(Photo: Brian Spurlock, USA TODAY Sports)
AKRON, Ohio - Tiger Woods ended one disappointing trend on Sunday by winning a tournament he owns, the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, for the first time since 2009.
Next week he looks to end another unsatisfactory trend - his drought in major championships.
The world No. 1 waltzed to the beat of par Sunday to polish off an authoritative win on the South Course at Firestone Country Club, winning a WGC event for the 18th time (no one else has more than three). With a final-round even-par 70 - he started the day with nine pars and had 16 in the round - Woods finished at 15 under par, seven shots ahead of Keegan Bradley (67) and Henrik Stenson (70).
It was his fifth win of the season and eighth on the South Course in this tournament - he also has won the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill eight times. And it was his 79th victory, second only to Sam Snead's record of 82.
Woods will go for win No. 80 and his 15th major title next week in the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y. Woods hasn't won a major since the 2008 U.S. Open, a 0-for-17 streak that has stalled his pursuit of the record 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus.
Woods started Sunday's final round at Firestone with a seven-shot lead and never led by less than seven. He is now 53-4 when holding at least a share of the 54-hole lead in a 72-hole tournament.
This was the 19th time in his career that Woods won in his final start before a major - and he went on to win four of his 14 majors and finished in the top-10 13 times. Eight of the 19 wins have come since he last won a major in the 2008 U.S. Open.