Aug 06, 2018: Justin Thomas took all the drama out of the final World Golf Championship at Firestone, never letting anyone closer than two shots and closing with a 1-under 69 to win the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational for his third PGA TOUR title this season. India’s Anirban Lahiri fired a two-under-par 68 to finish in tied-sixth place in the final round on Sunday.
The 2015 Asian Tour number one Anirban Lahiri, traded four birdies against two bogeys to finish on an eight-under-par 280 total, seven shots behind Justin Thomas of the United States who won his maiden World Golf Championship title at Firestone Country Club. Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat settled for tied 31st place following a final round of 71 while Australia’s Wade Ormsby ended his campaign in tied 39th place after shooting a 73.
Current Habitat for Humanity Standings leader Shubhankar Sharma of India, carded a 70 to share 69th place with Japan’s Kodai Ichihara (68) on a 293 total.
Justin Thomas finished at 15-under 265 for a four-shot victory over Kyle Stanley, who got within two shots of the lead until bogeys on the 13th and 14th holes. Stanley closed with a 68.
Dustin Johnson, the world’s No. 1 player who was coming off a victory in the Canadian Open last week, started the final round 10 shots behind and shot 29 on the front nine. A birdie at No. 10 put him three shots behind, but that was all he had. Johnson bogeyed the last hole for a 64 and shared third with Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark, who also had a 64.
U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka had a 67 to finish fifth.
McIlroy won at Bay Hill in March and has three runner-up finishes, and he had said Saturday afternoon he was tired of finishing second. Not to worry. His 73 gave him a tie for sixth.
Thomas becomes the 21st player to win a World Golf Championship and a major, and his three victories tie him with Johnson and Bubba Watson for most on the PGA TOUR this year. The ninth victory of his career moves him to No. 2 in the world, with a shot to regain the No. 1 ranking next week at the PGA Championship.
He set the tone early by hooking a pitching wedge over a steep lip in a fairway bunker to just short of the green and saving par with a 6-foot putt, then holing a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-5 second.
“It was big because I was really nervous today,” Thomas said. “It felt like it had been a while, but I guess it hadn’t really been that long. I don’t know. I was very nervous, very jittery. To make that putt on 1 and again on 2 just kind of calmed me and got me going for the day.”