WGC Bridgestone Invitational Preview: Betting Tips & How To Watch

The WGC Bridgestone Invitational returns to Firestone Country Club for the final time, as all 50 of the World’s best players are set to tee up in Akron, Ohio. 

That number includes Tiger Woods, who finished T6 at The Open to secure his spot in the field as he makes his final return to a place where he holds a lot of history. 

Already an eight-time winner at Firestone, Woods has risen from World No. 668th after the Hero World Challenge in December to World No.50 in 12 events in 2018 – recording four top 10s in his last nine starts. And while he may have won eight titles here in 15 starts, there are plenty of other players on a good run of form that are ready to give him a run for the title.

World No.1 Dustin Johnson missed the cut at The Open Championship but bounced back with a three-shot victory at the RBC Canadian Open last week, while World No.2 Justin Rose has four top 10s and a win is his last five starts – and could take the top spot from DJ with a win this week.  

With impressive records at Firestone, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler are also looking to do well, and although he may have never had a particularly stand-out result here there’s no denying the run of form Open Champion Francesco Molinari is currently on.

And then there’s the likes of Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Henrik Stenson and Jason Day.

But who should you be backing this week?

WGC Bridgestone Invitational: How To Watch 

Wednesday 1st August
On The Range, Sky Sports Golf (20:00)

Thursday 2nd August
Feature Groups: Sky Sports Golf – Red Button (14:00)
Live: Sky Sports Golf (18:30), Sky Sports Main Event (22:15)

Friday 3rd August
Feature Groups: Sky Sports Golf – Red Button (14:00)
Live: Sky Sports Golf (18:30), Sky Sports Main Event (22:15)

Saturday 4th August
Sky Sports Golf (19:00), Sky Sports Main Event (21:00)

Sunday 5th August 
Sky Sports Golf – Red Button (17:00), Sky Sports Golf (19:00), Sky Sports Main Event (19:00)

WGC Bridgestone Invitational: Betting Tips

Dustin Johnson – 13/2

Best result at Firestone: 1st (’16)
Last five results: 1-MC-3-1-T8

Winner here in 2016 (T17 last year), and comes in with confidence after victory at RBC Canadian Open – his third win of the year and 19th on the PGA Tour. His only missed cut came at The Open two weeks ago, and otherwise he has had just one other result outside the top 20 in his last 17 starts. Ranks 1st for SG: Off the tee, SG: Tee to green, Birdie Average, Par 3, Par 4 and Par 5 Scoring Average, and 2nd for putting average.

Tiger Woods – 12/1

Best result at Firestone: 1st (’99,’00, ’01,’05,’06,’07,’09,’13)
Last five results: T6-T4-MC-T23-T11

With back-to-back top 10 finishes on Tour and the most successful history of any golfer here, it’s no surprise Tiger is one of the favourites to win the last time this event is staged here. He’s only finished outside the top 10 in three of his 15 starts at Akron, in addition to winning eight of those, and says ‘this place just fits my eye’. He currently ranks inside the top 10 on Tour for SG: Approach the green, SG: Around the green, SG: Tee to green, and Scoring Average.

tiger dj

Rory McIlroy – 12/1

Best Result at Firestone: 1 (’14)
Last five results: T2-T28-T12-MC-T8

Rory’s final round performance saw him match Justin Rose as the clubhouse leader for a brief moment at The Open before Francesco Molinari was crowned champion. However, that was Rory’s second T2 in just six starts, and he’ll be looking to continue his form this week. Has five top 10s here including his 2014 win. Ranks 8th Scoring Average, 10 SG: Tee to green, 11th SG: Off the tee.

Justin Rose – 12/1

Best Result at Firestone: T2 (’07)
Last five results: T2-T9-T10-T6-1

One of the most in form players on the planet right now, Rose has been enjoying a run of top 10s – which includes a victory at the Fort Worth Invitational. Finished T63 here in 2017 but has five other top 5s at Bridgestone, including back to back in 2014 and 2015. Ranks 7th SG: Putting, 2nd Scoring Average, 4th Birdie Average, 12th SG: Tee to green and 15th SG: Around the green.

Jordan Spieth – 18/1

Best result at Firestone: T3 (’16)
Last five results: T9-T42-MC-MC-T32 

Had a difficult Sunday at The Open but still has a lot of confidence after a better week, his best result since finishing 3rd at The Masters. Has teed up at Firestone four times (T13-T3-T10-T49) and despite a few bad results recently, Spieth’s stats are still impressive across the board. Ranks 5th for GIR, 10th for Birdie Average, 4th for Scoring Average (actual), 9thbogey avoidance. 

Rickie Fowler – 18/1

Best result at Firestone: T2 (’11)
Last five results: T28-T6-12-T20-T8

Fowler has four top 10s in his last four starts at WGC Bridgestone, and has two top 10s in his last five starts on Tour – making him a good bet this week. Ranks 11th for Scoring average, 6th in par-four scoring and 10th for scrambling.

