WGC – Bridgestone Invitational
Firestone CC, Akron, Ohio
Jul 31 – Aug 3, par 70
Fiji’s Vijay Singh took his first WGC title with victory at the Bridgestone Invitational. The 45-year-old finished the week on ten-under-par, one shot clear of Australia’s Stuart Appleby and England’s Lee Westwood.
It was a 32nd PGA Tour title for Singh and his first since the 2007 Arnold Palmer Invitational. Singh has overtaken Harry Cooper as the most successful international player of all time on the PGA Tour.
It was a nervous final round for all the players and the lead regularly changed hands between Singh, Mickelson and Westwood. But it was Singh who made the fewest mistakes down the stretch. “I’m really relieved,” Singh said. “I had a good finish there at the end but I kept hitting a lot of good shots, and my putting was not the best all day. I hit it pretty close but towards the back nine I started missing those four-footers and five-footers, and I was wondering if, I tried to hit it as close as possible so I didn’t leave myself a putt.”
He did leave himself a putt though – on the 18th green. The Fijian had two putts from 30 feet to secure the victory but left his first effort four feet short – the exact length of putt he’s been struggling with. But he trusted the hours of practise he’s put in and rolled the ball home for the win.
Westwood, who narrowly missed out on a playoff for the US Open earlier in the year, had to make do with runner’s-up spot. He was left to rue errors made on the front nine. “I got off to a great start again, then made a complete hash of the seventh after that,” he admitted. “Then I was really sort of back against the wall and out of it, five behind. But I came back with a nice birdie on the next, and I just thought, dig in and see what happens. I gave myself a real good look at it.” The Englishman moves back to the top of the European Order of Merit.
It was a great week for the Europeans – Westwood’s joint second place, Darren Clarke’s joint sixth, Paul Casey’s joint eighth and Miguel Angel Jimenez in joint tenth displayed the strength in depth in European golf at present. With the final Major of the year – the USPGA Championship – kicking off this week this could be the year a European finally lifts the trophy. They’ll have to get past Vijay Singh though.
1 Vijay Singh (Fij) 67 66 69 68 270 €860,584
T2 Stuart Appleby (Aus) 70 66 67 68 271 €404,793
T2 Lee Westwood (Eng) 70 65 67 69 271 €404,793
T4 Retief Goosen (RSA) 66 71 68 67 272 €197,615
T4 Phil Mickelson (USA) 68 66 68 70 272 €197,615
T6 Darren Clarke (NIR) 70 71 65 67 273 €140,243
T6 Peter Lonard (Aus) 69 66 72 66 273 €140,243
T8 Paul Casey (Eng) 70 71 68 65 274 €103,588
T8 DJ Trahan (USA) 69 67 70 68 274 €103,588
T10 Miguel Angel Jimenez (Esp) 70 66 70 69 275 €84,783
T10 Hunter Mahan (USA) 71 66 70 68 275 €84,783
Key Moment: Singh holes a testing four-foot putt on the last to win.
Note: Players in bold signifies Titleist ball usage.