Grading the Bridgestone Invitational

By Kyle Porter | Golf Writer

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If you missed the final round of the Bridgestone Invitational you actually missed quite a bit. That's one of the first times we can say that about a non-major this season. Here's a quick recap of the last 18 holes:

1. Phil Mickelson shot a 62 and hit 11 greens in regulation (see video above).
2. Tiger Woods re-injured his back and had to withdraw.
3. Sergio Garcia hit the diamond off a woman's ring in the gallery.
4. Adam Scott lost his world No. 1 ranking.
5. Rory McIlroy got it.
6. Sergio Garcia didn't blow the tournament but he didn't exactly shut it down either.
7. Rory McIlroy is a boss.

Before the day started McIlroy said he was trying to shoot a 63 and that seemed like a cocky thing to say except that he's 1. Rory McIlroy and 2. So locked in I'm not even sure he knows what continent he's on right now.

The best thing that happened (of the many things that happened) was that we got a crazy-good leaderboard on the back nine of a big-time tournament in a year when we haven't received very many of those.

There was Scott trying to hang on to No. 1 and there were Rory and Sergio trading crazy long drives and one-liners up and down the fairways of Firestone Country Club.

It was ... gasp ... really fun.

I know that Tiger will be the headline and we'll try to project 239 PGA Tour wins or something crazy like that onto the rest of Rory's career, but I hope we enjoy this for what it was.

As McIlroy's putt dropped on the 72nd hole he turned around to a huge smile and embrace from his buddy Garcia, who had just shot a 1-over 71.

Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia embrace after Rory's win. (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia embrace after Rory's win (Getty Images)

Garcia knew, though, like McIlroy, that this was a tremendous tournament with a great champion. Something we haven't had enough of this season.

Here are our grades for the 2014 Bridgestone Invitational:

ARory McIlroy has that look going on right now. You know the one. The "yeah, I'm not going to lose until we're downing champagne at Gleneagles for our Ryder Cup rout" look. The golf world should be worried. Finish: Win
AI feel bad for Adam Scott inasmuch as somebody feels bad for Adam Scott. His last five PGA Tour starts include a win and four other top fives and he lost his No. 1 ranking. He just got run over by Rory. Finish: T8
AKeegan Bradley has won at this track before and he loves the place. More importantly he's finally working himself into Ryder Cup form. Great tournament for him. Finish: T4
BPhil Mickelson shot a wild 62 on Sunday that included 10 birdies on only 11 greens in regulation hit. That sums up Phil's career nicely and now he has some momentum heading to Valhalla. Finish: T15
DNot a good penultimate outing for Jason Dunfer next to his title defense at the PGA Championship next week. He never broke far at Firestone. Finish: T66
IThe worst grade Tiger Woods could have gotten this week. An "F" would have been better than an "I" but his back flared up on the second hole and he could not finish his final round. Finish: W/D

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