Woods, Firestone perfect pair
Tiger Woods played safe and smart with a big lead, parring 16 holes in an even-par 70 Sunday to coast to a seven-shot victory at the Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio, for his eighth win at the event – matching the PGA Tour record he shares for victories in a single tournament.
After a second-round 61 in which he flirted with 59, Woods ended up at 15-under 265 to easily beat defending champ Keegan Bradley and Henrik Stenson.
Woods’ mastery at Firestone allowed him to again match Sam Snead’s PGA Tour record for wins in an event. Snead won the Greater Greensboro Open eight times. Earlier this year, Woods won at Bay Hill for the eighth time. Woods won for the fifth time this year to push his PGA Tour total to 79, three short of Snead’s record.
As if he weren’t already the favorite next week in the PGA Championship at Oak Hill, the lopsided victory reinforced it.
Women’s British Open
Stacy Lewis had another big week at St. Andrews and left with an even bigger prize – a major championship at St. Andrews, Scotland, the home of golf.
Lewis finished a marathon day with exquisite birdies on the last two holes of the Old Course to close with an even-par 72 and win the Women’s British Open by two shots. It was her second major on the LPGA Tour, ending a record streak of 10 straight majors won by Asian players. The last time the 28-year-old Lewis was at St. Andrews was in 2008 for the Curtis Cup, and she went 5-0 to lead the Americans to victory.
On the par-4 17th, the famous Road Hole, Lewis drilled a 5-iron that tumbled onto the green and settled 3 feet below the cup for a birdie to reach 7 under and give her a share of the lead when Na Yeon Choi three-putted the 14th hole from about 80 feet. Lewis then made a 25-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to finish at 8-under 280.
Inbee Park’s bid to become the first pro golfer to win four straight majors in one season ended early – very early. Park closed with rounds of 74-78 to finish 14 shots behind.
Tom Pernice Jr. birdied the final two holes for a one-stroke victory over Jeff Sluman and Corey Pavin in the 3M Championship at Blaine, Minn.
Pernice finished with a 4-under 68 and had a 17-under 199 total at the TPC Twin Cities for his second career Champions Tour victory. He also has two PGA Tour victories.
Sluman closed with a 62, and Pavin had a 66.
Trailing Sluman by one shot at the par-3 17th, Pernice made a long birdie putt to pull even. At the par-5 18th, hit his second shot to 8 feet and two-putted for the winning birdie.
Former Moses Lake and Pullman resident Kirk Triplett shot a final-round 68 and finished 13-under, tied for seventh place.
Gary Woodland holed a 58-foot chip from the rough for one of his four birdies and got up-and-down to save pars five times to win the Reno-Tahoe Open in Reno, Nev., for his second PGA Tour victory.
Woodland finished with 44 points in the modified Stableford format that awards 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.
Jonathan Byrd and Andres Romero tied for second with 35 points, and Brendon Steele had 33 at Montreux Golf Club on the edge of the Sierra.
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