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Tiger Woods cruises to seven-shot win at WGC

Woods has sounded an ominous warning ahead of next week's PGA Championship.

FILE: Tiger Woods has sounded an ominous warning ahead of next week's PGA Champions. Picture: AFP

AKRON, Ohio - Tiger Woods eased to a seven-shot victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday, earning his 79th win on the PGA Tour and sounding an ominous warning to his rivals ahead of next week's PGA Championship.

Seven strokes ahead overnight, the world number one left an elite field trailing in his wake as he signed off with an even-par 70 at Firestone Country Club to land a record eighth title in the World Golf Championships (WGC) event.

Woods played rock-steady golf on a warm, blustery afternoon at one his favourite venues, barely making a mistake on the way to a 15-under total of 265 for his fifth PGA Tour title this year in only 11 starts.

With his eighth victory at Firestone, he equalled the mark he already shares with Sam Snead for most wins at a single PGA Tour event.

It also leaves him just three shy of matching the Hall of Famer's record 82 career PGA Tour victories. Since turning professional in late 1996, Woods has won at least five times on the US circuit in 10 separate seasons.

"The total body of work is pretty good," Woods told reporters after earning the winner's cheque for $1.5 million.

"One thing I'm proud of is obviously how many times I've won, how many World Golf Championships I've won, but also how many years I've won five or more times in a season.

"That's something I'm very proud of is how many tournaments I've been able to win consistently, year-in and year-out, and then how many World Golf Championships I've been able to win."

Fellow American Keegan Bradley, the defending champion, closed with a five-birdie 67 to share second place at eight under with Swede Henrik Stenson (70).

"It was a really weird feeling because it was like a tournament within a tournament," said Bradley. "Coming in second is a big accomplishment considering Tiger had such a big lead.

"It's very tough to give Tiger that many shots. The round he shot on Friday was pretty special. You know, I hate to sit here and go on and on about how good he is, but he is."

Woods played solidly for the next eight holes, lining up mid-range birdie putts on each green while squandering his only close opportunity from six feet at the second.

The quality of his iron play was stellar all day and it came as a surprise when he made his only error of the round with a three-putt bogey from long range at the par-four 14th for his lead to be cut to eight.

US Open winner Justin Rose carded a 69 to finish at one under, two strokes better than British Open champion Phil Mickelson, who said he lacked the requisite sharpness all week as he signed off with a 71.

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