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WGC – Bridgestone invitational


On Thursday 3rd August, only the best golfers Worldwide will start their hunt to conquer one of the most prestigious trophies outside the majors, the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, Akron, Ohio, USA.

A three-time host of the PGA Championship, the 7,400-yard, par-70 layout is not for the faint-hearted with rows of trees lining the fairways, thick rough beside them, some ferocious long par fours and a 670-odd yard par five two holes from home will surely challenge the best players in the World. No wonder, the legendary Arnold Palmer called it “The Monster”.

In 2016, only nine players finished under par in this same golf course. Keeping the ball in play is an obvious strategy on any layout at this level but it is key at Firestone CC. Low scores are there under optimum conditions; Sergio Garcia and Tiger Woods have both knocked it round in 61 recently, but heading into the trees just about ensures your next shot is a chip-out recovery.


The weather forecast also doesn’t look promising for the first two days as it threatens to downpour and possibly create thunderstorms but the stormy weather will have disappeared for the weekend to deliver some decent weather. The perfect setting for a grand finale.

Featuring only some of the best players in the World, including 55 of the top 56 players from the World Ranking and top players from both tours; the PGA tour & the European tour will contest at Firestone CC. With an attractive prize fund of just under $10million, who will prevail on Sunday?

Dustin Johnson defends title and with three wins (earlier in the season) & seven top 10’s already this season he definitely is one of the main contenders to win on Sunday. DJ, who also seemed to have found form again finished tied 8th last week at the RBC Canadian Open. The World no.1 will be also hoping to be the first player to win three WGC championships in a single year.

He’ll be in for some tough competition though. 2017 Open champion, Jordan Spieth, took a week off following his thrilling three-shot win at The Open. The World no.2 who also has three wins under his belt already this season and seven top 10’s arrives in Ohio rested and full of confidence plus with a tie for 3rd in last year’s event I can see him contending for the win on Sunday.

Next to watch out for is World no.4 Rory McIlroy, who so far has had a poor season to what we expect from him but from 9 events on the PGA Tour has had 5 top 10’s. His game seems to be missing the consistency throughout the four rounds of competition but after finishing 4th at The Open it could be the turning point for him to push for a strong finish to the season. The Northern Irishman, who won this same event on 2014 will be without his caddie J.P. Fitzgerald for the 1st time in nine years after being sacked.

Will have to wait and see for his reaction in his 1st tournament without his long-time caddie but with Rory anything is possible.

US Open champion, Brooks Koepka, can’t be forgotten. The 27 year old American is enjoying his best year ever. He arrives at Akron full of confidence after winning his 1st major, the US Open over a month ago and finished tied 6th at The Open two weeks ago. His one of the most dominant ball strikers in the World right now and he can also hit long, perfect combination for playing at Firestone CC. He also has done well here before, finished 6th in 2015. Watch out for Brooks.


World no.3 Hideki Matsuyama, one of the most consistent players on tour can’t be ignored either. The Japanese, came close to challenge Koepka for the US Open, just to finish tied 2nd. The best Asian player right now with only 25 years old, is considered already one of the stars of today’s game and not far off from his 1st major. Hideki, who has won already twice this season & has had 5 top 10’s will be surely with a chance on Sunday.

Just married! 2017 Masters champion, Sergio Garcia, will also be teeing off this week feeling buzzing having rested last week as he tied knots with new wife Angela Akins. The Spaniard, who has also had an amazing year so far winning at last that long awaited deserved major plus another big tournament in Dubai must also be on the spotlight this weekend. The World no.5 also came close in 2014 finishing 2nd in this same event only losing to Rory McIlroy and hasn’t missed a cut this season! Go on Sergio!

Only a week left for the last major of the season, the US PGA Championship. The FedexCup Playoffs & The Race to Dubai around the corner, we’ve reached a key moment of the season where its make or break for many of them.

Let the Bridgestone Invitational begin. Enjoy!

Noel Calzadilla