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Tuesday, August 05, 2014

AKRON, Ohio - Rory McIlroy has stormed past Sergio Garcia to win the World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational by two shots and reclaim the world No.1 spot from Adam Scott.

Marc Leishman did his best to make a charge for Australia but finished third after a three-under 67 left him 12-under par, three shots behind the Northern Irishman, who has won in back-to-back starts after claiming the British Open last month.

McIlroy, who started the final round three shots behind Garcia, fired a four-under 66 to finish at 15-under.

Garcia stumbled to a one-over 71, falling to 13-under and into second place.

With McIlroy's win, Scott needed to be fifth alone or better to hold his No.1 spot but his 71 left him at seven-under and in a tie for eighth place, ending his run at the top at 11 weeks.

McIlroy birdied the opening three holes to state his intentions and when Garcia bogeyed the third the Northern Irishman was the sole leader.

But a ninth hole birdie for the Spaniard ensured the pair made the turn locked in a dogfight.

McIlroy retook the lead with a birdie on the 11th.

His lead was padded when Garcia bogeyed the 15th.

He then parred home to claim the win.

Leishman birdied the second and third holes to start his tilt strong but bogeyed the fourth and then the sixth after being forced to take an unplayable penalty from deep rough.

Not to be deterred he birdied the seventh and eighth holes to keep his hopes alive.

A birdie on 12 had the Victorian dreaming of bigger things before a wild drive on the 14th and a few hacks from deep rough led to a dropped shot.

The 30-year-old birdied the 16th to ensure a high finish.

Scott birdied the second and 10th holes before a late collapse cost him world No.1.

Bogeys on 14, 15 and 16 dropped him out of the top five.

Earlier, eight-time winner and defending champion Tiger Woods withdrew after eight and a half holes with a back injury, putting his place in next weeks final major championship in huge doubt.

John Senden (71) finished tied 26th at two under, while Matt Jones (70) finished his tournament at one under and Steven Bowditch (69) completed his duties at two-over.

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