Power Rankings: WGC-Bridgestone Invitational
August 03, 2015
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM
- Sergio Garcia has two straight top-10 finishes worldwide. He finished T2 at Firestone in 2014. (Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Amid the flurry of occasionally unfamiliar stops for the final three majors of the season and rotating sites of the RBC Canadian Open and Quicken Loans National is an old standby in Akron, Ohio. Firestone Country Club's South Course has hosted all but two of the iterations of what we know today as the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, and it's as reliable and fair a test the world's best tackle all year.
At 7,400 yards, it's easily the longest par 70 in a non-major. There are two par 5s, Nos. 2 and 16. The latter is the longest hole on the PGA TOUR at 667 yards. With a pond fronting the green, it's no wonder that the last eagle on the hole was recorded by Søren Hansen in the second round in 2008, and he needed to hole out from 102 yards to achieve it.
Thanks to relatively soft turf last year, Firestone registered a scoring average of 70.389. That's a three-year low. Its fairways-hit (53.12 percent) and greens-in-regulation (59.49 percent) splits ranked inside the top-10 most stingy for the second consecutive edition, but scrambling was at a five-year high of 59.73 percent.
Rory McIlroy will not be defending his title as he continues to rest and recovery from an injury to his left ankle, but the scheduled field of 77 should follow his cue. He led the field in distance of all drives (317.6 yards), co-led in greens in regulation (57) and authored the lowest scoring average on the par 4s (3.77). He also ranked T12 in fairways hit (34 of 56), second in proximity to the hole (25 feet, eight inches), T7 in scrambling (11 of 15) and seventh in strokes gained: putting (average of 1.362 per round). (Chris Kirk and Alex Noren also qualified this week, but neither will compete. Kirk is still out with a broken hand. Noren hasn't played since missing the cut at the U.S. Open.)
Midweek precipitation will give way to dry conditions by some time on Friday. Seasonable cool temperatures may not touch 80 degrees throughout. Winds are forecast to be light to moderate, so greens that are prepped to exceed 13 feet on the Stimpmeter may yield low scores early.
POWER RANKINGS: WGC-BRIDGESTONE INVITATIONAL
RANK PLAYER COMMENT 1 Jordan Spieth 2 Jason Day 3 Rickie Fowler 4 Hideki Matsuyama 5 Justin Rose 6 Adam Scott 7 Sergio Garcia 8 Louis Oosthuizen 9 Marc Leishman 10 Jim Furyk 11 Matt Kuchar 12 Brooks Koepka 13 Zach Johnson 14 Danny Willett 15 Branden Grace 16 Keegan Bradley 17 Henrik Stenson 18 Danny Lee 19 Jimmy Walker 20 Robert Streb