Lowry triumphs with clutch display at Firestone
By Mark Lamport-Stokes
AKRON, Ohio (Reuters) - Ireland's Shane Lowry, helped by sensational recovery shots at the 10th and 18th that both led to birdies, clinched his first PGA Tour victory by two strokes at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday.
Two off the pace heading into the final round at Firestone Country Club, Lowry overhauled third-round leaders Jim Furyk and Justin Rose, and held off a charging Bubba Watson with a closing four-under-par 66 in overcast conditions.
The bearded Irishman, ranked 48th in the world, registered four birdies and several clutch par saves in a flawless display on a tree-lined layout where danger lurked at every corner to post an 11-under total of 269.
American left-hander Watson, ranked third and bidding for his third PGA Tour victory this season, also signed off with a 66 to secure second place in an elite field of 77 players at the World Golf Championships event.
Lowry's final birdie of the day came at the par-four last where he struck his second shot from the left rough through trees and over a bunker to 11 feet beyond the flag, then coolly sank the putt.
"I played as good a golf as I've ever played the last four days," Lowry, 28, a double winner on the European Tour, told CBS Sports after celebrating his birdie on the 18th green with three fist pumps.
"I managed to hole a few putts and get a bit of luck. I was quite nervous with a few holes to go. But I made a lot of good decisions, hit the ball well. It's such a good feeling to shoot a bogey-free 66 on the golf course like that."
Lowry became the first player from Ireland to win a WGC title and earned a three-year exemption on the PGA Tour through the 2017-2018 season. Continued...