If you were hoping for drama this week, Firestone Country Club was not the right place to find it.
Of course, that’s just the way Tiger Woods likes it.
Something about Firestone just brings out the best in Woods. After Friday’s round of 61 in which he flirted with the magic 59 before finishing his round with five straight pars, there was no looking back. Rounds of 68 and 70 over the weekend allowed Woods to do what he does best, and that is to make everybody behind him play out of their minds just to catch up. When he gets a lead like that, he simply does not give it up.
Woods has now won the Bridgestone Invitational for the eighth time in the 15 years since it became a World Golf Championships event. He nearly doubled up on runners-up Keegan Bradley and Henrik Stenson, and if he had wanted to, he probably could have reached -20. “It was a great day to protect” the lead, Woods said in his post-round interviews.
With his fifth win of the 2013 season, Woods reached 79 for his PGA Tour career, putting him just three shy of the record of 82 held by Sam Snead. While that little bit of history is surely not lost on Woods, what’s more important to him is the hunt for the elusive 15th major title.
The pressure Woods puts on himself to win is enormous, and that only gets turned way up when the majors come around. As close as he came at Augusta National and Muirfield, he hasn’t played this well week in and week out probably since the 2009 season — the year after his last major.
With the PGA Championship returning to Oak Hill for the first time since 2003, look out for Woods. Another hot start like this, and we won’t be asking “when will Tiger win another major?” for much longer.