McIlroy wins Bridgestone to claim world number one ranking

Sun Aug 3, 2014 9:09pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Rory McIlroy continued his dominating form when he won the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational by two strokes on Sunday and regained the world number one ranking, replacing Australia's Adam Scott.

McIlroy made a sizzling start to the final round with three consecutive birdies to quickly erase a three-stroke deficit and surge past Sergio Garcia at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio.

The Northern Irishman carded a 66 to finish at 15-under-par 265, while Spaniard Garcia (71) was second on 13-under, with Australian Marc Leishman (67) another shot back in third place.

Defending champion Tiger Woods pulled out of the tournament after aggravating his troublesome back, raising more questions about the playing future of the 14-times major champion.

McIlroy, 25, took the world number one ranking for the fifth separate occasion, and the first since March of last year, displacing Scott, who had been on top for 11 weeks.

McIlroy, who won the British Open in his previous start two weeks ago, collected $1.53 million for his first victory in a World Golf Championships event.

And he did not sound like he was ready to rest on his laurels as he heads to the PGA Championship at Valhalla in Kentucky, where he will seek a fourth major title.

“Mentally I’m really sharp,” he told reporters. “It’s the most comfortable I’ve ever felt trying to close out a golf tournament out there today.

“It felt normal, like a first or second round. It didn’t feel like the fourth round. I didn’t get ahead of myself. I just kept playing shot after shot after shot.   Continued...

Aug 3, 2014; Akron, OH, USA; Rory McIlroy (right) and his father Gerry McIlroy following the final round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational golf tournament at Firestone Country Club - South Course.  Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports