Matsuyama scores 5-shot WGC victory
Course record tied with final-round 61 in Bridgestone win.
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.
Hideki Matsuyama seizes the trophy with a 61 capped by three straight birdies.