This week sees the return of the World Golf Championship (WGC) at one of the most iconic golf courses on the US Tour, The Firestone Country Club, in Akron, Ohio has a long history having hosted PGA Tour events for over five decades. The South Course with its great views of the Firestone water tower provides a challenging, test.
Opened back in 1929 and designed by Bert Way, it then had a redesign by Robert Trent Jones in 1960. It’s a tough track at 7,400 yards with two halves of 35 making a par 70.
My tips to win:
It’s hard to ignore Tiger Woods 18/1 with StanJames even in his current run of form when it comes to playing at the Firestone Country Club. Tiger has won this event no fewer than eight times, with one runners-up finish. He has also won it three times on the spin twice, such is his dominance here, and at these odds it’s probably the only time you will see Tiger Woods and the words bargain in the same sentence!
Justin Rose 18/1 with PaddyPower had an awful Open Championship, but then it did come on the back of two wins so it really needs to be looked at in perspective, and with a weeks rest I am sure we will see Justin challenging here this week in his build up to the PGA Championship.
In his recent interview with the BBC Rickie Fowler 25/1 with Coral stated he had targeted the major championships this year, and with the Bridgestone Invitational being part of that build up to next week’s PGA Championship, I think we will see Rickie in the thick of it come Sunday afternoon. Fowler had a runners-up finish here to Adam Scott 12/1 in 2011 so he does know how to score round here, and had a 64 in his second round and a final round of 66.
My each-way tips:
For someone who has not been outside the Top 15 in this tournament since 2009 I think Steve Stricker 50/1 represents great odds. As I have said many times I like Steve’s relaxed schedule, he is obviously enjoying life and when he does turn up for a tournament he seems to be in a calm relaxed mood which seems to help him play some of his best golf, and out of the seven tournaments he has played in since April he has only been outside of the Top 25 twice.
Ryan Moore 66/1 with Ladbrokes opened up with a 66 here last year but faded after that, but Ryan is on a great run of form at the moment and has had two Top 10 finishes and a twelfth place finish at the Open Championship. Moore has had a week off since the Open but his nine Top 25 finishes from fifteen starts shows he will probably in the thick of it come Sunday.
My outside tips:
After missing the cut at the Scottish Open Francesco Molinari 125/1 with 888Sport pulled it together to have a great Open Championship and finished in the Top 15, and with his Top 10 at the Players Championship and a Top 25 at the US Open, the Italian looks like he could be gearing up to make a challenge at next week’s PGA title. I think the American greens and their fast pace suit Francesco more than the greens on the European Tour and I can see him doing well here this week. I am also going to put a couple of 50p each-way bets on Fabrizio Zanotti 400/1 with Coral and Stephen Gallacher 150/1 with 888Sport, they are a couple of people I have tipped this year and have being playing well recently.
As always good luck.