What Justin Thomas said after winning WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

Aug 06, 2018, 08:24
What Justin Thomas said after winning WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

With the majority of the 71-man field sporting yellow ribbons in support of Australian former US PGA Tour player Jarrod Lyle, who this week ceased cancer treatment and begun palliative care, an inspired Day and Leishman each fired a 5-under 65. Thomas made one modest tweak at the Open Championship, shortening the shaft one-eighth of an inch to help with centering the hit and maximizing control. "He initiated it, he said this what he wanted to do". Now throw in a sand trap and big ol' tree, and you really lose me. "When I was 25 years old I wouldn't have done that". Starting next July, Firestone will become the new home of the Bridgestone Senior Players Tournament until at least 2022. He wound up winning the last one.

But Tuesday's meeting had just a single message - patience. It was the fifth round they've played together this year. After a strong open in which he was 6 under after two days, Woods finished with a pair of 73s and tumbled from just outside the top spot on the leaderboard to not even within striking distance. I've certainly got work to do to get ready for the US PGA but I'm confident I'll be good to go come Thursday.

"It feels awesome", Thomas, who has now won eight times since October 2016, told Sky Sports. "I felt a little bit more sharp, or a little bit more so than I did yesterday".

Tiger Woods, an eight-times champion at Firestone, battled to a 73 and fell 11 strokes behind.

On Sunday - at what was the last Bridgestone played a Firestone - he remedied that in style. Now he does, and Thomas heads to St. Louis next week for the PGA Championship, where he will try to join Woods as the only players to win back-to-back in stroke play. He had a four-shot lead and faced a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole that would only determine his margin of victory.

McIlroy remained the most likely threat early on when he matched Thomas' birdie at the second, and Thomas then opened the door for the chasing pack when a poor drive led to a bogey at the sixth. "I've got to recover for tomorrow. He has that", McIlroy said.

World number three Thomas was pleased his score reflected the quality of his game as he warms up to defend his PGA Championship title next week.

World No.3 Thomas (67) is in the driver's seat at 14 under, three shots clear of 2014 WGC-Bridgestone champion Rory McIlroy (67) and Ian Poulter (70). 13 and 14 on his way to a closing 68 and a runner-up finish. As if further validation was needed, Thomas' 394-yard blast on the final hole Sunday seemed to verify his code name for the club. "You kind of get that two-, three-, four-shot lead, it's different than one. You just don't know if they're ever going to see me win if I don't win here, so it was pretty cool to get it done".

Some might call that patience, which he may not have fully embraced had he not used that rainy practice round to sort things out with his father and caddie Jimmy Johnson. This is what I want you to do, Mike. I hit it both ways. "We threw it all out there".

Sweetest of all was seeing his grandparents, especially the embrace after he tapped in for par to finish at 15-under 265.

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