It’s D-Day In Ohio!
WGC Bridgestone Invitational
Man of the moment, Jordan Spieth, heads the betting at 11/2 for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio but steer clear at such short odds.
The Bridgestone Invitational is the third of four World Golf Championship events, and like the two that precede it in the calendar, offers a bigger purse for the winner than any of the Majors. It’s an invitational, so the field is roughly half the size of a normal PGA Tour event. As you’d expect, this is an extremely competitive tournament, and it tends to go to one of the sport’s top players.
Apart from the 2002 edition, this competition has been held at the South Course, Firestone Country Club, Akron, Ohio, since its inauguration. A par-70 of over 7400 yards, the course has earned the nickname ‘The Monster’ and will be set up as though for a Major this week, with some tough pin positions. Conditions will be fast and firm underfoot, but distance from the tee will be crucial.
In The Bunker
Last seen finishing fourth at the British Open, Jordan Speith is well on the way to overtaking Rory McIlroy at the top of the world rankings. His record this year is an astonishing 12 top ten finishes from 18 starts, including three victories and three second-places. But at short odds he doesn’t appeal this week. He has only played this tournament once, finishing outside the top forty and it is just possible that the ultra-long layout will put his driving under pressure. At 11/2, he is worth opposing.
Not so long ago, Jason Day was struggling, missing the cut at the Players Championship and at Memorial, but he’s turned things around in recent weeks.
A top ten at the US Open was followed by a fourth at the British Open and victory in Canada a fortnight ago.
An Ohio resident, he has some form in this event, finishing fourth in 2011 and at 14/1, he looks a solid bet this week.
Bubba Watson missed the cut at the US Open and the British Open but otherwise his form has been strong. He won the Travelers Championship at the end of June and last week recovered from his St Andrews disappointment to finish second at the Canadian Open. He has made the top 25 three times in this event but I still feel he has the game to win it and he offers plenty of value at 33/1.
Keegan Bradley’s recent results haven’t been that spectacular, with the only highlights being a top ten at Memorial in June and a fifth at the Houston Open two months before that. But his record on this tricky course has to be respected. He won at Firestone in 2012, finished second in 2013 and fourth last year. Not surprisingly, it’s his favourite course on the PGA Tour and at 35/1, he has to be on your shortlist.
*Prices correct at time of publication