’s all-time wins record, let alone Jack Nicklaus’ majors record.