Rory McIlroy Triumphs at Bridgestone, Victory Propels Him to Number 1 Ranking

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By Justin Noel Cudaihl | August 4, 2014 7:30 PM EST

This is the championship fire that will propel Rory McIlroy to the annals of golf history.

REUTERS
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland kisses the Claret Jug after winning the British Open Championship at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, northern England July 20, 2014.

Seemingly not yet thoroughly satisfied after capturing the British Open, the youthful McIlroy did not take any time off and proceeded to annex the first World Golf Championship at Firestone to his goring list of triumphs. The victory now propels him back to being named as the Number 1 golfer in the world.

Just two weeks removed from his win at Royal Liverpool, the golfer from Northern Ireland showed the mastery that is linking him to the legendary Phil Mickelson by easily erasing a three-shot deficit to Sergio Garcia in just three holes. He closed with 4-under-66 and a two-shot cushion for the Bridgestone Invitational glory.

The last time he shot up to the top was in 2012 when he was on a torrid stretch of winning tournaments and came away with the 2012 PGA Championship; this time was no different as McIlroy showed his top form and related he was just at his best form physically and mentally.

''This is better,'' he said per Yahoo! Sports. ''Mentally, I'm really sharp. I didn't start to think about score. I didn't think about where I was in the tournament. I just playing shot after shot after shot. So yeah, it's good.''

The runner-up, Garcia fared will with a 61 but even he was heaving praises for the eventual victor. Garcia was admirable of the driving game of McIlroy which he said accounted for the numerous birdies he completed. The winner finished the third round with two consecutive birdies and got through bad weather to do so. His driving game was at its finest when he drilled a 4-iron from 219 yards to 25 feet from the hole which he finished for a two-putt birdie. He was not done yet as he used a gap wedge for a third straight birdie eight feet from the hole.

And just like that he was in the lead, and the Spaniard Garcia trying to recuperate. This the second consecutive time that Garcia has finished second to McIlroy. Garcia had to chase a seven-shot deficit at the British Open. Here at Firestone, he was gifted a lead but nothing much mattered when McIlroy started putting in his magic.

With the win, McIlroy joins the company of Tiger Woods as one of only two players to win a major and a World Golf Championship back-to-back. While the former number one Woods participated in the tourney, he was no longer around to see the finish, as he bowed out of contention due to a recurring back injury.

While Tiger Woods will be sidelined again, McIlroy, on the other hand, is full steam ahead and is chasing more titles before the year closes. His performance at Firestone, no doubt cements his legacy as one of the game's best and the undisputable number 1 player of the world of golf.

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(Photo: REUTERS / Toby Melville)
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland kisses the Claret Jug after winning the British Open Championship at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, northern England July 20, 2014.
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