Ireland’s Shane Lowry has upstaged three world top-10 players to win the WGC Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Ohio.
With players getting ready for this week’s US PGA Championship, Lowry fired a final round four-under-66 to finish at 11-under-par, claiming by far the biggest win of his career.
He bested world No.3 Bubba Watson (66) by two shots after his 66.
Overnight leaders Jim Furyk (world No.6) and Justin Rose (world No.8) went backwards on Sunday with the pair shooting 72s to tie third at seven under.
But the day belonged to World No.48 Lowry who’s last win was at the European Tour’s Portugal Masters in 2012.
Two clutch shots from the rough amongst dense trees during his round sealed the deal for Lowry, who is projected to move towards the top 20 in the world with the win.
On the 10th he drove the ball way left and went up and over trees with an approach to two-feet.
Then, after he went left on the 18th from the tee, he hoisted an approach up and over everything once more to 11-feet, making birdie both times to knock out the challengers.
Australians Jason Day and Steven Bowditch managed to get within three of the lead during the final round and looked half a chance but failed to apply any serious heat before both faded late into a tie for 12th at three under.
World No.4 Day came out with authority and birded the opening three holes to wipe out his triple bogey eight from late in the third round and at least make the leaders think about his presence.
The run ended when he missed a 15-foot chance on the fourth hole but he dropped in a 10-footer on the eighth to shoot 31 on the front nine.
His charge ended with he hunted the pin on the 13th and went long, making bogey.
Further dropped shots coming in on the 15th and 17th holes dropped him out of the top 10.
“The front nine I was feeling pretty good, I was flushing it, hitting it long, putting well but I just struggled the back side,” Day said.
“I went at the pin on 13 and just got a harder bounce than I was expecting and that was that. But I can take plenty of good going into the major next week.
“I’m excited for that and just need a few little tightening up tweaks.”
Bowditch, fresh off his scintillating 63 on Saturday, birdied the second hole to kick-start his challenge.
But a run of seven pars followed and a bogey on the 10th stunted his efforts.
The 32-year-old continued to grind it out in his bid to gain critical FedEx and Presidents Cup points but an untimely double bogey on the 16th was costly.
Marc Leishman put together a round of even-par-70 to finish the week at two over while Adam Scott heads to the PGA Championship a little out of sorts after a final round 73 left him five over.
Andrew Dodt (71) finished tied 63rd at 11-over and Nick Cullen (75) finished his WGC debut at 21-over in a tie for 75th.