Hunter Mahan took a big step toward joining the elite in golf on Sunday, winning the Bridgestone Invitational for his first World Golf Championship title and locking up a spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team.
Four shots behind to start the final round at Firestone in Akron, Ohio, Mahan ran off five birdies on the front nine to take the lead, then had three clutch par saves down the stretch to finish off a 6-under 64 and a two-shot victory over Ryan Palmer.
It was the second victory this year for Mahan, and the $1.4 million he earned moved him to No. 2 in the Ryder Cup standings with only the PGA Championship remaining before the top eight Americans qualify.
• Faced with choosing between the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs on the PGA Tour or the final Ryder Cup qualifying event on the European Tour, Sergio Garcia reached a surprising decision.
He’s not playing either.
Garcia said he plans to take a two-month break after the PGA Championship this week, not returning to competition until the end of October at the Castellon Masters on his home course in Spain.
He said the only event that could get in the way of that break is the Ryder Cup but getting on the team would seem to be a long shot.
Bill Lunde rallied with a 6-under 66 to finish at 17-under 271, holding off J.J. Henry by one stroke to win the Turning Stone Resort Championship at Verona, N.Y.
The win is the first for Lunde in his second full season on the PGA Tour. He vaulted into the lead with six birdies on the front nine and played even par for the last nine holes.
Lunde earned a spot in this week’s PGA Championship at Whistling Straits with the victory. He also won $720,000 and picked up 250 FedEx Cup points.
Henry tied the course record with a 63 and finished second at 16 under. Jerry Kelly, Josh Teater, Michael Sim, Billy Mayfair and Alex Cejka tied for third place at 15 under. Cejka led after the second and third rounds, but shot 72 on Sunday.
Spokane’s Alex Prugh shot a 70 to finish seven strokes behind Lunde.
David Frost jumped out fast with a brilliant front nine and finished with an 11-under 61 to earn a record-setting victory at the 3M Championship at Blaine, Minn.
It was the first career Champions Tour win for Frost, whose 25-under 191 was two shots better than the previous tournament scoring record set by R.W. Eaks in 2008. His final-round score beat by one the tournament’s previous lowest round set by Dana Quigley in 2008.
Frost also tied the tour record of 25-under for a 54-hole tournament.