Expert Picks for World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational
Since 2003, Choi has competed in all eight Firestone events with three finishes of 22nd or better. Earlier in the season, he compiled four consecutive finishes of eighth or better that was capped off with a victory in THE PLAYERS Championship. Since then, Choi has only one finish better than 22nd in five starts, a runner-up performance at the AT&T National. The Korean has plenty of experience at this venue while in the midst of a career year.
Jason Day - World Ranking: #4
Since finishing with a share of second at the Masters, Day picked up four more top-10s in seven starts, highlighted by a runner-up result at the U.S. Open. Last year was his first career start at Firestone and saw him finish with a respectable T22. Day ranks 18th in scoring average, 20th in birdie average, 21st in driving distance and 10th in All-Around Ranking.
A year ago, BVP finished T3 in his first career start at Firestone as one of only two players to record all four rounds in the 60s. He currently ranks seventh in total driving, 12th in eagles (holes per) and ninth in All-Around Ranking. Over his last seven starts, Van Pelt has finished outside of the top-15 just once and has been among the most consistent players since late May.
Adam Scott - World Ranking: #14
The 31-year-old Australian finished a career-best T9 last year at Firestone and now has Steve Williams, former caddy for Tiger Woods, carrying his bags. In his last two starts, Scott finished T3 at the AT&T National and T25 at The Open Championship. With a few weeks off and the expert guidance of Williams, who has seen this tournament won numerous times by Tiger, Scott figures to challenge for yet another top-10 finish.
Sergio Garcia - World Ranking: #5
Since 2004, Garcia has finished 22nd or better in six of his seven starts at Firestone. He recently picked up top-10s at both the U.S. and British Open events, but finished a disappointing T39 at The Greenbrier Classic. On Tour, Garcia ranks fourth in scoring average and should start to finally begin picking apart a course he’s seen quite often.
Bill Haas - World Ranking: #39
Coming off a share of second place last week at The Greenbrier Classic, Haas has now made six consecutive cuts and nine of his last 10. Last year at Firestone, Haas finished T33 in his first start at the site. He ranks seventh in greens in regulation percentage, ninth in total driving and 12th in All-Around Ranking.
Rickie Fowler - World Ranking: #9
In his lone start at Firestone, Fowler finished T33 after opening with a share of 11th last year. Over his last eight starts this season, he’s finished 22nd or better on six occasions with two missed cuts. Fowler ranks sixth in birdie average, 19th in scoring average and 13th in All-Around Ranking. While he hasn’t exactly been in contention come Sunday, Fowler is emerging as a safe and consistent play.
Zach Johnson - World Ranking: #69
After a slow start to the season, Johnson has 16th or better in five of his last eight starts. At Firestone, he’s finished 16th or better in three of the last four. Johnson ranks eighth in driving accuracy percentage, ninth in strokes gained – putting, 14th in scoring average and eighth in All-Around Ranking. Since the month of the May, Johnson has looked like a totally different player and should not be overlooked.
Bubba Watson - World Ranking: #40
Since picking up his second win of the season, Watson has made six straight cut,s but has not finished better than 30th. In his first career start at Firestone last year, Watson opened with a 6-under 64 to lead by two strokes. However, he ultimately slipped to finish T22. Watson ranks second in driving distance, greens in regulation percentage and eagles (holes per). He also sits 10th in birdie average. If Watson is able to stay locked in over the weekend, he'll easily outperform this ranking.
Brandt Snedeker - World Ranking: #32
After missing the cut at The Open Championship, Snedeker has taken some time off and withdrawn from his last two events. Prior to that, Snedeker had finished 16th or better in three of his last four starts. He won earlier in the season after collecting a pair of top-fives and three other top-15s. Snedeker ranks second in strokes gained – putting, 11th in eagles (holes per), 12th in scoring average and 16th in All-Around Ranking.
Graeme McDowell - World Ranking: #92
In seven Tour starts since late March, McDowell has missed four cuts with only one top-15 finish. Last year at Firestone, McDowell got off to a quick start, but faded to finish T22 (although that marked his best finish in four career starts). On Tour, McDowell ranks 30th in All-Around ranking, but appears a bit off his game.
Gary Woodland - World Ranking: #46
Among the limited number of first-timers in this event, Woodland is the best one to roll the dice on. In his first seven starts of the season, he finished sixth or better on five occasions and picked up his first career Tour victory. While he’s cooled off a bit since, Woodland is coming off a T4 at The Greenbrier Classic and could be heating back up. He ranks sixth in driving distance, 11th in greens in regulation percentage, 15th in scoring average and 19th in All-Around Ranking.
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