Rory McIlroy heads to Ohio for WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

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Open champion Rory McIlroy heads to Akron, Ohio this week aiming to add a WGC title to his increasing trophy collection as the 2014 PGA Tour season begins to reach to its conclusion. 

The now triple-Major winner, who completed a wire-to-wire victory at Royal Liverpool last week to become only the third Northern Irishman to win the Claret Jug, made it three legs of four in his quest for the career Grand Slam at Hoylake - and now just needs a Green Jacket to complete the set. 

However, in the meantime, there is this week's Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone - where Tiger Woods will be the defending champion - as well as the US PGA Championship at Valhalla, scene Team USA's last Ryder Cup victory, a week later. 

Keep winning

And McIlroy is as hungry as ever to end the 2014 season strongly - much like he did in 2012 following his PGA win at Kiawah Island. 

"I just want to think ahead and go forward and try to win as many tournaments and as many Majors as I can, because I feel like there's a lot more left in me. 

"After my second Major at Kiawah, I kicked on for another six months and played really well. I want to be able to be the guy who goes on and wins Majors regularly and wins tournaments," he added. 

Woods' formidable record

Despite winning three Majors so early in his career, McIlroy has never tasted victory in a World Golf Championship event, and will have to overcome several in-form players this week, as well as a formidable Firestone record held by defending champion Woods; the 14-time Major winner has won no less than eight times at the Ohio course.

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That said, he has played just six rounds of competitive golf since March following back surgery on a pinched nerve that ruled him out of the season's two Major championships at Augusta and Pinehurst, and McIlroy's main challengers are more likely to come from a European contingent that are finding form ahead of September's Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. 

Spain's Sergio Garcia pushed his Cup teammate all the way at Hoylake just over a week ago, while Englishman Justin Rose had won back-to-back tournaments at Congressional and Royal Aberdeen in the build up to the 143rd Open.

The man to beat

World number three Henrik Stenson finished runner up to Woods last time out in Akron, while Germany's Martin Kaymer will be seeking to rediscover the form that saw him run away with the US Open title in mid-June. 

2014 Open champion McIlroy, though, is undoubtedly the man to beat at the season's final WGC, because when he is on form, there is arguably no one better in the world. 

Having tasted success at the 2012 PGA that triggered a season-ending hot streak which included victories at two FedEx Cup tournaments, before sealing the season with a win in Dubai at the DP World Tour Championship, McIlroy will be eager to repeat the trick of two years ago... before helping Paul McGinley and co add another Ryder Cup to Europe's cabinet. 

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The Open
Rory McIlroy
Ryder Cup
Tiger Woods

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