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Final Round Highlights at Firestone As Hunter Mahan Wins The WGC

Thomas Moreland@NFLMIKEESenior Writer IAugust 8, 2010

AKRON, OH - AUGUST 08:  Hunter Mahan watches his approach shot on the first hole during the final round of the World Golf Championships - Bridgestone Invitational on the South Course at Firestone Country Club on August 8, 2010 in Akron, Ohio.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Matt Kuchar is only one shot off the lead as he starts his final round at Firestone on Sunday.

Phil Mickelson needs fourth or better to take over the No. 1 golfer in the world spot, but is struggling today at Firestone.

Sean O'Hair and Ryan Palmer share the lead and are about to tee off today, as Kuchar just missed an opening birdie by inches to tie the leaders.

Here's the leader board as we start the final round with O Hair and Palmer in front.

Sean'O hair minus nine, Ryan Palmer minus nine, Ernie Els minus eight, Matt Kuchar minus eight, Nick Watney minus seven, Bo Van Pelt minus seven, and Peter Hanson minus seven.

Mickelson, as he is playing now, will not get the No. 1 spot as he is all over the place on Sunday. On the par three sixth hole, he hits a seven iron 50 yards right.

O'Hair lags it up to the hole for par after a wayward wedge landed way too far back for a birdie.

Els makes birdie again and is tied for the lead, ahead of the leaders a couple of holes.

Hunter Mahan just made birdie to get to six under and in the mix, as it is early still on Sunday. Any one of 12-13 players still have a chance to win this thing on Sunday.

My fantasy team this week did very well the first three days, and a couple of guys have a chance to win.

I stand at 4433 points now, 86th percentile, and position rank 20,478.

I have but 66 points to make up on Yahoo Golf Expert Matt Romig to pass all four Yahoo Golf Experts for the season in Fantasy Golf on Yahoo.

This weeks' team of Stricker, Goosen, Watney, and Kuchar are scoring well with Kuchar and Watney both with good chances to win.

Ryan Palmer made birdie on one to take the lead at minus 10 over Els. O'Hair is still at minus nine.

The shot of the day comes from Kenny Perry, who air-mailed his second shot on six directly into the cup, like a slam dunk. The ball just hit the hole and the flag perfectly to wedge itself into the cup. Nice eagle, Kenny.

Jim Furyk, playing three hours ahead of the leaders ,is at minus seven now, needing a couple more birdies to post an early score in the clubhouse.

Palmer just nuked a chip shot, and the field is going to stay bunched up, as the pressure of winning a PGA event rears its ugly head as Palmer bogeys.

Tie game once more, between Els, Palmer, and O'Hair. Not for long however, as O'Hair birdies the par five to get to minus 10 and the lead.

O'Hair has three PGA Tour victories.

Hunter Mahan grabs another birdie to reach minus nine, as Kuchar just misses another birdie. Kuchar leads the Tour in statistical categories, like putting, sand saves, greens hit, etc, etc, etc.

There will be a few more lead changes before this is all said and done today.

I like Kuchar to get the win, but he needs some putts to drop, that's for darn sure.

Furyk hits a perfect shot right at the stick at 17—just like Kenny Perry's that stuck in the hole. Instead of going in however, this one careens off the back plastic of the cup and shoots into the lake in front of the stick.

That's the breaks of golf in two like shots, with very different results.

In only 45 minutes, the leader board has noticeable changes already as it now reads at 2:45 pm: Sean O'Hair -10, Hunter Mahan minus nine, Ryan Palmer minus nine, Bo Van Pelt minus eight, Matt Kuchar minus eight, Ernie Els minus seven, and Retief Goosen minus seven.

I still have two fantasy golfers on the leader board with Goosen and Kuchar. Watney is at minus four, still lurking, but maybe too far back to think of winning now. He still had a very good fantasy effort this week.

Lee Westwood went out today with a leg injury and withdrew from the PGA Championship next week, as well.

He was one of my fantasy players next week and will be replaced by Sean O'Hair as O'Hair now is at minus 11 with a two stroke advantage.

