McIlroy, Kirk to miss Bridgestone Invitational due to injury
Spieth has chance to take over No. 1 position as 76 of 78 qualified players are expected to play
July 29, 2015
- July 29, 2015
- Rory McIlroy and Chris Kirk won't compete at Firestone Country Club. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
AKRON, Ohio – Rory McIlroy and Chris Kirk have informed tournament officials that they will not be playing next week’s World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, Aug. 5-9, due to injury. Several of the game’s top players, however, will highlight an exciting field, including Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Zach Johnson, who have all recorded thrilling victories over the last three weeks and are heading to Firestone Country Club with plenty of momentum for the final World Golf Championships of the 2014-15 season.
“Unfortunately, I will not be defending my World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational title,” said McIlroy, who is still recovering from an ankle injury suffered in early July. “Best of luck to all the competitors, and I look forward to returning to Firestone in 2016.”
McIlroy, the tournament’s defending champion, will miss the Bridgestone Invitational for the first time since 2009. In his six previous appearances, he has four top-10 finishes, including his win last year.
Four-time PGA TOUR winner Kirk broke his right hand prior to The Open Championship while playing with his children and has yet to recover fully.
Spieth has moved to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking thanks to four PGA TOUR victories, including two major championship wins this season, and victories at the Hero World Challenge and the Emirates Australian Open to end 2014. Spieth’s 2014-15 PGA TOUR campaign continues to be one of the best in TOUR history with 12 top-10 finishes, eight in the top three. With a victory at the Bridgestone Invitational, Spieth could take over the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking at the same event in which McIlroy become No. 1 in the world with a victory last year.
Spieth’s incredible season means an equally incredible lead in the FedExCup standings with 3,763 points – nearly doubling his closest competitor in Bubba Watson (2,043 points). Spieth’s FedExCup performance is so dominant that if Watson won the next three events, he would remain in second place behind the 22-year-old.
Day, whose wife Ellie is from Northeast Ohio, will come to Akron following his fourth PGA TOUR victory at the RBC Canadian Open. Playing in the second to the last group, Day drained a birdie putt from 21 feet 10 inches on No. 18 to come from two shots behind third-round leader David Hearn for his RBC Canadian Open victory. Day is in search of his second career World Golf Championships victory, having won the 2014 Cadillac Match Play. Day will be teeing it up at the Bridgestone Invitational for the fifth time in his career. His career-best finish at the event came in 2011 with a T4.
With the win, Day moved from No. 16 in the FedExCup standings to No. 4 with only five events before the Playoffs. The win also moved Day to No. 4 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Day (27), McIlroy (26) and Spieth (22) represent three of the top-four players in the world.
Now that the top 50 in the OWGR have qualified, below is a list of the 78 players who are now officially eligible to play. Players can either win at the Quicken Loans National this week or move into the top 50 in the OWGR as of Monday, August 3, to finalize the field. Players have until 5 p.m. ET on Friday, July 31, to officially commit to the Bridgestone Invitational.
