This week, the PGA Tour makes its annual trip to Firestone Country Club in Akron Ohio for the 2013 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Firestone always attracts a great field with many big name internationals joining the elite-only event. Just a reminder that there is no cut this week, so it’s a good week to take some risks since everyone plays through the weekend barring injury. There’s also enough history at Bridgestone to get players who have good history at this track and build a solid star-studded roster for the week.
My picks tore it up last week and only a few poorly timed benchings keeping me from an even better week. I had the champion (Snedeker), the player who could have won if he didn’t leave to be there for his baby’s birth (Mahan), and two of the players that finished t2 (Kuchar and D.Johnson). My week was good, but “Above Par” had an even better week going for an even 200 while taking over the lead in our summer segment standings. Above Par is still second in the overall standings just behind Foot-Wedge. Big-time props to Above Par for his fifth win of the eason in our group which is the most of anyone in the group.
This week, I’m hoping to keep my roll going with these picks:
Tiger Woods: Tiger’s history here makes him an obvious pick, but one that’s also too good to pass up on unless you’re out of Tiger starts. I still have five, so I’m going with Tiger for this week. He has won this event seven times most recently in 2009 and finished t8 last year. He’s coming off a t6 at Muirfield in the Open Championship as he goes for his fifth win on Tour this season.
Bill Haas: Haas has finished in the top ten in his last three non-Majors although he’s missed the cut at both the US and British Open. Last year, he finished t19 at Firestone and has eight top ten’s this season. The A-list is full of top possibilities, but I’ll take a shot on Haas this week based on his current form and solid play last year at this event.
Steve Stricker: Stricker was co-runner up last year and has been in the top 15 in the last four Bridgestones. He hasn’t won on tour this season but has a pair of runner-up’s and four top 10’s including at the US Open and the John Deere in his last two starts.
Keegan Bradley: Bradley looks to defend his title at Firestone after storming from behind in the final round to get the win. He’s been up-and-down lately but did finish in the top 20 in two of his last three starts at the Travelers and the British Open. His best finish on tour this season was a runner-up finish at the Byron Nelson, but he has been in the top ten six times.
Jim Furyk: Furyk tied with Stricker just behind Bradley last year, and looks to chase a solid t9 last week at the Canadian open with his first win of the season. He has three top ten’s on the year but has also missed the cut in two of his last four events. He’s a risk, but has the history to finish well here too. He’s played the event every year since 1999 when it become a WGC event. In that time he has eight top ten’s including a playoff loss to Tiger back in 2000.
Justin Rose: Rose struggled at the Open Champinoship but had three top 15’s in his three events before that including his US Open win. He has a pair of top five’s at Firestone including a t5 last year.
Adam Scott: Scott finished t3 in the Open Championship two weeks ago and won this event in 2011. He has three top 10’s in this event in his career and looks to be back in form after a post-Masters lull.
Hideki Matsuyama: Matsuyama is coming off a top 20 in Canada after a top ten in the British Open. He was tearing up the Japanese Tour and has shown himself to be ready for international competition with strong finishes the last two weeks. This will be his first WGC event.