Tuesday, 29 July 2014

World Golf Championship Bridgestone Invitational

 
 
Defending Champion : Tiger Woods (seeking his 9th win at Firestone)
Invitational by the International Federation of PGA Tours
No Cut - 76 players in the field (Dustin Johnson has withdrawn)
 
The Bridgestone comes, as always just one week ahead of the year’s final Major, the PGA Championship, (to be played at Valhalla, Kentucky) and tends to be a real strong indicator as to who will win the PGA Championship that following week. Since 2006 up to 2013 every PGA champion has finished within the TOP 25 here at Firestone CC. Last year’s PGA Champion, Jason Dufner finished T4th at Firestone. Whilst this week may prove to be a more of a pointer for the following week there are trends and form at Firestone to be aware of. If Muirfield Village, home of the Memorial Tournament is fondly known as “Jack’s Place” then Firestone CC surely can be dubbed “Tigers Place” as Tiger Woods, the defending champion simply loves this course having won on it a record eight times. (Even playing in the dark!) The best in world golf normally prevail here and debutants struggle. The “Monster” South Course will need to be respected if wanting to succeed this week. Players arriving for this year’s instalment through the various qualifying criteria set down by the International Federation of Tours, will need to be in form if they expect to win, because in previous years the eventual winner here indeed arrived on the back of some strong results in their season.
 
 
Justin Rose failed to record a hat-trick of wins at The Open following his wins at Royal Aberdeen and Congressional but The Open hasn’t always been kind to him. Firestone though, suits much better. Justin was T5th here in 2012 and T17th twelve months ago. In the past 12 weeks, Rose has played ten tournaments, producing two WINS, three TOP10s and four TOP25s. He’s in some of the best form of his career and is Rory’s main challenger at present.
 
 
Keegan Bradley has shown his liking for Firestone with victory in 2012 followed up with a T2nd to runaway winner Tiger Woods in 2013. He was TOP15 in his debut the season before and that was after he held the 36-hole lead. A slow start to the 2014 campaign hasn’t deterred Bradley and he’s really beginning to put a nice run together of late. Maybe he just loves playing golf in July & August? A TOP20 at Hoylake came off the back of T4th at the Greenbrier and another T4th at The US Open at Pinehurst. Winner of the PGA Championship as a rookie in 2011, Bradley has shown he is a player for the big events and especially in the WGC strokeplay events. From his nine starts in the WGCs, he has finished in the TOP10 four times with four further TOP25s. He may even be a nice price this week.
 
Jim Furyk must be respected again this week. Jim is currently the 10th best player in the world at 44 years of age, and whilst he hasn’t won since the Tour Championship in 2010, he has been knocking out consistent results of late including six TOP10s this season. With three TOP10s here the past six seasons and arriving on the back of a 4th at Hoylake before his Canadian Open efforts, Furyk must come into consideration again this week. He may not have won last Sunday but he had put himself in contention yet again and he can maintain the momentum into this week. I favourited a tweet the other day from Jamie Kennedy (@jamieonsport) where he shows Furyk's 52 week H2H vs the TOP100 players in the world on a WIN-LOSS-TIE as 838-229-45. That's a win ratio of 75.4% the best in world golf at present. He has just 75 to contend with this week and I'm happy to stay onside.


Staking Plan : (8pts)

2 pts WIN J.Rose @ 20.00
1.5 pts e/w K.Bradley @ 25/1
1.5 pts e/w J.Furyk @ 22/1