Woods cruises to 7-shot victory at Bridgestone


Playing prevent defense for much of the final round, Tiger Woods held steady and coasted to a commanding seven-stroke victory Sunday at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Here is the skinny from the final round at Firestone:

The leaderboard: Woods (-15), Keegan Bradley and Henrik Stenson at -8, Zach Johnson, Jason Dufner and Miguel Angel Jimenez at -6 

What it means: It is Woods’ fifth victory of the season, his eighth at Firestone CC, his 18th WGC, and the 79th of his PGA Tour career, putting him just three shy of Sam Snead’s record. It also means this is his 10th season with five or more PGA Tour wins. This is the 19th time that Woods has won his final start before a major. After his previous 18 victories, he went on to win four majors and posted nine additional top 10s.

Round of the day: Staked to a seven-shot lead at the start of the day, Woods opened with nine consecutive pars and watched as no other player made a charge. His closing 70 ensured that he still hasn’t shot a final-round score in the 60s, but his fifth victory of the season, his most lopsided yet, was never in doubt. “This was a perfect day to protect,” he said.

Best of the rest: Bradley, the 2012 champion, and Stenson shared top honors for the B Flight. They closed with 67 and 70, respectively, to finish in a tie for second, seven shots behind Woods.

Biggest disappointment: Sure, Firestone toughened up over the weekend, but no world-class player made a run at Woods over the final 36 holes. He began the weekend seven shots ahead and finished there. No pursuer drew closer than seven shots Sunday.

Quote of the day: “I don’t know what it is; it just fits my eye. I’ve felt comfortable here for some reason.” – Woods, on his love affair with Firestone.