AKRON, Ohio (AP) From links of Britain to the parkland of America, Rory McIlroy is on top of the world again.
In his first start since a wire-to-wire win at the British Open, McIlroy wiped out a three-shot deficit in only three holes and closed with a 4-under 66 on Sunday to win the Bridgestone Invitational and return to No. 1 in the world. And just like at Royal Liverpool two weeks ago, Boy Wonder made it look easy.
Sergio Garcia had a three-shot lead going into the final round at Firestone. McIlroy fired off three straight birdies and already had the lead when he stood on the fourth tee. He took over the lead for good with an 8-foot birdie putt on the 11th hole, got some breathing room when Garcia made bogey on the 15th hole, and the 25-year-old from Northern Ireland cruised home to a two-shot victory.
Garcia closed with a 71, though his runner-up finish was enough to move him to No. 3 in the world.
McIlroy became the 13th player with a major and a World Golf Championship, and joined Tiger Woods as the only players to win them in consecutive starts.
Woods wasn’t around to see it.
Four months after back surgery, and in his third tournament since his return, Woods injured his lower back when he landed with a thud in the stand from an awkward stance atop a bunker on the second hole. He withdrew after a tee shot on the ninth hole, bending over slowly and struggling to remove the tee from the ground. It was not clear he Woods could play in the PGA Championship next week.
McIlroy heads south to Valhalla with a full head of steam. After a brief celebration with the claret jug, he was determined to move forward and chase more titles over the final four months of the year. He backed it up with a powerful performance on a soggy Firestone course to take the top spot in the world from Adam Scott.
McIlroy finished at 15-under 265 and won $1.53 million, leaving him $765 short of Bubba Watson on the PGA Tour money list.
RENO, Nev. (AP) – Geoff Ogilvy won the Barracuda Championship after nearly skipping the event following another disappointing finish last week in the Canadian Open.
Ogilvy won his eighth PGA Tour title and first since 2010 at Kapalua, scoring five points with a 25-foot eagle putt on the par-5 13th and pulling away for a five-point victory in the modified Stableford event.
Players received eight points for double eagle, five for eagle, two for birdie, zero for par, minus-one for bogey and minus-three for double bogey or worse.
The 37-year-old Australian, the first international winner in the event, had 14 points Sunday to finish with 49. After the eagle on 13, the 2006 U.S. Open winner added birdies on the par-4 14th and par-5 18th.
Ogilvy was making his first appearance at Montreux since 2002 after failing to qualify for the Bridgestone Invitational. In danger of losing his PGA Tour card, he entered the week with only two top-25 finishes this season and was 151st in the FedEx Cup standings. He earned 300 points Sunday to jump to 86th in standings, with the top 125 qualifying for the playoff opener.
Justin Hicks was second at 44 points after an 18-point day.
BLAINE, Minn. (AP) – Kenny Perry scrambled for a birdie on the 18th hole to beat Bernhard Langer by a stroke in the Champions Tour’s 3M Championship.
Perry closed with a 7-under 65 for his second victory of the year and seventh overall on the 50-and-over tour. He finished at 23-under 193 at TPC Twin Cities.
Langer, the Senior British Open winner last week by a tour-record 13 shots, shot 63. He overcame a four-shot deficit on the back nine and was tied with Perry going to the par-5 18th.
In the second-to-last group, Langer’s second shot just cleared the water hazard and landed in the tall grass. He chipped on from an awkward stance and two-putted for par. One group behind, Perry hit his second shot into the grandstand behind the green. After a drop, he pitched to about 15 feet and made the putt.
Jeff Maggert, Gene Sauers and Marco Dawson tied for third at 20 under. Maggert and Sauers shot 65, and Dawson had a 67.