Mat­suyama scores 5-shot WGC vic­tory

Course record tied with fi­nal-round 61 in Bridge­stone win.

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS -

Hideki Mat­suyama warmed up slowly and then turned in the best round of his ca­reer at the Bridge­stone In­vi­ta­tional, a 9-un­der 61 Sun­day that tied the course record and gave him an­other blowout vic­tory in a World Golf Championship.

It was the low­est fi­nal round in four decades at Fire­stone Coun­try Club and led to a five-shot vic­tory over Zach John­son in Akron, Ohio.

Mat­suyama knew from ex­pe­ri­ence that the course record was a 61 be­cause he was in the same group when Tiger Woods shot 61 in the sec­ond round in 2013. He needed birdies on the last three holes, and like ev­ery­thing else, the 25-year-old from Ja­pan made it look easy.

“I knew 61 was the num­ber,” he said through his in­ter­preter. “I was think­ing about that at 16.”

Mat­suyama spun a wedge back to 4 feet on the par-5 16th for birdie. He holed an 8-foot putt on the 17th hole and then closed with an­other ap­proach and set­tled 6 feet away. Mat­suyama, who be­gan the fi­nal round two shots be­hind John­son and Thomas Pi­eters, fin­ished at 16-un­der 264.

He now has won two World Golf Cham­pi­onships by a com­bined 12 shots, hav­ing cap­tured the HSBC Cham­pi­ons by seven shots in Shang­hai last fall. It was his fifth PGA Tour vic­tory and third this sea­son.

Rory McIl­roy got within a shot of the lead but stalled and shot 69 to tie for fifth with Rus­sell Knox, Paul Casey and Adam Had­win.

Jor­dan Spi­eth shot 68 and tied for 13th in his last tour­na­ment be­fore he goes for the ca­reer Grand Slam in the PGA Championship.

Women’s Bri­tish Open: Staked to a six-shot lead, I.K. Kim had nine pars on the back nine and closed with a 1-un­der 71 for a two-shot vic­tory and her first ma­jor ti­tle in St. An­drews, Scot­land.

“I can­not de­scribe my feel­ings,” Kim said. “I just tried to have some fun, but it wasn’t fun on the back nine.”

Jodi Ewart Shad­off made her work for it by charg­ing home with a 64 to put pres­sure on the 29-year-old South Korean. Kim didn’t fal­ter over an in­creas­ingly soggy course, how­ever. She fin­ished at 18-un­der 270 to cap­ture the $487,500 prize.

Michelle Wie went out in 30 to give Kim some­thing to think about, but the 27-yearold from Hawaii stalled and closed with a 66 to tie for third with Caroline Mas­son (67) and Ge­or­gia Hall (70).

Cham­pi­ons: Paul Goy­dos birdied the first play­off hole to top Gene Sauers at the 3M Championship in Blaine, Minn., for his first tour win of the sea­son and fifth of his ca­reer. Both Goy­dos and Sauers shot 66 in reg­u­la­tion to get to 20-un­der 196.

Sauers’ sec­ond play­off shot splashed in the lake in front of the 18th green; Goy­dos cleared the wa­ter by less than a yard and two-putted for the win.

AKRON BEA­CON JOUR­NAL

Hideki Mat­suyama seizes the tro­phy with a 61 capped by three straight birdies.

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