The SportingJournal

Woods blitzes field to move to 79th win

Tiger Woods has sounded an ominous warning ahead of next week’s PGA Championship, with a resounded seven shot win in the WGC – Bridgestone Invitational.

Woods had all but stitched up victory after his record-equalling nine-under 61 on day two, and fired rounds of 68 and 70 over the weekend to claim his 79th PGA Tour title and his seventh win at Firestone Country Club.

This morning’s win also signalled Woods’ tenth World Golf Championships victory.

It’s his second WGC win for the year – after winning at Doral earlier in the season – and his fifth Tour victory for 2013.

“Something I’m very proud of is how many tournaments I’ve been able to win consistently, year in and year out, and then how many World Golf Championships I’ve been able to win,” Woods said.

“To be able to beat the best players in the world at more than just the major championships and The Players…that’s something I’m very proud of.”

Woods ran away from the field with a bogey-free Friday 61 that included seven birdies and an eagle.

His lead was seven at the half way mark of the tournament, and remained so for the final two days.

With conditions getting tougher on Sunday, there would have needed to be a sizeable capitulation by Woods in order to open the door for any other player.

“Being as blustery as it was, it was going to be really hard for someone to shoot 62 or 63,” Woods said.

“If I didn’t give any shots away today…and shot even par or better, I’d have to force these guys to go and shoot something super low on a golf course that wasn’t going to give it up under these conditions.”

Woods’ well-rounded Sunday 70 included one birdie and one bogey to keep the rest of the field at bay.

Keegan Bradley shot a final round 67 to move into a tie for second with Swede Henrik Stenson at -8, while Zack Johnson also fired a 67 to move into the top five.

Adam Scott was the best placed Australian at -2, finishing in a tie for 14th.

The players will head to Oak Hill Country Club in New York next week to contest the final major of the season, the U.S PGA Championship.

Woods’ final round par-fest should hold him in good stead heading into the PGA.

Having struggled to contend in majors so far in 2013, if he can find a repeat performance of the weekend past, he’ll be tough to beat.

“Oak Hill is going to be a golf course where we’re going to have to make a lot of pars, there’s no doubt,” Woods said.

“If you have an opportunity to make a birdie, you’d better because there aren’t a whole lot of opportunities to make them.

“I think that it’ll be a very, very difficult championship,” he said.

Woods’ win moves him to within three of Sam Snead’s all time record of 82, and he’ll have a chance next week to move one closer to Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships.


Twitter: @pepcavalieri

Cover image credit: Chase McAlpine

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