Johnson wins Bridgestone Invitational as Day falters

AKRON (Ohio) • Dustin Johnson followed up his US Open victory in style, taking advantage of a late stumble by Jason Day to secure a one-stroke victory at golf's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio, on Sunday.

Suddenly the hottest player in the game, long-hitting Johnson stormed home with a 66 on the demanding Firestone course to finish at six-under 274, while fellow American Scott Piercy (70) birdied the last hole to claim second place.

Piercy also finished runner-up to Johnson two weeks ago at the US Open.

World No. 1 Day struggled with his swing for much of the week, and it finally caught up with him at the par-five 16th, where he ran up a double-bogey after pulling his three-wood tee shot and then compounding his problems by hitting his third shot into the pond guarding the green.

The Australian (72) finished three shots behind Johnson, tied for third with Americans Jordan Spieth (67), Matt Kuchar (66) and Kevin Chappell (67).

"I played good this weekend," the 32-year-old Johnson told CBS television after clinching his 11th PGA Tour win.

It was also his third win in a World Golf Championships event. Only Tiger Woods (18) has more WGC victories.

"I thought I drove it really well. I had a lot of shots from the fairway, which is what you have to do around here. I rolled the ball really well today," he said.

Johnson, who replaced Spieth as the world No. 2 yesterday, will be beaming with confidence when he heads to the British Open at Royal Troon in Scotland in less than two weeks.

"I feel great. My game is where it's been all year," he said. "I've played solid all year. I just haven't been putting as well as I would have liked to.

"The last couple of weeks I've just putted well and my game shows it."

Day, who began the day sharing the lead with Piercy, could not add to his total of eight wins in the past year. He continued to struggle off the tee at the tight Firestone lay-out, hitting only eight of 28 fairways in his final 36 holes.

"I played pretty good golf up until the 16th," Day said.

"I really had two bad holes. I mean, I had a couple of bogeys, but really (only) one hole derailed me, which was No. 16."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 05, 2016, with the headline 'Johnson wins Bridgestone Invitational as Day falters'. Print Edition | Subscribe