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BlogWGC-Bridgestone Preview and Picks

WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

July 31 – August 3, 2014

Firestone C.C. (South)

Akron, Ohio

Par: 70 / Yardage: 7,400

Purse: $9 million

with $1,530,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Tiger Woods

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 53 of the top 54 in the latest Official World Rankings.  Dustin Johnson has withdrawn, he was ranked 16th.

The field includes 24 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2014. # 4 Dustin Johnson has withdrawn.

The field includes 24 players in the top 25 on this year’s PGA Tour money list. #3 Dustin Johnson has withdrawn.

The field includes 30 players that have won 36 events on the PGA Tour this year: Jimmy Walker (Frys.com Open, Sony Open in Hawaii & AT&T Pebble), Webb Simpson (Shriners Hospitals); Ryan Moore (CIMB CLassic), Chris Kirk (McGladrey Classic), Harris English (OHL Classic at Mayakoba); Zach Johnson (Hyundai T of C); Patrick Reed (Humana & Cadillac); Scott Stallings (Farmers); Kevin Stadler (WM Phoenix); Bubba Watson (Northern Trust & Masters); Jason Day (WGC-Accenture); Russell Henley (Honda); John Senden (Valspar Championship); Matt Every (Palmer); Steve Bowditch (Valero Texas); Matt Jones (Shell Houston); Matt Kuchar (RBC Heritage); Seung-Yul Noh (Zurich); J.B. Holmes (Wells Fargo) Martin Kaymer (Players & U.S. Open); Ben Crane (FedEx St. Jude); Brendon Todd (Byron Nelson); Adam Scott (Colonial); Hideki Matsuyama (Memorial); Kevin Streelman (Travelers); Justin Rose (Quicken Loans National); Angel Cabrera (Greenbrier); Brian Harman (John Deere); Rory McIlroy (Open Championship and Tim Clark (RBC Canadian Open).

Only PGA Tour winners in 2014 not in the field are Chesson Hadley (Puerto Rico) and Dustin Johnson (WGC-HSBC).

The field includes 5 past Bridgestone champions: Tiger Woods (2013, 2009, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2001, 2000, 1999), Keegan Bradley (2012), Adam Scott (2011), Hunter Mahan (2010) and Phil Mickelson (1996)

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the WGC-Bridgestone field is our performance chart listed by average finish.  Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the WGC-Bridgestone  field in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the WGC-Bridgestone  field.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

Player Canadian Open Russian Open British Open John Deere Scottish Open Greenbrier Classic French Open Quicken Loans BMW Inter. Travelers Irish Open U.S. Open FedEx St. Jude
Rickie Fowler
(329 pts)
DNP DNP T2
(200)
DNP T8
(50)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
T13
(12.33)
Rory McIlroy
(311.33 pts)
DNP DNP Win
(264)
DNP T14
(36)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T23
(18)
DNP
Sergio Garcia
(302 pts)
DNP DNP T2
(200)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T12
(25.33)
T2
(66.67)
DNP T35
(10)
DNP
Justin Rose
(299.33 pts)
DNP DNP T23
(54)
DNP Win
(132)
DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP DNP DNP T12
(25.33)
DNP
Graeme McDowell
(286.33 pts)
T9
(45)
DNP T9
(90)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP DNP DNP T6
(40)
T28
(14.67)
T24
(8.67)
Jim Furyk
(285.33 pts)
2
(100)
DNP 4
(160)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T12
(25.33)
DNP
Tim Clark
(199 pts)
Win
(132)
DNP DNP T5
(70)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T19
(10.33)
Marc Leishman
(192.67 pts)
DNP DNP T5
(140)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T8
(33.33)
DNP T11
(26)
DNP DNP DNP
Brian Harman
(192 pts)
DNP DNP T26
(48)
Win
(132)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T42
(5.33)
DNP DNP T6
(20)
Angel Cabrera
(186.67 pts)
DNP DNP T19
(62)
DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP T24
(17.33)
DNP T11
(26)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Ryan Moore
(179 pts)
DNP DNP T12
(76)
T7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T5
(46.67)
DNP T48
(1.33)
DNP
Keegan Bradley
(174.67 pts)
DNP DNP T19
(62)
DNP DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T31
(12.67)
DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP
Adam Scott
(170 pts)
DNP DNP T5
(140)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T9
(30)
DNP
Stephen Gallacher
(158 pts)
DNP DNP T15
(70)
DNP T4
(80)
DNP T18
(21.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Brendon Todd
(144 pts)
DNP DNP T39
(22)
DNP DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP T5
(46.67)
DNP DNP DNP T17
(22)
DNP
Henrik Stenson
(142 pts)
DNP DNP T39
(22)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP
Fabrizio Zanotti
(142 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T59
(0)
DNP T9
(30)
DNP Win
(88)
DNP T14
(24)
DNP DNP
Dustin Johnson
(140.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T12
(76)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T31
(12.67)
DNP T4
(53.33)
T24
(8.67)
Jordan Spieth
(131 pts)
DNP DNP T36
(28)
T7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP T11
(26)
DNP DNP DNP T17
(22)
DNP
Thongchai Jaidee
(130.67 pts)
DNP DNP T39
(22)
DNP T48
(2)
DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP T5
(46.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Phil Mickelson
(120.67 pts)
DNP DNP T23
(54)
DNP T11
(39)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T28
(14.67)
T11
(13)
Francesco Molinari
(119.33 pts)
DNP DNP T15
(70)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T26
(16)
DNP T12
(25.33)
DNP DNP T23
(18)
DNP
Matt Kuchar
(118 pts)
T4
(80)
DNP T54
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T31
(12.67)
DNP T12
(25.33)
DNP
Charl Schwartzel
(110.33 pts)
T43
(7)
DNP T7
(110)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Martin Kaymer
(106.67 pts)
DNP DNP 70
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T12
(25.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

