Justin Thomas cruises to 3rd win of season at WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

  • Justin Thomas cruises to 3rd win of season at WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

Justin Thomas cruises to 3rd win of season at WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

FedExCup champion Justin Thomas hadn't really faced much stress during the final round of the World Golf Championships - Bridgestone Invitational until Jason Day and Kyle Stanley made a decision to pull their fingers out at the turn. His five pars tied for the fewest he's had in any round in his PGA Tour career.

Thomas gave himself breathing room when he converted from 10 feet at the 13th as Stanley slipped five shots behind when he followed birdies at 10 and 12 with back-to-back bogeys.

Thomas came into this week at Firestone, the last event in this course's history, fifth overall in total strokes gained on the PGA Tour but no worse than 51st in any specific category.

"I just want to have more chances to win tournaments", he said. "It was either going to be 62 or 72 or something in the mid-70s".

"Friday morning he was putting [before his round] and I thought he was going to go ballistic".

McIlroy finished the back nine with consecutive bogeys and never recovered. "Sometimes it works out; sometimes it doesn't".

Thomas also posted a 67 to sit on 14 under, while England's Ian Poulter carded a par 70, for a tie of second at 11 under with McIlroy. But Woods again appeared out of sorts, missing numerous fairways - no matter the club - to the left and struggling to find any consistency. Poulter set the pace early and had a three-shot lead at one point until he dropped his shot from the bunker on the par-3 seventh, and then had a mixed bag of birdies and bogeys that kept him from getting closer to the lead.

"Everything. I didn't warm up very well, I didn't hit the ball crisp or clean".

That was his 79th PGA Tour victory and eighth at Firestone, the venue for this tournament for the last time. The difference was two more putts. "I just didn't hit the putts hard enough".

He also didn't prepare as well as he had for other events.

Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the 18th hole during the second round of the Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio. While he didn't feel as though he were playing poorly, he didn't have the results to back it up.

"Things could have certainly gone better", Woods said. He didn't return to his Florida home until Monday and didn't hit balls until Tuesday.

"I felt better with my game than I did yesterday, for sure", he said.

A five-time victor during the 2017 season, Thomas, 25, was always going to have a tough time living up to that Player of the Year season. He has committed to the first two tournaments and is all but a lock for the third, meaning a lot of golf for him over the next month. It is moving to Memphis, Tennessee, in 2019.

However, Woods wasn't able to finish with a strong round on Sunday either. And since the start of 2017, Thomas has won seven times, had a brief time at No. 1 in the world, and now sits No. 2 to Johnson.

This year, Woods missed the cut at the U.S. Open and finished tied for 32nd at the Masters. There are golfers who are better drivers, better putters and better iron players, but there might not be any who are better across the board than he is right now (the only one that sticks out to me as a challenger is Dustin Johnson).