AKRON, Ohio — From links of Britain to the parkland of America, Rory McIlroy is on top of the world again.
In his first start since a wire-to-wire win at the British Open, McIlroy wiped out a three-shot deficit in only three holes and closed with a 4-under 66 on Sunday to win the Bridgestone Invitational and return to No. 1 in the world.
And just like at Royal Liverpool two weeks ago, Boy Wonder made it look easy.
Sergio Garcia had a three-shot lead going into the final round at Firestone. McIlroy fired off three straight birdies and already had the lead when he stood on the fourth tee. He took over the lead for good with an 8-foot birdie putt on the 11th hole, got some breathing room when Garcia made bogey on the 15th hole, and the 25-year-old from Northern Ireland cruised home to a two-shot victory.
Garcia closed with a 71, though his runner-up finish was enough to move him to No. 3 in the world.
McIlroy became the 13th player with a major and a World Golf Championship, and joined Tiger Woods as the only players to win them in consecutive starts.
Garcia was a runner-up to McIlroy for the second straight time.
The Spaniard had the daunting task of making up a seven-shot deficit at the British Open, and Garcia put up a great fight until finishing two shots behind at Hoylake. Staked to at three-shot lead at Firestone, it didn’t go much better.
Garcia missed a 6-foot birdie on the par-5 second hole with a putt that never looked as if it was going in. His lead down to one, Garcia pulled his tee shot into the gallery on the third hole, striking a woman on the hand and knocking the diamond out of her ring. The diamond was found, about the lone bright spot in his day. Garcia made bogey, and McIlroy rolled in another birdie putt to take the lead.
They were tied at the turn when Garcia made a 15-foot putt for his only birdie of the day, and McIlroy missed from 6 feet. But two holes later, with both players about 8 feet away for birdie, McIlroy made and Garcia missed, and the Spaniard never caught up.
Marc Leishman (67) finished alone in third.
Patrick Reed holed out for eagle on No. 17 in his round of 65 and gave him a tie for fourth, enough to move him up to No. 7 in the Ryder Cup standings and boost his hopes of making his first team with only the PGA Championship left in the qualifying period.
Phil Mickelson made 10 birdies for a career-best 62 at Firestone.
None of that could top McIlroy, who put on another exhibition with his driver that made Firestone look like child’s play.
“It’s the foundation of my game when I drive it like that,” McIlroy said. “I have a pretty good chance to win most weeks, and I’ve shown that the last couple of weeks. Hopefully, going into Valhalla in good form and I’ll try to get three in a row.”
Geoff Ogilvy wins Barracuda Championship
RENO, Nev. — Geoff Ogilvy won the Barracuda Championship on Sunday for his eighth PGA Tour title and first since 2010, scoring five points with an eagle on the par-5 13th and pulling away for a five-point victory in the modified Stableford event.
Players received eight points for double eagle, five for eagle, two for birdie, zero for par, minus-one for bogey and minus-three for double bogey or worse.
Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, added birdies on the par-4 14th and par-5 18th to finish with 49 points. He had 14 points in the final round with the eagle, five birdies and a bogey.
The 37-year-old Australian was making his first appearance at Montreux since 2002 after failing to qualify for the World Golf Championship-Bridgestone Invitational. He entered the week with only two top-25 finishes this season and was 151st in the FedEx Cup standings.
He earned $540,000 and a spot next week in the PGA Championship at Valhalla in Louisville, Kentucky.
Justin Hicks was second at 44 points after an 18-point day.
John Huh and Jonathan Byrd tied for third at 37. They each had 11-point rounds.
Perry birdies final hole to win 3M Championship
BLAINE, Minn. (AP) -- Kenny Perry scrambled for a birdie on the 18th hole Sunday to beat hard-charging Bernhard Langer by a stroke in the Champions Tour’s 3M Championship.
Perry closed with a 7-under 65 for his second victory of the year and seventh overall on the 50-and-over tour. He finished at 23-under 193 at TPC Twin Cities.
Langer, the Senior British Open winner last week by a tour-record 13 shots, shot 63. He overcame a four-shot deficit on the back nine and was tied with Perry going to the par-5 18th.
In the second-to-last group, Langer’s second shot just cleared the water hazard and landed in the tall grass. He chipped on from an awkward stance and two-putted for par.
One group behind, Perry hit his second shot into the grandstand behind the green. After a drop, he pitched to about 15 feet and made the putt.
Jeff Maggert, Gene Sauers and Marco Dawson tied for third at 20 under. Maggert and Sauers shot 65, and Dawson had a 67.
Rory McIlroy poses with the championship trophy after winning the Bridgestone Invitational golf tournament, Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014, in Akron, Ohio. McIlroy won with a final round 66 to beat Sergio Garcia by two strokes. (AP Photo/Phil Long)×
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