Player Canadian Open Russian Open British Open John Deere Scottish Open Greenbrier Classic French Open Quicken Loans BMW Inter. Travelers Irish Open U.S. Open FedEx St. Jude
Lee Westwood
(-40 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-20)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
Jonas Blixt
(-33.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-20)
DNP CUT
(-10)
T35
(10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Richard Sterne
(-30 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-20)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T56
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Scott Stallings
(-14 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-20)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T35
(10)
DNP T71
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T32
(6)
Jason Dufner
(-13.33 pts)
DNP DNP T51
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
David Lynn
(-13.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T45
(3.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Miguel A. Jimenez
(-8.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-20)
DNP T35
(15)
DNP DNP DNP T45
(3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Russell Henley
(-7 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-20)
T27
(23)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T60
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
Tiger Woods
(-6.67 pts)
DNP DNP 69
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Joost Luiten
(-5.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-20)
DNP T51
(0)
DNP T18
(21.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

It’s been a bizarre season.  If you look at the important events like the majors, WGC events, Players and BMW PGA Championship all of them have been won by house-hold names, with the small exception of the WGC-Cadillac.  That was won by Patrick Reed, who may think he is one of the top-five players on the globe, but he still hasn’t proven to many of us that is the case.

If you look at the majors, all three have been won by previous major winners.  You have to go back to 2000 to find four majors that weren’t won by a “major-rookie.”  If you look further back, the last time that happened was in 1980 so you can see how rare it is not to have a major winner.  In looking at the other big events, Dustin Johnson won the WGC-HSBC; Jason Day won the Match Play; Martin Kaymer won the Players and Rory McIlroy won the BMW PGA Championship.  So most of the big events in 2014 have been won by seasoned players.

On the other end of the spectrum, as for pure PGA Tour events in 2014 its the story of the face-less winners, guys that are not know as past winners.  Now Webb Simpson, Zach Johnson, Bubba Watson, Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar and  Tim Clark have won in 2014 but the rest has not been stellar.  Of course Jimmy Walker won three times, Patrick Reed twice and the same with Martin Kaymer.   But the rest of the winners, guys like Chris Kirk, Kevin Stadler, Chesson Hadley, John Senden, Steven Bowditch, Seung-Yul Noh, Brendon Todd and Brian Harman aren’t strong candidates for entry into the Hall-of-Fame.  It was a mixed bag of winners in 2014.

