Australian Adam Scott held off a bold early challenge from Japanese teenager Ryo Ishikawa to clinch his eighth PGA Tour victory by four shots at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday.
One ahead overnight, Scott tightened his grip on a maiden World Golf Championships (WGC) title with three birdies in five holes after the turn before closing with a flawless five-under-par 65 to match the day’s lowest score.
With Tiger Woods’s former caddie Steve Williams on his bag for a fourth tournament in a row, Scott kept his cool on a hot and humid afternoon at Firestone Country Club to post a 17-under total of 263.
The 31-year-old Australian finished in style, sinking a five-foot birdie putt on the 18th green and pumping his fist in triumph before being embraced by Williams.
“Today it was on, I stayed so patient,” Scott said greenside. “It was a good round of golf. To win here at this place, and a World Golf Championships title, it’s huge.”
Williams, fired by Woods on July 3, told CBS television: “I’ve been caddying for 33 years, 145 wins, and that’s the best week of my life.”
Ishikawa, at 19 bidding to become the youngest PGA Tour winner in 100 years, bogeyed the final hole for a 69 to finish tied fourth at 12 under with Australian Jason Day (69).
British world No. 1 Luke Donald and American Rickie Fowler each birdied the 18th for matching 66s to share second place at 13 under.
Woods, a seven-times champion at Firestone with Williams on his bag, ended an erratic week with a level-par 70 to finish joint 37th, 18 shots off the pace after his first tournament start in three months.
Reuters, RENO, Nevada
Scott Piercy survived a tense final round to capture the Reno-Tahoe Open by a single stroke on Sunday and earn his first career victory.
The 32-year-old needed to make a seven-foot par putt on the last for a round of two-under to remain a shot better than Pat Perez, who fired a 4-under 68 to put the heat on Piercy.
Americans Steve Flesch and Blake Adams finished two shots behind at 13-under 275.
Piercy’s finish was anything but routine after his tee shot on the 18th sailed far right and wound up against a cart path on the 616-yard, par 5.
The Nevada native was able to reach the green in three shots but blew his birdie try well by the hole to set up a testing putt for par and seal the win.
“Having to two-putt is not easy,” Piercy told reporters, after his victory earned him a spot in this week’s PGA Championship in Atlanta, Georgia.
“We had vacation plans next week but now I have to cancel. I’m so excited,” he said.
Piercy had a two-stroke lead over fellow American Josh Teater going into Sunday’s final round and while he birdied his first hole he could not pull away from the chasing pack.
In the group ahead, Perez made consecutive birdies at the 12th and 13th and found himself tied at the top of the leaderboard at 15-under when Piercy bogeyed the 14th.
However, Perez too would falter, hitting a poor second shot to bogey 17 to slip out of the lead before missing a short birdie putt on 18.