Shane Lowry wins WGC-Bridgestone Invitational title in Ohio
|WGC-Bridgestone Invitational final leaderboard|
|-11 S Lowry (Ire); -9 B Watson (US); -7 J Rose (Eng), J Furyk (US); -6 R Streb (US); Selected others -4 J Spieth (US), R Fowler (US); -1 P Casey (Eng), L Westwood (Eng), D Willett (Eng), G McDowell (NI), I Poulter (Eng); level M Warren (Sco); +6 J Donaldson (Wal); +8 S Gallacher (Sco); +11 P Mickelson (US); +14 P Harrington (Ire)|
Ireland's Shane Lowry captured his first title in the US with a two-shot win in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at the Firestone Country Club in Ohio.
The world number 48 began the final day in third, two shots behind co-leaders Justin Rose and Jim Furyk.
But as they both shot over par, Lowry carded four birdies in a 66 to finish on 11 under, ahead of Bubba Watson.
American Watson shot a 66 while Rose posted a 72 and was four shots adrift with Furyk in joint third.
|First non-PGA Tour member to win a WGC since Martin Kaymer at the 2011|
|Third European Tour International schedule victory in his 161st European Tour event|
|First victory since the 2012 Portugal Masters, a gap of two years and 299 days|
Lowry, 28, who won the Irish Open as an amateur in 2009, earns a three-year exemption on the PGA Tour for his victory in the co-sanctioned event.
"It's hard to believe but I played good and hit the ball well," said Lowry. "I was nervous but made a lot of good decisions and had a bit of luck as well. It's great for me and everyone who has supported me over the years."
Lowry, who first played on the PGA Tour in 2009, moved two shots clear at the 10th when a remarkable shot from thick rough to the left of the fairway sailed over a huge tree and finished a foot from the flagstick.
At the 14th, he drove into a bunker but holed a key putt for par from 15 feet.
Watson, who won the WGC-HSBC Champions event in Shanghai in November, closed to within a shot of the burly Irishman with his seventh birdie of the round at the 17th.
He then drove 379 yards down the final fairway but could not hole a birdie chance from 28 feet and finished with a round of 66.
|Recent WGC-Bridgestone Invitational winners|
|Year||Winner||Margin of victory|
|2014:||Rory McIlroy (NI)||Two shots|
|2013:||Tiger Woods (US)||Seven shots|
|2012:||Keegan Bradley (US)||One shot|
|2011:||Adam Scott (Aus)||Four shots|
Lowry was down the left again at the last - but from more thick rough, he played over more lofty trees to the heart of the green and holed for a memorable closing birdie.
Final pair Furyk and Rose made only two birdies each, and by the time they completed their rounds, Lowry was already celebrating victory.
Rose, who had a 63 on Saturday, chipped in for a birdie at the ninth but missed a series of short putts.
Furyk recorded his 10th top-10 finish in the Bridgestone but has now failed to win 10 tournaments in succession in which he led or shared the lead after 54 holes.
Jordan Spieth had set the early clubhouse target on four under after a final round of 66, but that was never going to be enough for the victory which would have seen him replace Rory McIlroy as world number one.