So what has happened to our stars?  First of all, 2014 will be the first time that we have never seen either Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson in the winner circle for a year since Tiger turned pro in 1996.  An even sadder stat, between Woods and Mickelson they have 19 starts on the PGA Tour in 2014 and none of them have been in the top-ten.  Hard to believe.

Last week in Canada it looked like Jim Furyk was about to get off the “snide” and win for the first time since 2010.  He has been in position over a half dozen times to win but had a terrible final round.  On Sunday he had a three-shot lead, shot 69 but lost when Tim Clark shot 65, including a 30 on the back nine.  So for Furyk the frustration continues but he should have a good chance at Firestone, coming close to winning the WGC-Bridgestone on several occasions in past years.

Frankly this will be a very important week for Tiger Woods.  He comes to a course that he has dominated, winning over $11 million on it.  In 14 starts at the Bridgestone, he has won eight of them and been in the top-ten 12 times.  But in 2010 he finished T-78th at the Bridgestone and in 2011 was T-37th, so we can see that he has not totally dominated this tournament.  There are a lot of cat-calls for him not getting a captains pick for the Ryder Cup team, saying Tiger hasn’t played well in the last year.  He is 215 in the FedEx Cup standings, and if he doesn’t have a pair of top-tens this week and next at the PGA Championship there is a good chance that he won’t make the playoffs.  Without entry into the playoffs, I can’t see any reason for Tom Watson to give one of his picks to Tiger.  So it will be interesting to see, can Tiger play well again this week?  Many don’t think he has the game anymore along with the will power.  Now we can’t believe in what Tiger tells us so we will have to see it in his game.

I can’t see him turning it around, I think a win is as physical impossible and find it absurd that the betting interests list him as a 16 to 1 shot at victory.  Gosh, I think that Daisuke Maruyama, who is a 1,000 to 1 longshot, has about as much chance at winning as Tiger has.  Realistically that 16 to 1 figure should be for a top-ten finish.  So the bottom line if he can’t play well at either Firestone or Valhalla, courses he has won on in past years he just doesn’t belong on the Ryder Cup team.

Lastly my heart is broken for all of those who lost their jobs when Golf World closed last week.  All in the industry feel the pain of shutting a magazine that has been an iconic institution since 1947.  Things are different in the print industry; these weekly magazines have been relics for the last dozen or so years.  The writing has been on the wall since the advent of the internet that people want their news in a fast, daily way.  It doesn’t matter how good Golf World was or how good GolfWeek or Sports Illustrator Golf Plus is, it’s old news when it arrives in someone’s mailbox the next week.  I could  never understand why they couldn’t figure a way to do a daily publication in a timely manner, something that would be subscription based as part of an application.  It would save the 50 to 60% printing and mailing cost, plus it would arrive instantaneously.   All of the golf publications never grasped what the internet was about and how to get people to pay for their product.  The powers to be felt that they could give things away for free, advertising would pay fthe freight, but it never worked out.  Instead of helping their publications, they drove the industry to offer news free of charge and hurt their main publication.  I centrality don’t have the answers and after trying to give folks timely news for six years on GolfObserver.Com, was forced to change gears so it’s a very complex problem.

It’s not only tough getting people to pay for a publication, but advertising is terrible right now.  All the weekly’s have suffered a 15 to 20% reduction in advertising, and I have to think that many of them have lost subscribers over the years.  The hard thing to fathom is that I personally don’t think the answer is through GolfChannel.Com, PGATour.Com or even Geoffshackelford.com.  All of these entities have a terrible bias toward their bottom-lines and aren’t forthcoming on reporting all of the news.  Not to say that GolfWorld, Sports Illustrator GolfWeek or even Golf Global Post are 100% true to not showing bias. Even institutes like the New York Times show bias, but they are as close to giving you truthful reporting before they are covering their bottom lines.  So with the golfing economy not getting better it would be a shame if the other magazines went down the path that GolfWorld is venturing.  This isn’t the proper place to debate all of this, but I feel the pain for the dozen or so folks that lost jobs in the shutting down of Golf World.

Tournament information:

The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational is the fourth of the World Golf Championships for 2014, and it will return to Firestone Country Club for the 14th time in the tournament’s 15-year existents.  The first couple of years of this event it was a limited field affair open to members of previous Ryder Cup and President’s Cup team members, but it changed to reflect the way the WGC-CA Championship picks its players.

