Firestone Key Fantasy Stats

WGC – Bridgestone Invitational

August 3rd – 6th, 2017

Firestone C.C. (South)

Akron, OH

Par: 70 / Yardage: 7400

Purse: $9.75 million

with $1,620,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Dustin Johnson

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:

This is based on the most vital stats for the Firestone South, based on data from the 2016 WGC-Bridgestone Championship and using data from all the players in the field with stats from 2017.
Firestone is a relic to courses built in the 30s; long, straight, boring and tough. Firestone has been an important course on the PGA Tour, it’s had events just about every year from 1960 including the 1960, ’66 & ‘75 PGA Championship. Since 1999 it’s been the home to 16 of 17 WGC-Bridgestone and for 15 of those 16 years the course has played over par. Last year it played to a 70.97 average, almost a shot over par and was the 7th hardest course on the PGA Tour.

The course will play as one of the toughest courses of the year, it could surpass Augusta National which so far is the toughest course on the 2017 PGA Tour schedule at 1.9 shots over par. Making the course hard is from tee to green, Firestone fairways are tree lined with heavy rough and bunkered along with greens that hard to hit. Last year it was the hardest course on the PGA Tour to get it in the fairway and hardest greens to hit. Since 2005 every champion (except for Keegan Bradley in 2012 has finished in the top-four for the week in strokes gained Tee-to-Green so you can bet the farm that the winner will be in the top-10 of that stat for the year.
Winners rank in strokes gained Tee-to-Green for the week:
2016 – Dustin Johnson was 3rd
2015 – Shane Lowry was 4th
2014 – Rory McIlroy was 1st
2013 – Tiger Woods was 1st
2012 – Keegan Bradley was 21st
2011 – Adam Scott was 3rd
2010 – Hunter Mahan was 4th
2009 – Tiger Woods was 2nd
2008 – Vijay Singh was 1st
2007 – Tiger Woods was 1st
2006 – Tiger Woods was 3rd
2005 – Tiger Woods was 3rd
2004 – Stewart Cink was 15th


It’s been wet in the Akron area this summer, in the month of july close to 4 inches of rain has fallen. After good weather in Canada, it’s going to be cloudy with Thunderstorms on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Be better for the weekend with no rain. Good news temperatures will go down each day with Saturday being 75 and Sunday 79.  With the rain, it will make the course play even longer so look for those that fly the ball like Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlory to have an advantage if the fairways are wet.

Every phase of the game will be examined at Firestone. First you have to hit it straight off the tee because the fairways are tree lined with strategy placed bunkers that are tough to get out of, along with rough that is 2 to 4 inches. Last year and in 2015 Firestone had the hardest fairways to hit on tour, so driving it will be important. Once you hit the fairway, hitting it into the greens is not easy, last year Firestone was the hardest in greens in regulation and 3rd hardest in 2015. So you can see, if you hit it long and straight like Johnson you are 1 up. In winning last year Dustin was 1st in strokes gained off the tee and 3rd in strokes gained tee-to-green. He was 2nd in driving distance, T-4th in accuracy and T-5th in greens in regulation, the reason he won.

Our third category is putting inside 10 feet, the reason why is because Firestone could have the easiest set of greens. They are a touch slow and flat, with very little undulation players make lot’s of putts, last year the field ranked 24th on tour and the players made 87.91% of their putts from ten feet in so if your having putting problems, you shouldn’t even show up. Lot’s of course like Erin Hills and Augusta that you have to putt well to win, but poor putters can have their week at Firestone..

Last is par-4 avearge, Firestone has 12 par 4s with 11 of them over 400 yards. The shortest is the first at 399, but there are seven par 4s over 450 yards so you have to play the par 4s good. The last seven winners has played them in a total of 53 under par, that’s an average of 8.83 under par. Last year Dustin Johnson played the 4s in 3 under, the worst of a champion since Tiger Woods in 2009 played them in 2 under par.

So you can see Firestone will set up a very interesting challenge for the players. In looking at past champions of the WGC-Bridgestone they are a remarkable bunch of great players.

*Fairway Accuracy: percentage of times a drive is in the fairway

*Greens in Regulation: Stat is great barometer on how good players manage their games around Congressional. Every year the players that hit lot’s of greens do well.

*Putting inside 10 feet: For all holes where putting distance was determined with a laser, the percent of putts made when the ball is less than or equal to 10 feet from the hole.

*Par 4s: The average score on all par 4’s played

Here are the 51 of the 76 players from this year’s field with stats from 2017:

Click any column title in the table header to sort columns.

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