Justin Thomas captures first WGC title at Bridgestone Invitational

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Justin Thomas, limbering up for his PGA Championship title defence, fired a one-under par 69 on Sunday (Aug 5) to win the WGC Bridgestone Invitational by four strokes.

Northeast Ohio has been the place for thousands to watch world class golf for years, however, Sunday was the last time Firestone Country Club's famed South Course will host the prestigious Bridgestone Invitational. Woods made two double bogeys and three bogeys on the back nine and salvaged a 73 to finish 15 shots behind.

With play still underway at Firestone Country Cub, the duo share third spot just two shots behind leader Kyle Stanley, who carded a front nine score of 29 on his way to a blistering 7-under 63.

The world No.3 has 2014 WGC-Bridgestone victor Rory McIlroy (67) and Ian Poulter (70) snapping at his heels three shots back. He got an unlucky break at the first hole when his approach shot hit the flagstick and clattered off the green, which set the tone for a 74 that left him seven shots back. There are a number of golfers - Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, Webb Simpson, Francesco Molinari, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Jason Day, Bubba Watson and Rory McIlroy among them - who could put their fingerprints on the trophy with a victory this week at Bellerive.

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The only regret for Thomas was a mistake that didn't cost him as much as it could have.

"I was just trying to be as aggressive as possible and fire at everything", Woods said. The last player to win two of these in a row is (you guessed it) Woods in 2006 and 2007. "Wasn't very sharp that first day, but I made everything". In many respects, it was the precursor to the World Golf Championships by bringing in winners from around the world.

Thomas said he told caddie Jimmy Johnson, "We can't see pin, hit pin".

"He's got a nasty streak in him, which I think you need out here".

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"Friday morning he was putting [before his round] and I thought he was going to go ballistic. This is my first PGA Tour win with them here, so that's pretty cool".

Paul was a career club professional and played at Firestone in the 1960 US PGA Championship, missing the 54-hole cut. "Today I didn't drive it quite as well, didn't putt quite as good as I wanted to".

Englishman Poulter, who carded an 8-under 62 to lead after the opening 18, was 2 under through three on Saturday and briefly pulled clear before dropping a shot at the par-3 seventh.

Roared on by the large galleries in her home country, the 22-year-old Hall only took the lead for the first time after a 20-foot putt for birdie at the 16th hole and stayed steady to post 5-under 67. "I felt a little bit more sharp, or a little bit more so than I did yesterday".

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Day, the 2015 PGA Championship victor, is similarly confident of sharpening up in time for a bid at an anticipated second major title.

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