  • The qualification has changed over the years. For a player to qualify, he must meet at least one of the required stipulations:
  • have been a playing member in either the most recent President’s or Ryder Cup;
  • be ranked in the Top 50 in the official World Golf Rankings one or two weeks prior to the event;
  • or win a worldwide event with an Official World Golf Ranking field strength of 100 points or more in the last calendar year.
  • Lastly the winner of the following tournaments from each of the following Tours:
  • Japan Golf Tour Championship (2014) and Bridgestone Open (2013) from the Japan Golf Tour;
  • Australian PGA Championship (2013) from the Australasian Tour; Dimension Data Pro-Am (2014) from the Southern Africa Tour;
  • and Thailand Golf Championship (2013) from the Asian Tour.
  • With this, the field has bloated and this year 76 players will be in the field (includes Dustin Johnson WD).

Before the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational began, the course was the site of the World Series of Golf.  From 1962 through 1975 it was a four-man showdown of the four major winners.   The format changed in 1976 when it became a special invitational which invited around 50 professionals.  In the history of that event only two players had won it twice, Greg Norman in 1995 & ’97 and Jose Maria Olazabal in 1990 & 1994.  Olazabal wins were unique, the first one in 1990 set a lot of records that nobody had been able to touch.  The win in 1994 was a bit different because it was held on the North course, the only time in the World Series that the tournament was played over there.  What happened a month before the tournament, all of the greens on the South course mysteriously died.  At most tournaments this would cause a big stir but not at Firestone, they just switched things across the street on the North Course, which was the venue for the American golf classics in the 70s.  To add a nice touch Olazabal added another World Series crown and thus can say that he is the only player to win on both of Firestone’s two golf courses.

In 1998, the World Series of Golf stopped, and the World Golf Championship started play at Firestone and had held the event every year except for 2002 when it was held at Sahalee Country Club just outside of Seattle, Washington.

Course information:

  • Firestone Country Club (South Course)
  • Akron, Ohio
  • 7,400 yards     Par 35-35–70

Firestone C.C. has been a major part of golf for over 50 years.  Since 1960, the South Course had held a PGA Tour event with the except of two years, in 1994 when the greens died, and the tournament was moved across the street and in 2002 when the event was played in Seattle, Washington.  The South Course has gone through several changes in its 85-year history.  It was originally designed by Bert Way and opened in 1929.  30 years later in 1959 the course was completely remodeled by Robert Trent Jones, who made the course what it is today.  In 1986 Jack Nicklaus did some touch-up work.

The course has held more professional tournaments than any other course in America except for probably Augusta, Colonial and Pebble.  In 1954, it was the site of the Rubber City Open which was held for five years.  In 1960, the course was the venue of the PGA Championship and two years later held the World Series of Golf.  Since 1960, the South Course had held a PGA Tour event with the except of two years, in 1994 when the greens died, and the tournament was moved across the street and in 2002 when the event was played in Washington. It also has held three majors the 1960, ’66 & ’75 PGA Championship.  The club also held eight CBS Golf Classics and 14 American Golf Classics.  In the late 50s and early 60s it was also the site of the CBS Golf Classic, which was one of the first made for TV golf series.  So there is no two ways about it, Firestone is at the forefront of professional golf.

The South course features Pencross Bent Grass and Poa Annua on the tee boxes, fairways, and greens. The 3/8″ cut in the fairway provides good roll off the tee, while the skimpy 0.10″ cut on the greens makes for extremely quick putting surfaces. The 4″ cut of Kentucky Blue Grass and Perennial Rye Grass in the rough is plenty long enough to penalize golfers for errant tee shots.