Next week, my starting fantasy line-up is close to this week.

That's probably good as these guys are all playing well. For next weeks PGA Championship, I have Stricker, Goosen, Watney, and Kuchar starting in my fantasy golf line-up.

Hunter Mahan has four birdies in the first eight holes now, to pull within one shot of our leader, Sean O'Hair.

Mahan is the hottest golfer on the course right now.

Leader Board 4:00 pm WGC Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone as follows: Hunter Mahan -11, Sean O'Hair -10 Retief Goosen minus nine, just about finished now, Bo Van Pelt minus nine, and Ryan Palmer minus eight.

Bo Van Pelt has risen up the leader board and just birdied to move to -10, one behind Mahan.

Phil Mickelson mercifully is trying to get out of Sundays round at plus four for the day.

Goosen is in with the low score so far at minus nine for the tournament.

A playoff is not likely, however, but a good finish for Goosen as he remains a fantasy player next week for me at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, Whistling Straits Course, in Kohler, Wisconson.

Hunter Mahan is in total control as he birdies again to make it to -12. Palmer makes one also to reach minus nine, three back now.

Mahan is at -12, O'Hair -10, Goosen minus nine in the clubhouse, and Bo Van Pelt and Ryan Palmer with minus nine as well.

O Hair just bogeyed again, and now the lead is three for Mahan. I just titled the article Final Round Firestone Highlights as Hunter Mahan wins the WGC.

Palmer grabbed another birdie to gain a stroke reaching minus 10 now.

There are four holes left, and Mahan looks like he brings this home easily today.

Whoops, as Mahan hit a wild shot way right of the par three 15th hole.

From the sand he come up 15 feet short, and it looks like a bogey.

The lead is one shot now, with three holes left. No make that still two shots with a magnificent clutch putt by Hunter Mahan.

Bo Van Pelt has a four-footer for birdie as we move along the to the finish at this great Firestone Course. Van Pelt missed an easy one to stay at minus nine.

Ryan Palmer must do something right now if he wants a chance to steal this one away from Mahan.

Hunter Mahan is way right on his second shot at the par five. Way past the press box into a flower bed. Wow! This should be an interesting drop.

I may have to change the article title.

Mahan now needs an up and down from about 80 feet to save par.

Again, we see the thought process shut down, as the muscles tighten up in the closing moments of a PGA Tour Event.

Mahan hits a beautiful chip, however, to save par on the 16th hole.

Still, the margin is two, as Palmer has the par five to play also.

Gary McCord likes Mahan's position going into 17, so the title of the article seems safe.

All Hunter Mahan needs is a couple of pars, post a score and relax, as Ryan Palmer would need two birdies in the last three holes to catch him.

My fantasy team is finishing with three guys in the top ten, That seems pretty good.

Mahan is short of the green on 17, and needs a good chip from the rough as he makes the drama continue. He has a good eight feet for par. Mahan drills the putt and the fist pump materializes.

Palmer also makes a seven-footer to save par. He stripes his drive down 16 about 340 to have a nice chance at the par five in two.

Ernie Els finished up at a dismal 76 today, to match Phil and Tiger's poor showings as well on Sunday.

Jeff Overton has yet another high finish as he comes in around six to seven under for the tournament.

Mahan pars 18 and finishes at 64 and minus 12 for the tournament.

An eagle chip is on route to the hole by Ryan Palmer and it comes up woefully short.

It was a hacking kind of chip. Not suited for the length of that shot. Now it's a difficult birdie putt for Palmer as he will be playing for second place soon.

Just a par on 16 and the pressure is on Palmer now. He needs two birdies.

This one's history as Hunter Mahan wins, Ryan Palmer gets second and a big check too, and third goes to Sean O'Hair.

Have a great day and weekend as the PGA Championship is next with articles, updates, fantasy picks, and all kinds of good stuff from your friendly golf writers at Bleacherreport.com.

Thomas[NFL Mikee]Moreland

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