Tiger Woods tops Padraig Harrington at Firestone

By Doug FergusonAugust 9, 2009, 4:00 pm
WGC-Bridgestone - 125wAKRON, Ohio ' First came another signature moment from Tiger Woods, an 8-iron over the water that stopped a foot from the hole. Even more stunning was the meltdown that followed by Padraig Harrington.
 
A swift and shocking turn of events on Firestones famous 16th hole took Woods went from one shot behind to a four-shot victory Sunday as he closed with a 5-under 65 to win the Bridgestone Invitational.
 
Woods became the first player in PGA Tour history to win seven times on the same golf course.
 
Tiger Woods and Padraig Harrinton at Firestone
Tiger Woods shakes hands with Padraig Harrington after seventh win at Firestone. (Getty Images)
It was his 16th victory in the World Golf Championship series, and the worlds No. 1 player now goes to the PGA Championship next week at Hazeltine with two straight victories after missing the cut last month in the British Open.
 
After nearly four hours in the tough battle that Harrington expected, the Irishman let it slip away.
 
Woods left himself some 170 yards over the water, and his 8-iron landed near the pin and rolled back a foot away. Harrington hit from the collar of a bunker over the 16th green, but his delicate flop shot from behind the green came out hot and went into the water.
 
He wound up with a triple bogey and closed with a 3-over 73 to share second place with Robert Allenby, who had a 66.
 
The par-5 16th is the most famous hole at Firestone, given the nickname The Monster years ago by Arnold Palmer.
 
I took 6 and 8 the last two days, so I certainly think it was a monster, Harrington said.
 
Woods, who has won the Bridgestone Invitational seven times in 10 starts and has never finished out of the top five, closed out his remarkable afternoon in style with a 6-foot birdie putt.
 
It was the 70th victory of his PGA Tour career, three behind Jack Nicklaus in second place. Sam Snead (82) holds the record.
 
We locked horns pretty good, Woods said. I made a couple of mistakes. Paddy was being consistent, grinding it out, doing all the right things. Unfortunately, 16 happened. But it was a great battle all day.
 
It was every bit of that.
 
Woods won for only the sixth time in his career when trailing by three shots or more, a deficit that didnt last long.
 
He hit his approach into the par-5 second hole just over the bunkers to 25 feet to make eagle, and two more birdies was enough for him to take the lead after only five holes. From the right rough on the ninth fairway ' a rare miss on the front nine ' Woods hit to 7 feet for a birdie that gave him a 30 and a two-shot lead.
 
Harrington, a three-time major champion with a tough mind, kept grinding away with pars and regained a share of the lead with his first birdie of the day on the 11th. And when Woods made consecutive bogeys, Harrington found himself with a one-shot lead heading for the homestretch.
 
They took 30 minutes to play the first two holes, were timed throughout the round and put on the clock at the 16th. It didnt help when both of them found trouble off the tee ' Woods hooked his tee shot into the left rough and had to lay up well short of the pond; Harrington pushed his tee shot into the trees.
 
Harrington tried to punch a 5-iron around a fairway bunker, but wound up in the collar on the back slope of the bunker. From there, his third shot sailed over the green.
 
I rushed my second shot chipping it out and didnt hit a good shot, and obviously left myself in trouble, Harrington said. I had an awkward fourth shot. I had to go after it, and probably rushed that a bit, as well. That was the end of that.
 
Woods could not have imagined while standing in the left rough that he would be three shots ahead on the 17th tee. Harrington made such a mess of the hole that he hit five straight shots without losing his turn.
 
Tiger did play particularly well, Harrington said. I said to him afterward, Well do battle many more times again.
 
Woods won this one, as he often does at Firestone.
 
Hunter Mahan, who shot 66 and tied for fourth, looked up at the leaderboard early in his round and saw that Woods already had erased a three-shot deficit after four holes.
 
Thats what he does, Mahan said. He could play this course left-handed and do well.
 
A short time later, Camilo Villegas left the clubhouse and passed by the British-based Sky Sports broadcast crew watching on TV. Woods and Harrington were on the 12th hole.
 
What are you watching for? You know whats going to happen, Villegas said with a smile.
 
No one could have imagined the way it turned out, only the guy holding the trophy when it was over.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - 2009 WGC - Bridgestone Invitational
  • Getty Images

    Fleetwood, with his fancy umbrella, fires 65 on Day 2

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 12:34 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tommy Fleetwood looked like an Open rookie when he set out on Friday under gray skies and a cold, steady rain.

    Because the Englishman doesn’t have an equipment sponsor he made a quick turn through the merchandise tent for an umbrella – but at least he didn’t have to pay for it.

    “We stole it,” he laughed when asked about his Open-brand umbrella. “We got one given for free, actually. We didn't steal it. We don't always carry an umbrella. So it just so happens this week that we've got a nice Open Championship [umbrella]. It looked quite nice, the yellow and the course.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    It was Fleetwood’s only rookie move on Day 2 at Carnoustie, posting a flawless 65 to move into an early tie for second place at 5 under par.

    Fleetwood holds the competitive course record at Carnoustie, a 9-under 63 he shot last fall during the European Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship, but given Friday’s conditions and the difficulty of this course during The Open, his 65 on Friday might have been better.

    “It's not a course record, but it's pretty good,” said Fleetwood, who was stroke behind leader Zach Johnson. “If you went out, you wouldn't really fancy being 6 under out there. So I think that's a good indication of how good it was.”

    It was a dramatic turnaround for Fleetwood on Friday. He said he struggled with his ball-striking, specifically his tee shots, on Day 1, but he was able to turn things around with an hour-long session on the range following his opening round.

    Getty Images

    Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 10:15 am

    Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.


    Getty Images

    McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.

    McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.

    But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.

    Said Harmon:

    “Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.

    “This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”

    McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.

    “Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”

    McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.

    Getty Images

    How The Open cut line is determined

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:57 am

    Scores on Day 1 of the 147th Open Championship ranged from 5-under 66 to 11-over 82.

    The field of 156 players will be cut nearly in half for weekend play at Carnoustie. Here’s how the cut line works in the season’s third major championship:


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    • After 36 holes, the low 70 players and ties will advance to compete in the final two rounds. Anyone finishing worse than that will get the boot. Only those making the cut earn official money from the $10.5 million purse.

    • There is no 10-shot rule. That rule means anyone within 10 shots of the lead after two rounds, regardless of where they stand in the championship, make the cut. It’s just a flat top 70 finishers and ties.

    • There is only a single cut at The Open. PGA Tour events employ an MDF (Made cut Did not Finish) rule, which narrows the field after the third round if more than 78 players make the cut. That is not used at this major.

    The projected cut line after the first round this week was 1 over par, which included 71 players tied for 50th or better.