Above all, the South Course at Firestone is noted for its length at 7,400 yards, the Par 70. It features a 76.1 course rating and 132 slope rating. Though the slope of the course isn’t too dramatic, the course still puts up a test simply because of its length. The Par 5 16th is a microcosm for the course. At 667-yards, it is one of the longest Par 5’s on Tour. A green-side pond captures errant second shots by golfers trying to reach in two as well as third shots from golfers who hit a poor tee shot. Four years ago it played a big part in Tiger Woods victory when he was tied with Padraig Harrington until the Irishman took 8 on the 16th hole.<P>

Other difficult holes include the 471-yard par 4, 4th hole which requires a long, straight tee shot followed by a high, soft approach shot to hold the elevated green.  Last year it was the second-toughest hole on the course and 57th toughest on the PGA Tour playing to an average of 4.267.  The hardest hole on the course and the 37th toughest on the PGA Tour in 2013 was the ninth, the 494 yard par 4 that played to an average of 4.308. The 667-yard Par 5, 16th was given the nickname of “The Monster,” which was made famous by Jack Nicklaus’s miraculous par at the 1975 PGA Championship en route to a come from behind victory.  It also has one of the best finishing holes in golf, the 464-yard Par 4 18th that is very narrow and is protected by bunkers to the front of the green.  Last year it was the fourth-toughest hole of the week and 138th on the PGA Tour playing to a 4.1485 average.<P>

Last year the course played to a 71.051 average, making it the 9th hardest course on the PGA Tour.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational:

Here are some more key stats to look to for this week:

  • Firestone is one of the most respected courses on the PGA Tour.  The par-70 layout plays to over 7,400 yards and if there is a key to the course its the long par 3s and par 4s.  Three of the par 3s play over 200 yards while eleven of the twelve par 4s play over 400 yards and  eight play over 440 yards.  You have to be accurate with your drives, as the fairways are very well bunkered and bordered with high rough.  Shots into the greeens, usually with long irons, have to be precise and if the players do get a break its in the greens, they are pretty flat with very little undulations.  The list of champions is pretty impressive but underdogs have won the event.  Its also interesting to note that since 1995 all of the winners (except for Darren Clarke in 2003 and Vijay Singh 2008) have won a tournament five months prior to their Firestone victory.
  • Since the course will play at more than 7,400 yards, the “experts” will say bombers hold an advantage. Still as you will see length is not the only strength you need to play well at Firestone.  Average hitters like Jim Furyk, David Toms and Stewart Cink have done well at Firestone, so does long hitters have an advantage, yes because Tiger seems to win a lot but don’t discount the shorter hitter.
  • Accuracy will rule this week. The fairways are very narrow and the rough has always played a factor.    Of the 20 players that have finished in the top-five in the tournaments first three years (1999-2001), 15 of them have finished in the top-20 of the driving accuracy category.  Things changed drastically in 2007 as only five players out of the top 21 finished in the top-ten of the driving distance category.  In 2008 of the players in the top-19, only four were in the top-ten. The same in 2009 as of those in the top-15 the best rank in driving accuracy is T10th.  In 2010 only two players out of the top 22 finished in the top-ten of fairways hit.  Things got better in 2011 as six of the top-six were in the top-15 while in 2012 ten of the top-15 were in the top-20.  In 2013 nine of the top-12 were in the top-11.   So if fairways get dry this week, look for accuracy to again not be the King this week.
  • The only problem is that the course will not be dry.  Lot’s of rain have dropped in the last month and rain is in the forecast for everyday between Tuesday practice rounds through Sunday.  In looking at the long range forecast Thursday and Sunday seems like the only days which a lack of rain.
  • Now in the years that Woods has won, hitting greens was the key to victory, but in the two years that Darren Clarke and Stewart Cink won, putting was the key.  In 2009 greens hit was the key to victory for Tiger as he ranked T2nd in that stat, while in 2010 Hunter Mahan was T8th in greens hit and T4th in number of putts.  In 2011 Adam Scott was T9th in greens hit and T4th in putting while in 2012 Keegan Bradley was T11th in greens hit and T2nd in putting  So which one is the favorite?  I have to say that the ball striker will always win.
  •  Does a non-marquee guy have a chance this week?  Could Thongchai Jaidee, Yoshitaka Takeya or even Jonas Bilxt win?  Not a chance, look for either one of the usual suspects or someone like a Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley or Jim Furyk who really wants to do well in a big event.  As for an underdog, no chance as underdogs have not fared well at Firestone.

 

Who to watch for at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

Best Bets:

Jim Furyk

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T9 T2 T23 T6 T51 T27 3 T24 T22 T6 T6

Have to pick him for the second straight week. He could of easily won the Canadian if not for the great final round by Tim Clark, so Furyk is really due. He has had a fair amount of close calls at Firestone and this should be his year.

