One of American golf’s most historic golf courses will host the season’s final WGC event for the last time this week at the World Golf Championships: Bridgestone Invitational. Last year, Hideki Matsuyama won by five strokes over Zach Johnson for his first WGC title. He’s returning to defend his championship against an elite field including past Bridgestone Invitational winners Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, and eight-time winner Tiger Woods. Tiger squeaked into the field after a tie for 6th in the Open Championship, and will have one last shot in Akron before the tournament moves to Memphis. Other notables in the field include reigning major champions Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka, as well as Jason Day, who has two WGC event wins to his credit.
The South Course at Firestone CC has hosted this event, or a variation of it, since 1976. It has hosted three PGA Championships, and for decades has been considered one of the toughest golf courses on the PGA Tour. Starting next year, it will host a major on the PGA Tour: Champions.
Players to Watch:
Tiger Woods: It’s been a comeback year that no one could have expected: four top-10s, including a runner-up at Valspar. The only thing missing is a win, something he’s done at Firestone in more than half his starts. It would be extremely fitting for him to get career win number 80 on a course he’s had so much success on.
Dustin Johnson: Followed up a missed cut at the Open Championship with his third win of the season last week in Canada. The 2016 Bridgestone Invitational winner could have a breakthrough season in what has been a fruitful career thus far with a win this week.
Henrik Stenson: One of the best ball-strikers in the world, he leads the PGA Tour in Driving Accuracy. Five top-10s including a runner-up in a WGC event at the beginning of the season, don’t be surprised to see Henrik challenge for the win come Sunday.