Francesco Molinari – 22/1

Best Result at Firestone: T15 (’11)
Last five results: 1-2-T25-2-1 

The Open Champion doesn’t have a particularly strong record here (best result of T15 in seven starts), but he’s in the best form of his life, having won three times and finished runner up twice in his last six starts Worldwide. T24 here last year, and ranks 2nd SG: Tee to green, 4th SG: Off the tee, 16th for GIR and 18th for scoring average. 

molinari

Jason Day – 22/1

Best Result at Firestone: T3 (’16)
Last five results: T17-T12-MC-T44-T5 

Two victories and two other top 10s in 11 starts this year already, although without a top 10 since The Players. Day has teed up here eight times and has two top 5s, as well as three others top 25s. Ranks 1st for SG: Putting and SG: Around the green, 7th for Biridie Average and 9th for Scoring Average.

Justin Thomas – 25/1

Best Result at Firestone: T28 (’17)
Last five results: MC-T8-T56-T25-T8

Thomas missed his first cut since the 2017 Open Championship at Carnoustie two weeks ago, and is looking to bounce back here this week. In two starts he’s gone T33-T28, but given he’s had a win and five other top 10s in 15 starts this year, we certainly aren’t ruling him out. Ranks 4th SG: Tee to green and scoring average, 5th for birdie average, 6th for putting average and 7th SG: Approach the green. 

Jon Rahm – 25/1

Best Result at Firestone: T28 (’17)
Last five results: MC-T4-T5-MC-T5 

Missed his second cut of the year at The Open, but has had four top 10s and a victory in his last eight starts – including back to back weeks prior to teeing up at Carnoustie. Was T28 on his debut here last year. Ranks 2nd for birdie average, 2nd SG: Off the tee, 11th for putting average and 15th for GIR.

Tommy Fleetwood – 25/1

Best Result at Firestone: T28 (’17)
Last five results: T6-T12-MC-T59-2

Fleetwood followed up his T12 at The Open with a solid final round finish at the RBC Canadian Open to end up T6 – his sixth top 10 this year (which includes a victory in Dubai). Like Rahm, Fleetwood finished T28 on his debut last year. Ranks 6th Scoring Av, 8th Birdie Average, 9th SG: Off the tee, 12th SG: Tee to Green, 13th SG: Around the green and 18th overall putting average. 

Henrik Stenson – 28/1

Best Result at Firestone: T2 (’13)
Last five results: T35-T6-T26-T13-T23

In just 12 starts in 2018 Stenson has six top 10s, the most recent coming at the US Open before a T35 at The Open. He’s played at Firestone 10 times and had two top 10s, which have both come in his last four appearances (he was T17 last year). Ranks 1st for GIR and SG: Approach the green, 2nd for driving accuracy, 3rd for SG: Tee to green and Scoring Average. 

Paul Casey – 30/1

Best Result at Firestone:  T4 (’06)
Last five results: T7-T51-T2-T16-T20

In 13 starts at Firestone has three top 10s and five further top 20s, including a T5 finish last year. Has been incredibly consistent this year (five top 10s and a win), and responded to his T51 at The Open with a T7 at last week’s Porche European Open. Rank 6th SG: Approach the green, 7th Scoring average and 8th SG: Off the tee.

Alex Noren – 33/1

Best Result at Firestone: T28 (’17)
Last five results: T17-1-T25-T23-3

Noren came from seven shots back to become the unlikely winner of the HNA Open de France at Le Golf National a few weeks ago, and followed it up with a T17 at The Open. He’s had four top 5s, six top 25s and a win this year already, although despite being in form his best result in three starts at Firestone is T28 in 2017. Ranks 9th SG: Putting, 13th Scoring Average and 15th SG: Approach the green.

noren

Xander Schauffele – 40/1

Best Result at Firestone: T17 (’17)
Last five results: T2-T21-MC-T6-MC

T17 on his debut here last year, and he’s already proved he excels on the big stage, following a T6 at the US Open with a joint 2nd place finish at The Open. No particular stand-out stats, but we reckon he’s a good bet this week.

Patrick Reed – 45/1

Best Result at Firestone: T4 (’14)
Last five results: T9-T28-T23-MC-4

The Masters Champ had a chance to win on the European Tour last week but struggled during the final round, yet it still goes down as his seventh top 10 of the year – which includes his win around Augusta National. Reed finished T36 here last year, and ranks 3rd SG: Around the green.

Kevin Chappell – 70/1

Best Result at Firestone: T3 (’16)
Last five results: T6-MC-T30-65-MC

Has gone T3-T13 in his only two starts at the Bridgestone Invitational, and comes in following a T6 at The Open at Carnoustie. A very mixed 2018 so far with four top 10s and six missed-cuts, but clearly good around this course. Ranks 10th SG: Off the tee.

Thorbjorn Olesen – 80/1

Best Result at Firestone: T10 (’17)
Last five results: T12-T6-MC-T2-MC

The bookies have him at 80/1, but don’t underestimate Olesen. He’s played at Firestone twice with a best result of T10 last year, and in his last six starts despite two MCs has had a victory, two other top 10s and a T12 at The Open. 

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