Rory McIlroy

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T27 T5 T6 T9 T68

Showed us a lot at Hoylake, feel that the good play will continue into this week and next.

Keegan Bradley

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T2 Win T15

This is his time to shine, coming to a course in which he is 27 under par on for just 12 rounds.

Best of the rest:

Justin Rose

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T17 T5 T33 T19 T29 T27 T2 T33 5

Can’t forget about him, he wins on great courses like this and he should be in the running this week.

Adam Scott

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T14 T45 Win T9 T51 T56 T36 T10 T36 T55 T64

Past champion at Firestone, his game has been sharp this summer and you know he will contend.

Rickie Fowler

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T21 T60 T2 T33

Has played well and contended most of the summer, was runner-up in this event back in 2011.

Sergio Garcia

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T40 T29 T53 T22 T22 T36 T20 T22 T13 T16 T30 T58

Is flying under the radar scope, game is good and he could win in the next couple of weeks.

Solid contenders

Jason Dufner

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T4 7

Showed us in his last two starts that he can play well at Firestone.

Graeme McDowell

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T40 T24 65 T22 T45 T56 WD T52

He is fighting for a berth on the Ryder Cup team, doing it with some good play including a win in France.

Henrik Stenson

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T2 80 T29 T16 T41 T31 T13

Good course for him, he didn’t play great at Hoylake but will do well at Firestone.

Martin Kaymer

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T9 T29 T29 T22 T60 T68

Time for him to focus in on another major, he could win at Firestone.

Long shots that could come through:

Hideki Matsuyama

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T21

Hasn’t done anything since his Memorial win, but it’s time for him to start playing well again.

Tim Clark

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T58 T29 T20 T6 74 T51 T48 T64

Now that he isn’t worried about the 2016 long putting ban, his game has sparkled. Could be another good week for him.

Steve Stricker

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
13 T2 14 T9 T6 T43 T41

You never know, he has played well at Firestone maybe that could help him this year.

Tiger and Phil, it’s been a tough year

Tiger Woods

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
Win T8 T37 T78 Win Win Win Win T2 T4 4

Has the best record of anyone at Firestone, but I can’t see him winning. I can see a possible top-ten, but his game is no were close for a victory.

Phil Mickelson

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T21 T43 T48 T46 T58 T4 T46 T54 T51 T43 T23 T9

Has had a tough time with the putter all year long and can’t see that improving this week.

Comments

  1. Kevin Dillon says:

    Tiger and the Ryder Cup…I don’t think the TV, Sponsors, the tournament trustees etc would let Tom Watson NOT pick Tiger Woods on the team.
    Too much $$$ in ratings and sponsor exposure, and fan interest to not have him on the team.

  2. Of course NBC/Golf Channel want Tiger in the Ryder Cup. So does the PGA of America who want to see the highest possible ratings. In a way since they signed like a 20 year TV contract extension for the Ryder Cup it really doesn’t matter, their revenue is set in stone. But they do want to see high ratings and without Tiger that may not be possible.
    The PGA of America are I think honorable men and would probably “suggest” to a captain that Tiger is the good financial choice, but I don’t think they are going to put undue pressure for a Tiger pick. Doesn’t really matter because Tom Watson is going to do what he thinks is best for the team and would not be “swayed” if told to pick Tiger.
    I would also tell you that the European Team would love to see Tiger get picked because they think he is very weak and really doesn’t have that great of a Ryder Cup record.
    Be interesting to see which way it goes, the next two weeks I think are very important for Tiger to have any chance of playing the team, if he doesn’t play close to what we know of Tiger I don’t think Watson will pick him.

  3. Eric Simon says:

    Curious why Leishman didn’t hit your radar this week Sal. Thoughts?

  4. Easy, yes Leishman has played well finishing 5th at the British, 8th at Quicken Loans and 11th at Travelers. At the end of the day I based my decision on not because he was hot but because I feel he doesn’t play well at Firestone. I can tell you this, if he has another top-ten, and I would say that is probably Leishman’s goal for the week, I will think of him at the PGA.

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