Previews and pre-event analysis from Golf Betting System's PGA Tour and European Tour coverage
To read Steve Bamford's WGC Bridgestone Invitational Tips for 2014 click here. Follow Steve on twitter: @bamfordgolf
The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational is played at the iconic South Course at Firestone Country Club, in Akron, Ohio. This World Championship tournament has traditionally been dominated by Tiger Woods who has won an amazing 8 titles and the mere matter of $9.85 million here since 1999. Firestone is a tough, technical Par 70, which at 7,400 yards plays into the hands of long, straight drivers of the golf ball. This Invitational always features a stellar field of circa 75 players and the winner receives a 3-year exemption on the PGA Tour. Read Paul Williams' Bridgestone Invitational tips for 2014 click here
Tournament Facts & Scheduling
The Bridgestone Invitational is a real 'love in' for golf's elite players. Featuring a small field that comprises of the OWGR Top 50, President's/Ryder Cup team members and tournament winners of high quality (115 OWGR points) worldwide events; the Bridgestone offers a huge haul of ranking points that fellow professionals simply don't have access to. The tournament is always scheduled to be played the week before the US PGA Championship, which naturally makes logical sense; and the results here continually include the winner of the final Major Championship. The Bridgestone is always played on the first weekend of August; and runs concurrently on the PGA Tour with the Barracuda Championship, hosted at Montreaux G&CC in Reno, Nevada.
Bridgestone Invitational Course Details
Firestone Country Club (South Course), Akron, Ohio. Designer: Bert Way 1928, with Robert Trent Jones renovation 1960; Course Type: Technical; Par: 70; Length: 7,400 yards; Bunkers: 82; Fairways: Pencross Bentgrass Poa Annua; Rough: Kentucky Bluegrass with Perennial Ryegrass; Greens: 7,619 sq.ft average featuring Pencross Bentgrass Poa Annua; Stimpmeter: 13ft Scoring Avg 2012: 70.70 Ranked 16 of 49 courses for difficulty on the 2012 PGA Tour 2013: 71.05 Ranked 9 of 43 courses in 2013 for difficulty.
Previous Champions:2013: Tiger Woods; 2012: Keegan Bradley; 2011: Adam Scott; 2010: Hunter Mahan; 2009: Tiger Woods; 2008: Vijay Singh.
2013: -15/265; 2012: --13/267; 2011: -17/263; 2010: -12/268; 2009: -12/268; 2008: -10/270
Winners Prices: 2013: Woods - 5/1 2012: Bradley - 60/1 2011: Scott - 50/1 2010: Mahan - 45/1 2009: Woods- 9/5
Pre-Tournament Key Summary The Bridgestone Invitational has an interesting set of trends which are well worth considering. Firstly, course debutants never win the tournament. Indeed Bo Van Pelt was the last tournament debutant to feature in the Top 5 back in 2010; although many will remember the play of Keegan Bradley in 2011 up until his Sunday collapse. In a tale that will one day become golfing legend, he then went to Atlanta Athletic Club and won the PGA Championship on his Major Championship debut. At 7,400 yards for its par of 70 shorter players struggle here.
The course feature that's really interesting about Firestone's South Course, is that the Robert Trent Jones classic features a majority of holes that are straight as a dye. Total driving is therefore a key stat and with only 20 acres of fairway, surrounded by 70 acres of rough that graduates up to 4" in thickness, straying from the short stuff is severely punished.
Recent winners Mahan, Scott, Bradley and Woods have all featured in the Total Driving category when they've arrived in Ohio. Long and straight rules around a course which features 7 Par 4s which are all longer than 460 yards. The traditional Par 70 format also features only a pair of Par 5s, the second of which is a shuddering 667 yards in length.
Below we track the results of Golf Betting System European Tour tipster Paul Williams who has been producing weekly tips since 2009. You can also follow him on Twitter @GolfBetting.