Sunday, 08 August 2010
Hunter Mahan - 2010 WGC - Bridgestone Invitational Champion  (Getty Images)
Hunter Mahan - 2010 WGC - Bridgestone Invitational Champion (Getty Images)

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Hunter Mahan came from three shots back to win the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational after a battle with Ryan Palmer down the back nine.

The American Ryder Cup star shot a six under par final round of 64 to finish two shots clear of Palmer at Firestone Country Club.

Mahan, twice previously a winner on the US PGA Tour, did most his work on the front nine with five birdies in an outward 30.

He picked up another shot at the 13th, before saving par on the 17th after a wayward drive and holding his nerve at the last with an approach to 12 feet.

That left Palmer needing to birdie the closing two holes, but he pulled his 15 foot putt at the 17th.

“I felt great - I hit a ton of fairways, was giving myself great looks,” said Mahan. “I left a couple of out there actually on the front nine, I was hitting it so good. I knew I had a chance - not making bogeys on a Sunday is a good feeling.”

Halfway leader Retief Goosen was the best placed European Tour Member in a share of third at nine under.

The highlight of the South African’s round came at the 15th when his tee shot lipped out at the par three.

And afterwards the twice US Open Champion blamed a third round 74 for continuing a winless 2010.

“Yesterday I needed to birdie 18 and I would have had a good chance today,” he said. “That's why I have a top ten and not winning because I had one bad round in four rounds.

“I was about five shots better in the first two holes than yesterday, so that was a positive note.”

The majority of the field now move on to the US PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, and several European Tour Members appear to be hitting form at the right time.

As well as Goosen, Swede Peter Hanson boosted his Ryder Cup hopes with an eighth place finish.

“I was really up to compete this week and I am happy with my putting, holing out from six feet has been as good as it has ever been and that is good for next week,” said the three-time European Tour winner.

“I am driving well and it is a good build up for next week. I need to take it easy, play the course and try and get myself in position next Sunday.”

Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen shot a bogey-free 65 to head in his first Major as a Major Champion in high spirits after a top ten finish.

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy also finished tied for ninth after being only one of two players – along with Bo Van Pelt – to shoot four rounds in the 60s.

And 2008 US PGA Champion Padraig Harrington closed with a 66 to join McIlroy and Oosthuizen in the group on five under.

“I created a lot of chances again today,” said the Irishman. “I struggled on the greens, I'm happy.

“I really did create a bundle of chances out there. That's nice going forward - happy with the game as I leave here.”

 

 

 

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