Looking at Tiger Woods' record at Firestone C.C, it looks pretty bleak for the rest of the Bridgestone Invitational field with Woods sitting on top of the market. The Tiger who dominated this course in the past now has a completely different swing and preferred tee shot though, and on a track like Firestone where driving distance and positioning are a premium, Woods may find things a little different this year. Tiger is not as long as he used to be and this gives us some reason to oppose
The Firestone course plays 7,400 yards to a par of only 70 and conditions are set to be fast and firm. Rough is usually a prominent feature both along the fairways and around the greens. There are some tricky pin positions around this track and length off the tee is a big advantage to allow good angles for approaches. Big hitters dominate the leaderboards through the years.
2012 Bridgestone Invitational Picks
Pick #1: Adam Scott e/w @ 18/1 (general) It was here at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational in 2011 where Scott came firmly onto the radar for this year's antepost money list tip. He dominated the course and looked calm and composed throughout, and his partnership with Williams was blossoming. He looked extremely strong, had the run of the greens and his game is a perfect fit for Firestone. Maybe in the past he'd have disappeared after his collapse at The Open but with Williams beside him, he may bounce back this week.
Pick #2: Hunter Mahan e/w @ 25/1 (general) is a multiple winner on tour in 2012. Coming into the event off the back of a lethargic performace at the Canadian Open, I will dismiss that after a long flight home from The Open Championship where Hunter finished in the top 20. Despite a mediocre effort last week, Mahan did close out with a 66 and that could be the springboard for a challenge on a track where he's won and finished 4th in recent seasons. Excellent tee to green game and ranks third in total driving.
Pick #3: Bubba Watson @ 35/1 (general) Not a lot of starts at Firestone for Bubba with two top 25's in two appearances but he should now be familiar with the course setup. Ranking 1st in both driving distance and GIR%, the Masters champion can't be ingored at this price for me. The rough may not be as penal as in recent years which would be an advantage for Watson who is now a member of the world's elite.
Pick #4: Matt Kuchar e/w @ 40/1 (general) It seems Kooch is being ignored somewhat this week after an average showing in Canada. Again, like Mahan, I'd ignore this as it can happen after major Championships and Kuchar ticks all the right boxes for the Bridgestone Invitational. Kuchar averages 12th in approaches from 125-175 yards and 10th in proximity to the hole. 18th in GIR% and lies 2nd in the all round. T9 and T19 in last two years at Firestone.
WGC Bridgestone Invitational Sleeper Picks
Three relatively large odds picks that catch the eye this week are Jason Day, Keegan Bradley and Charl Schwartzel (all 66/1 e/w).
Day and Bradley featured strongly here last year and like Scott seemed to have the run of the greens. They, along with Schwartzel have the game to tackle Firestone and look largely over priced relative to the field. Day has had a few weeks off with his new kid which would explain his price. The first round leader market e/w at 50, 50 and 60/1 respectively also looks worth an investment and all represent good potential back-to-lay opportunities for trading purposes. Rafael Cabrera Bello's driving ability also makes him look a tasty long odds prospect this week. 150/1 best ew price in the FRL market and he's currently trading close to 300.0.
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