Picks & Preview for WGC Bridgestone Invitational

Earl C

This week, we are taking a look at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational. Before we get into this week, let’s face last week head on.  I gave out Dustin Johnson as the player to fade and…..well, we all know how that went. Congrats to anyone who played DJ last week at the RBC Canadian Open.  Time to move on to the WGC Bridgestone Invitational.

This tournament is being played at the Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. This is the final year that this tournament will be played at Firestone, as next year the tournament will move to TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee.  

The WGC Bridgestone Invitational will feature 73 golfers instead of the normal 156 golfers. All of these golfers have been invited to participate in this week’s golf tournament.  

There is no cut for this week due to the fact that it is a reduced field and invitation only.  The entire Top 50 of the World Golf Rankings is playing in this tournament so it certainly should be very interesting to watch.  This is basically the quality of a major tournament on the PGA Tour and should play as such.

Firestone is a Par 70 golf course and measures right around 7,400 yards.  This is a long course but don’t get blinded by long drivers off the tee. Both bombers and strategic players have had success at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational.   One thing that stands out among all of the winners is they must be accurate.

The fairways here at Firestone are very difficult to play on and should be approached with a great deal of caution.  The rough is penalizing and will be thick. The golfers must be certain that they hit the fairways because if they end up out in that rough, they will severely struggle to try to get up and down.

Additionally, the greens, all though they are larger than average from what they will see on tour, are very tricky not because they are overly fast but more so because of the runoffs.  Approach these greens with care and caution and most will do fine. If they get too aggressive, they will be in a world of trouble!

The WGC Bridgestone Invitational will all get started on Thursday morning, July 26 and run through Sunday, July 30, 2018.

Top Bet at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational –  Rickie Fowler 20/1

The top bet for the WGC Bridgestone Invitational is Rickie Fowler at 20/1.  Fowler has really strong numbers here at Firestone, mainly his 6th place Bogey Avoidance and 6th place Par 4 Scoring, both of which are very important at this course.  Fowler is coming in off a 28th place finish at The Open Championship and a 6th place at Scottish Open.

Top Longshot at WGC Bridgestone Invitational –  Ian Poulter 100/1

Our longshot play of the week is Ian Poulter at 100/1.  There is no way that Poulter should be 100/1. He has played here every year dating back to 2006, with the exception of the past two years.  This year, he is the 32nd ranked golfer and qualified for the WGC Bridgestone Invitational. With the exception of the Open Championship, Poulter has been in really good form, finishing 12th in his last tournament, the RBC Canadian Open.         

Top Fade at WGC Bridgestone Invitational – Hideki Matsuyama  33/1

My top fade this week is Hideki Matsuyama at 33/1.  Matsuyama won here last year but he was in very different form compared to this year.  Besides last year, he really hasn’t played good here, finishing in 42nd, 37th, 12th and 21st place.  Matsuyama is not playing well here lately and I just can’t see playing him. Fade him this week.

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