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Rory McIlroy returned to the top of the world rankings

Rory McIlroy returned to the top of the world rankings after winning the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio by two strokes from Sergio Garcia.

Rory McIlroy
The Northern Irishman trailed the Spaniard by three shots at the start of the final day in Akron but clawed back the deficit inside four holes.

The Open champion signed for a four-under 66 to finish on 15 under, while Garcia closed with a scrappy 71.

Tiger Woods was forced to quit midway through the round with a back injury.

McIlroy’s first WGC title will see him overtake Australian Adam Scott at the top of the world rankings, regaining the position he last held in March 2013.

The 25-year-old was hugely impressive at Hoylake last month and was keen to show there would be no hangover when he arrived in Ohio this week.

“I’m really proud of following up the Open with a performance like this. I wanted to keep going and keep performing until the end of the season,” McIlroy said.

“It’s great to come to one of my favourite tournaments of the year and to perform like this, I am pretty satisfied.”

McIlroy opened with three straight birdies to take a one-shot lead. He never trailed the rest of the way and took the lead for good with an eight-foot birdie on the 11th hole.

Garcia’s final-round return of two bogeys against one birdie was some way short of his exploits on the second day.

Garcia played the back nine in just 27 shots in his record-equalling second round of 61, and hit a total of 16 birdies over his first three rounds.

But his failure to press his advantage home on Sunday means the 34-year-old has now won just three times on the 16 occasions he has held the 54-hole lead.

Woods withdrew after eight holes with back pain sustained jumping into a bunker as he played a shot on the second hole, in what was only his third event since returning from back surgery.

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