After being shunted around in the schedule to accommodate the Olympics last year, the Bridgestone Invitational returns to its traditional slot the week before the USPGA Championship. As a World Golf Championship event, the limited field is full of the world’s best players and keeps the top class golf going before we head to Quail Hollow.
The WGC Bridgestone Invitational has only been held away from Firestone Country Club once before and it is back to the Ohio course that the players head this week. At 7,400 yards, Firestone is the longest par 70 that these players have to contend with all season.
With Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy winning in the last three years, it’s clear that power off the tee is a major positive here but it’s much more than a simple grip it and rip it course. Approach play into the tricky greens is important and therefore, so is hitting fairways. It’s also nigh on impossible for players to win without feeling comfortable on the lightning fast putting surfaces.
Koepka Looks Great Value for Another Big Win
Brooks Koepka is a great example to any young golfer with hopes of getting to the top of the sport. The American chose to travel on the Challenge Tour and then the European Tour to sharpen his game and competitive instincts as a younger man and he is now very much reaping the rewards of that hard work.
Now officially the 10th best player in the world, Koepka has the luxury of being able to plan his schedule. His last two starts were at the U.S. Open where he won his first major title and the Open Championship where he combated another tough course to finish in a tie for sixth. Despite those two eye catching performances, Koepka is still flying under the radar relative to the likes of Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson. At 20/1 with Coral, Koepka is the standout bet for the Bridgestone Invitational.
Berger to Prove Himself Against the World’s Best
Another player who doesn’t quite get the recognition that his wonderful talent fully deserves is Daniel Berger. One of a large crop of young American players who blend great athletic ability with touch on and around the greens, Berger won his second PGA Tour title at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. A missed cut at the U.S. Open is the only blot on an impressive run of recent form. He had to withdraw on his debut at Firestone last year but is more than capable of putting that disappointment behind him so back Berger each way at 45/1 with Betfred.
Consistency Key for Schwartzel
Charl Schwartzel took the decision to remain in Europe following the Open and came very close to contending in the latter stages of the Porsche European Open last week. There was plenty of good golf from the South African but a poor third round and a couple of mistakes towards the end of his tournament put paid to his chances of winning. With some smart course management, Schwartzel could well contend at Firestone at odds of 66/1 with Bet365.