RORY MCILROY followed up his British Open win with a similar charge to take the World Golf Championships – Bridgestone Invitational, and in the process ended Adam Scott’s reign as world No.1.
McIlroy’s back to back wins and impressive form will see him go into the final Major of 2014 this week at the Valhalla Golf Club in Kentucky a strong favourite.
Scott needed to finish in the top five to hold on to the ranking he has held for 12 weeks and was on track to do that at the Firestone Country Club but started going in the wrong direction on the back nine with three straight bogeys to cruel his chances.
McIlroy overtook runner-up Sergio Garcia – the same position the Spaniard finished at Hoylake a fortnight ago – with a final round 4-under 66 to finish at 15-under.
Garcia closed with a disappointing 71, ten strokes adrift of his second round effort that included seven straight birdies on his back nine. He finished on 13-under, just one ahead of Australia’s best in Marc Leishman (67).
Leishman too has had a fantastic few weeks, following up his T5 finish in the British Open with this outright third placing and should go into the US PGA Championship this week brimming with confidence.
Speaking of confidence, probably nothing will match McIlroy’s swagger.
“That’s the most pleasing thing about this week is not dwelling about what happened at Hoylake,” said McIlroy, who previously lost his No.1 ranking in March 2013. “That’s what I’ll have to do after this, as well. I’ve just got to keep moving forward. It’s great to have a chance to try to go there to win three in a row. But if you’d have asked me what I’m proudest of this week, it’s the mindset that I took into here of not being complacent. I wanted to come here and really contend.”
Scott will have a chance to return the favour and reclaim his top ranking this week.
“Obviously, Rory is in incredible form at the moment,” Scott said. “He’ll be the man to beat next week by the look of things. And I’ll be gunning for him, for sure.”
Tiger Woods aggravated his back injury during the event and withdrew. He now appears an unlikely starter this week.WGC – Bridgestone Invitational Leaderboard