World Golf Championships-Bridgestone InvitationalTees Off: Thursday, August 1
Firestone Country Club (South) – Akron, OH
The PGA Tour returns to Ohio for the third leg of the World Golf Championships tournaments. The Bridgestone Invitational was long dominated by Tiger Woods, though he hasn’t won here since 2009. The past five winners at Bridgestone have gone 10-under-par or better on the par-70 course, and this week is shaping up to be another shootout. Here are the Best Bets…
Tiger Woods: For all his dominance this season, it’s actually been nearly three months since Woods last won a tournament (though, granted, he’s only made three starts since winning The Players). He won seven of the first 11 at Firestone, from 1999-2009, and finished strong a year ago, shooting 66-68 on the weekend to finish T8.
Matt Kuchar: He’s been arguably the hottest golfer on tour the past two months. Last week’s T2 at the RBC Canadian made it three top-2 finishes in his past five starts (including a win at the Memorial). He hasn’t finished lower than T28 during that stretch. Kuchar has also gone top-20 at Firestone each of the past three years, including a T9 in 2010 and a T8 last year.
Steve Stricker: The semi-retired Stricker finished a stroke behind Keegan Bradley a year ago, and his T2 finish was his fourth straight top-15 at Firestone. He’s made every cut on his limited schedule this year (7-for-7), including four top-10's and two runner-ups.
Luke Donald: It’s been a rough couple of weeks for Donald, who followed up a solid T8 showing at the U.S. Open with a disappointing T42 at the French Open and missed cuts at the British and RBC Canadian. But his talent, as well as his track record at Firestone (a T2 in 2011, and a T8 last year), can’t be overlooked.
Dustin Johnson: An errant drive on 17 sunk Johnson’s hopes at last week’s RBC Canadian, but it was still an encouraging week overall. A third-round 63 keyed a T2 finish, his second top-10 since the start of June. Johnson has finished top-25 in three of the past four years at Firestone, including a T19 last year.