Your DFS Scouting Report for the WGC Bridgestone Invitational
Course: Firestone CC (Akron, Ohio)
Yardage: 7,400 – Par 70
Purse : $10 M
Field: 72 Players
*recent WGC Bridgestone Invitational Champions
Dustin Johnson just kept rolling along with another easy victory at the RBC Canadian Open. With his third win of the year and 19th of his career, Johnson is surely on his way to a spot in the World Golf Hall-of-Fame. The easy three-shot victory has been his closest margin of victory of the season. His win at the Sentry Tournament of Champions came by eight, and his eagle hole-out at the FedEx St. Jude landed him a six-shot victory. These days when he’s in a field that’s far weaker than him, more often than not he’s going to win, especially on courses like Glen Abbey. Johnson shot four scores of 68-66-65-66, seemingly shooting scores of six-under in his sleep. Courses that don’t serve out hefty punishments for misses are just too easy for the long-hitting South Carolina native. At this point in his career, Johnson just needs to start racking up a few more major wins to add to his legacy.
The boys are all gonna be back in town as the Tour heads to Akron, Ohio for the WGC Bridgestone Invitational. As a WGC event, the field is made up of just 72 players who qualified by being one of the Top 50 golfers in the world, being part of the President’s Cup team last year, or having won an event within the last calendar year. All50 of the world’s top players will tee it up at Firestone Country Club, but all eyes will be squarely trained on Tiger Woods, and how can they not be? This tournament, along with the Bay Hill Invitational, have been by far his most dominant events on Tour. Tiger Woods has won this event as much as LeBron James wishes he’d won in Miami. Not six…not seven….EIGHT! Every time he has won it’s been at Firestone Country Club. With 2018 being the final year of the Bridgestone being held at Firestone, Woods will have a chance to make it a ninth win at Firestone Country Club.
In addition to Tiger Woods, the rest of the world’s best will all be there in an attempt to stop him from winning his ninth Bridgestone Invitational. The rest of the Top 10 gang in Justin Rose, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm, Francesco Molinari (the newest member), Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, and Jason Day will be there. Tommy Fleetwood has been a Top 10 staple almost every week that he plays, 2018 Masters winner Patrick Reed, last year’s winner Hideki Matsuyama will be looking to get something going in the midst of a down year, Phil Mickelson has been pretty quiet since his win in Mexico, and the rest of the gang will all be battling it out for the $1.7 million prize.
Firestone Country Club is a par 70 that plays 7,400 yards and is known as a ballstrikers track. A Par 72 playing 7,400 is easy money for these guys, but take away those two shots to make it a Par 70, and now we’ve got ourselves a challenge for the world’s best. Players have to be on top of their long irons and hybrids to play well at the site. Seven of the 18 holes play between 450 and 500 yards so golfers who can strike their approaches from 175-200 yards will be at an advantage with a good handful of shots coming from that distance this week. Of course, this is also a Par 70 track, so that means that Par 4 scoring will be a key factor this week. On a 7,400 yard course with only two par 5s, strokes gained: approach will be more important than usual.
Unlike last week when players were absolutely destroying the Par 5s, including an instance where Dustin Johnson was hitting pitching wedge from 180 yards on his second shot into a Par 5, this week there will be only two Par 5s, and only one of the two is reachable (the 16th is 667 yards! yikes!). Making loads of birdies won’t be necessary. Making 20 birdies is one way to win the event, but a solid scrambling game will go a long way. The winning score is usually in the low to mid double digits, so finding players who are solid in scrambling or strokes gained: around the green, will go a long way in helping keep those hard-earned birdies on the board.
Approach Proximity 175-200
Par 4 Scoring
Strokes gained: Approach
Strokes Gained: Around the Green
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