Small but high quality field head to Firestone for WCG Bridgestone
Ahead of the final Major of the year there’s an excellent field in Ohio this weekend for the third WGC event of the season.
Just 77 players will head to the Firestone Country Club this week for the Bridgestone Invitational and because the field is limited to top 50 players and recent tournament winners there is no place for Tiger Woods, despite the former world number one having won the event a staggering eight times.
Keep reading for our preview of the 2015 WGC Bridgestone Invitational.
World’s top golfers face tough challenge at Firestone
Firestone is as tough a course as the world’s best face and, at 7,400 yards, it’s easily the longest par 70 in a non-major. There are two par 5s, Nos. 2 and 16 and the latter is the longest hole on the PGA Tour at 667 yards. The last eagle recorded there was by Soren Hanson in 2008 and he holed out from over 100 yards to achieve it.
Hitting fairways with long drives and scoring well on the par 4-s are the key to success this week. Last year’s winner Rory McIlroy averaged 3.77 on the par 4s last year on his way to the title.
Your golf betting favourites
When deciding who to back this week it’s worth remembering that as this is an invitation event the field is only around half the size of a normal PGA Tour event.
In the absence of the defending champion Rory McIlroy who is continuing to recover from an ankle injury, the worthy favourite is Jordan Spieth. It’s been a stellar year for the youngster with two Majors under his belt and in his last four starts he has been beaten by just five golfers.
Spieth leads the Tour in par-4 scoring – an important statistic at Firestone – and is by some distance the form player in the world. He is the 5/1 favourite.
Despite narrowly missing out on the last two Majors, Jason Day proved his credentials by bouncing back to win the Canadian Open on his last start. The Australian is one of an elite group at the top of the sport and he leads the Tour in birdies or better and is second in the all-around rankings.
Day ought to be there or thereabouts at 12/1.
Rickie Fowler has missed a couple of cuts recently but when he’s made the weekend he has generally performed exceptionally well. Wins at the Scottish Open and Players Championship in his last 7 starts show that his form is good and he shot 15 under par for a solo second at the Quicken Loans National last time out.
Fowler was the runner-up at this event in 2011 and can go well at 16/1.
Some golf betting outsiders to consider
Only Rory McIlroy stands in front of Danny Willett in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai. The Englishman is now up to number 24 in the world after a great season that has seen him finish solo third at the WGC Match Play and T6 at the Open at St Andrews.
Willett is yet to win on the PGA Tour but he has acquitted himself well in strong company this season. He finished T12 at the first WGC event of the season and T38 at the Masters and arrives in Ohio on the back of a European Tour win in Switzerland last week.
No Englishman has ever won the Bridgestone but Willett could be the first at 69/1.
We suggested that you follow Brooks Koepka at the Open and the 2014 European Tour Rookie of the Year narrowly finished outside an each-way place at St Andrews. The 25 year old has finished inside the top 25 in each of his last five worldwide starts and looks to have the ideal game for Firestone.
Koepka ranks 8th on the PGA Tour in driving distance and in the top ten for strokes gained putting, both of which could play a significant part this week. We like his chances at 39/1.
Check out all our pre-tournament odds on the 2015 WGC Bridgestone Invitational over at our main site at https://www.betbright.com/golf/outrights/men/wgc-bridgestone-2015-winner