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Amid The Drama, A Golf Tournament Broke Out

AKRON, OHIO | But for the distractions, we’d be calling the WGCBridgestone Invitational one of the best events in recent memory. You had everything: Rory, Rose, Rickie, Adam and Sergio, the Fab Five who lit up Liverpool, reunited at Firestone Country Club for a show that had fans squealing in delight and had PGA Championship officials salivating over what their upcoming gig in Louisville might produce.
You had a two-man showdown on Sunday between Sergio García and Rory McIlroy, a repeat in reverse of the Open Championship where García was chasing McIlroy but falling a few shots short. Here it was McIlroy doing the chasing, catching, passing and winning, blistering the lengthy Firestone layout by averaging 333 yards off the tee for the week and shooting a pair of 66s on the weekend to take his first World Golf Championships event.
The only things that could have ruined this show were Tiger drama and a drug scandal.
It wasn’t just that Rory’s sensational win didn’t dominate the headlines. It was far crueler than that. The Dustin Johnson story and the Tour’s schizophrenic response to it (events put into perspective by Mike Purkey in this issue) sucked all the air out of the best Friday the Tour has had in months and overshadowed one of the finest rounds of golf anyone has ever seen out of García since he was a teenager.
García’s course-record-tying 61 included 11 straight one-putts, seven straight birdies, a record 27 on the back – the lowest nine of García’s career – and gave him the first lead he had held in this event, ever. And Johnson, wherever he might be, grabbed all the attention.


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