Europeans fear Tiger at Firestone.
WGC Bridgestone International
The WGC Bridgestone Invitational will be staged at the traditional site of the Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio in what promises to be a prelim to the 93rd USPGA Championship that begins the following week.
The Invitational is an official tournament for both the European and US Tour, it has a smaller field than your usual top event with a field of around just 75 players who are invited subject to the following criteria:
- Playing members of the last named Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup teams (whichever was played last).
- Players ranked among the top 50 on the Official World Golf Rankings (one week and two weeks prior to event).
- Tournament winners of worldwide events since the prior year's tournament with an Official World Golf Ranking Strength of Field Rating of 115 points or more.
- The winner of one selected tournament from each of the PGA Tour of Australasia, Sunshine Tour, Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour.
The Europeans will go into the Bridgestone with huge confidence. They have secured the last six Major Championships and also won four of the last six World Golf Championship (WGC) events. The stand out name will be Rory McIlroy 14/1, this will be his first appearance back in the US since his eight-stroke US Open victory and he is excited to have the American fans cheer him round.
Meanwhile the British Open Champion Darren Clarke 100/1 is also keen to tee-off at Firestone. Having won this tournament back in 2003, he feels comfortable on this course and he will feel that his golf is in good shape despite his poor performance missing the cut at the Irish Open.
Other Europeans to look out for will of course be the World numbers 1&2 Luke Donald 18/1 and Lee Westwood 16/1 as well as the new and improved Sergio Garcia 25/1 and Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel 33/1. Add to this the late entry of Simon Dyson 100/1 thanks to his Irish Open Victory and the European Tour contingent has a great chance of claiming yet another victory on US soil.
As for the Americans only one name has been talked about in the run-up to the Bridgestone. Tiger Woods 16/1 has won this event an astonishing seven times, including a 21-under-par victory back in 2000 when he won by a record 11-strokes. This will be Tiger's first tournament since injury forced him to withdraw from the Players Championship in May, and even when considering his recent form and history 16/1 on this golf course must be seen as unbelievable value.
Taking the spotlight away from the 14 time Major Champion, Hunter Mahan 25/1 won this title last year and is very proud to have a WGC event to his CV. He has struggled of late with no top 25 finishes in his last five starts, however his record here is strong with a total of three top 10's in four starts.
The co-runner-up at the British Open Dustin Johnson 16/1 would be where my money would go this week. The American is in great form with three consecutive top 20's in Europe with his driving ability he will be one of the golfer's who will excel at Firestone which is the longest par 70 at 7,400 yards.
All-in-all a top golfing event which will give everyone a great insight into how the USPGA will unfold. Tiger Woods will be leading the American charge as they hope to overthrow the dominant Europeans on home soil. We will be offering a huge range of markets at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational where you can also bet live In-play during the day's play. Why bet anywhere else!