• McIlroy hoping for one last hurrah

    Rory McIlroy
    McIlroy has fond memories

    Rory McIlroy is hoping history repeats itself as Firestone Country Club plays host to the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational for the last time.

    From next year, Memphis replaces Ohio as the venue for the prestigious event.

    The Northern Irishman tasted victory at this event in 2014 in between winning the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool and the US PGA Championship at Valhalla.

    McIlroy has also notched up four other top-10 finishes in Akron since making his debut in 2009.

    And with the tournament set to move on from Ohio next year, McIlroy ― who finished in a tie for second at The Open two weeks ago ― wants to put in another strong performance this week.

    He said: ‘This has always been one of my favourite weeks of the year.  I’m sort of sad it’s going to be the last one here. It’s a great week. I’ve always played great here. I use it as a week to try and work on my game and if I get myself into contention, then that’s just a bonus.

    ‘So, I’ve enjoyed it. I love the place, I love the golf course. I’ve played well here, and hopefully, I can play well one last time.

    ‘I think when you come back to venues quite a lot, you get to know people, you get to know the staff and you get to know the people involved in the tournament.

    ‘I’ve enjoyed it here and I’ve played well here, and I think that’s probably part of the reason why I’m sad to see it go.’

    McIlroy came from behind to see off the challenge of Sergio Garcia on Sunday afternoon as he lifted the trophy four years ago and he credited the fast start he made to his final round as the catalyst.

    He added: ‘I remember the first five holes of Sunday. I started three behind Sergio. We teed off in the final group and on the 6th tee I was two ahead, I think, maybe.

    ‘I got off to a really hot start. I birdied four of the first five holes, and that was me off and running.

    ‘It was cool because I had the mindset of coming here, trying to work on my game a little bit, and then all of a sudden you find yourself in the final group and you get off to a hot start like that.

    ‘It’s like “Jeez, this tournament’s mine”, you know, so then you get into that mindset. It was cool.

    ‘It was nice to get off to that hot start, and then you sort of control the tournament from there and find a way to win.’

    Credit: European Tour

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