Player Qualification An, Byeong Hun 2015 BMW PGA Championship Bae, Sang-Moon 2014 Frys.com Open Bjorn, Thomas 2014 Ryder Cup Bowditch, Steven 2015 AT&T Byron Nelson Bradley, Keegan 2014 Ryder Cup Casey, Paul 2014 KLM Open *Cullen, Nick 2014 BetEasy Masters Day, Jason 2015 RBC Canadian Open, 2015 Farmers Insurance Open Dodt, Andrew 2015 True Thailand Classic Donaldson, Jamie 2014 Ryder Cup Dubuisson, Victor 2014 Ryder Cup Every, Matt 2015 Arnold Palmer Invitational Fowler, Rickie 2015 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, 2015 THE PLAYERS Championship, 2014 Ryder Cup Furyk, Jim 2015 RBC Heritage, 2014 Ryder Cup Gallacher, Stephen 2014 Ryder Cup Garcia, Sergio 2014 Ryder Cup Gomez, Fabian 2015 FedEx St. Jude Classic Grace, Branden 2015 Dimension Data Pro-Am*, 2015 Commercial Bank Qatar Masters Haas, Bill 2015 Humana Challenge Hahn, James 2015 Northern Trust Open Harrington, Padraig 2015 Honda Classic Henley, Russell Top 50 OWGR Hoffman, Charley Top 50 OWGR Holmes, J.B. 2015 Shell Houston Open Horschel, Billy 2014 TOUR Championship, 2014 BMW Championship Ilonen, Mikko 2014 Volvo World Match Play Jaidee, Thongchai Top 50 OWGR Johnson, Dustin 2015 World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship Johnson, Zach 2015 The Open Championship, 2014 Ryder Cup Kaymer, Martin 2014 Ryder Cup Kirk, Chris - will not play 2015 Crowne Plaza Invitational, 2014 Deutsche Bank Championship, 2014 Ryder Cup Kisner, Kevin Top 50 OWGR Kjeldsen, Soren 2015 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Koepka, Brooks 2015 Waste Management Phonix Open, 2014 Turkish Airlines Open Kuchar, Matt 2014 Ryder Cup Lahiri, Anirban 2015 Maybank Malaysian Open Larrazabal, Pablo 2015 BMW International Open Lee, Danny 2015 Greenbrier Classic Leishman, Marc Top 50 OWGR *Liang, Wen-chong 2015 JGT Championship Lingmerth, David 2015 the Memorial Tournament Lipsky, David 2014 Omega European Masters Lowry, Shane Top 50 OWGR Luiten, Joost 2014 ISPS Handa Wales Open Mahan, Hunter 2014 The Barclays, 2014 Ryder Cup Martin, Ben 2014 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open Matsuyama, Hideki Top 50 OWGR McDowell, Graeme 2014 Ryder Cup McIlroy, Rory - will not play 2015 Wells Fargo Championship, 2015 WGC-Cadillac Match Play, 2015 Omega Dubai Desert, 2014 PGA Championship, 2014 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, 2014 Ryder Cup Mickelson, Phil 2014 Ryder Cup Molinari, Francesco Top 50 OWGR Moore, Ryan 2014 CIMB Classic Na, Kevin Top 50 OWGR Noren, Alexander 2015 Nordea Masters *Oda, Koumei 2014 Bridgestone Open Palmer, Ryan Top 50 OWGR Oosthuizen, Louis Top 50 OWGR Poulter, Ian 2014 Ryder Cup Reed, Patrick 2015 Hyundai Tournament of Champions, 2014 Ryder Cup Rose, Justin 2015 Zurich Classic, 2014 Ryder Cup Scott, Adam Top 50 OWGR Schwartzel, Charl Top 50 OWGR Siem, Marcel 2014 BMW Masters Simpson, Webb 2014 Ryder Cup Snedeker, Brandt 2015 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Spieth, Jordan 2015 John Deere Classic, 2015 U.S. Open, 2015 Masters, 2015 Valspar Championship, 2014 Emirates Australian Open, 2014 Ryder Cup Stal, Gary 2015 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship Stenson, Henrik 2014 DP World Tour Championship, 2014 Ryder Cup Streb, Robert 2014 The McGladrey Classic Todd, Brendon Top 50 OWGR Villegas, Camilo 2014 Wyndham Championship Walker, Jimmy 2015 Valero Texas Open, 2015 Sony Open, 2014 Ryder Cup Watson, Bubba 2015 Travelers Championship, 2014 WGC-HSBC Champions, 2014 Ryder Cup Westwood, Lee 2014 Thailand Golf Championship*, 2014 Ryder Cup Wiesberger, Bernd 2015 Alstom Open de France Willett, Danny 2015 Omega European Masters, 2014 Nedbank Golf Challenge Wilson, Oliver 2014 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship Woodland, Gary Top 50 OWGR
*won event designated by the International Federation of PGA Tours as a qualifying event for the tournament.