It’s that time of the year when you simply need to peak. Traditionally held a week before the PGA Championship, the WGC – Bridgestone Invitational is one of those events that has had to face a schedule change as part of golf’s reintroduction into the Summer Olympics. We now have a WGC, three majors and the Olympic Games in a span of 10 weeks. The players will be looking at gaining some momentum, something like what Jason Day was up to at about this time last year.
Firestone CC is no cake walk. Over the years, it’s been rated as one of the tougher stops on the PGA Tour. Playing as a Par 70 at 7400-yards, the South Course has twice been ranked among the 10 toughest tracks on tour over the past three years.
Just look at the way ‘The Monster’ Par-5, 16th ranks among the other Par-5’s on the tour.
The 3 Keys to Success
1. Driving Accuracy
Fairways here are tree-lined and are quite undulating. Last season, Firestone ranked the toughest on tour as far as hitting fairways was concerned. Only 44% of the times were the players able to find the short grass.
Top Players This Week: Russell Knox, Emilliano Grillo and Brian Stuard.
2. Greens in Regulation
Although the greens at Firestone average 7,600 square-feet, they are quite narrow. Keeping approach shots on line will have its advantages. With some rain the last couple of weeks, the rough is up and lush. Last year, Firestone ranked the 3rd toughest course on tour to hit Greens in Regulation.
Top Players This Week: Rickie Fowler, Russell Knox and Justin Rose.
3. Par-5 Scoring Average
Thanks mostly to the 16th, Firestone traditionally has the highest Par-5 scoring average on tour. Tiger Woods always took advantage on these Par 5’s to gain ample shots on the field. In 2015, the Par 5s at Firestone played to an average of 4.82.
Top Players This Week: Jason Day, Justin Rose and Adam Scott.
Expect Firestone to play every bit as tough as Oakmont and Congressional.