JT storms to victory in Firestone farewell

Golf News

Justin Thomas's preparation for his first major title defence couldn't have been much better. Keel Timmins wraps up the action from the WCG-Bridgestone Invitational

What happened at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational?

Whatever you can do, I can do just as well…

When world No. 1 Dustin Johnson missed the cut at The Open – his first weekend off of the year – he won on his very next start at the RBC Canadian Open.

Justin Thomas also missed his first cut of the season at Carnoustie, and this week at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational – his first outing since the third major of the year – the 25-year-old ran away with the trophy in similar domineering fashion.

At the start of the day, Thomas held a three-shot advantage over Rory McIlroy, and as the Northern Irishman went into reverse, Thomas really wasn’t made to work hard to maintain his lead.

In fact, Thomas’s only two birdies of the day came at the par-5 second, the easiest hole on the golf course, and the par-4 13th, where a mammoth 374 yard drive left just a nonchalant flick with a wedge. A bogey at the sixth would have almost no bearing on what was a comfortable final stroll around Firestone, the 19-time host of this tournament which will now move to TPC Southwind in Memphis next year.

Perhaps the best moment of the day came when Thomas tapped in on the final hole to be greeted by his grandparents around the final green – a touching moment which made a particularly dull round seem all the more worthwhile.

Elsewhere, Kyle Stanley’s round of 68 allowed the American to get within four shots of Thomas to finish runner-up, while Dustin Johnson shot a 64 to move several spots up the leaderboard to share third place alongside Thorbjorn Olesen, who also posted a six-under 64.

Brooks Koepka rounded off the top-5, while McIlroy’s three-over 73 will give cause for concern heading into the final major of the year next week.

Full WGC Bridgestone Invitational leaderboard

Talking point

The Ryder Cup is just a month away, and Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen has put a serious spanner in the works.

Olesen finished 10th last year here, and yet again he put in another fine performance to finish tied for third and give Captain Bjorn a major headache.

After this week, the Dane edges closer to automatic qualification, but the chances are he won’t be able to qualify on merit.

Bjorn will want his compatriot on the side for Paris, but with the likes of Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, and perhaps even Ian Poulter set to miss out on automatic qualification, will Bjorn pick Olesen in favour of an experienced head?

Elsewhere, Tiger Woods had a rollercoaster round on his way to a three-over 73, but he signed off from his Firestone hunting ground with a vintage Tiger birdie.

Best quote

Justin Thomas:

It’s the first time I’ve ever cried after winning a tournament. It was cool to have grandma and grandpa here.

Best moments

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