Tiger Woods made a statement win this week at the World Golf Championship Bridgestone Invitational by winning by seven shots. This was his eighth victory at this tournament and 79th overall PGA win leaving him just three shy of Sam Snead’s record of 82 victories. This win also gave him his 18th career WGC victory while nobody else has more than three. Woods now has a nice cushion in the FedEx Cup standings, which he has already won twice, in 2007 and 2009.
As far as evaluating the Bridgestone Invitational’s field, I’m not sure whether to be more impressed by Tiger’s performance or to be more worried about him being able to shoot an even par round with no one even picking up a stroke on him. His finishing cushion was the same as when he started the final round. Keegan Bradley did shoot a 3-under round of 67 in the final round, but still only managed a T-2 with Henrik Stenson. Stenson has been one of the most consistent players over the past few weeks, which is why I think he may have enough firepower to challenge Woods at Oak Hill next week for the PGA Championship.
Tiger is obviously the odds-on favorite for next week, and rightfully so. Three times he has followed a victory at Firestone with a PGA Championship (2000, 2006, 2007). The 15th major on his resume’ has been incredibly elusive for him though. He has piled up 14 wins since his last major victory at the 2008 U.S. Open.
I hope to see a good competition next week because I don’t want to see a rout again. I’ll be honest, I was uninspired to watch the weekend play for the Bridgestone because nobody in the field was even showing the ability to go anywhere close to as low as Tiger had. It will be interesting to see if he can keep up the all-around game he showed this week and carry it into next week. After all, Phil Mickelson didn’t have a problem with it earlier this year when he won two weeks in a row at the Scottish Open and the Open Championship.