Fairways And Roughs Title

Featured Groups: WGC Bridgestone Invitational

By PGA Tour News
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This week we head to Firestone Country Club and the iconic South course, a 1929 Bert Way design updated by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., in 1959. With long, narrow fairways, and one of the most demanding par-5s in golf—the 667-yard 16th, with trouble left, right and in front of the green—Firestone is no pushover. The tournament resumes its usual spot on the schedule this year after moving to accommodate the 2016 Rio Olympics. The WGC-Bridgestone has seen an impressive roster of winners like defending champion Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy (2014) and Tiger Woods (eight times). There are only three weeks left in which players will have a chance to position themselves for the start of the FedExCup playoffs; those looking to make a big move and jump-start their seasons include McIlroy (53), Jason Day (58) and Adam Scott (70). PGA TOUR LIVE is scheduled to air from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET Thursday and Friday. Due to anticipated inclement weather, play is expected to end around 2:15 p.m. each day. PGA TOUR LIVE can also be viewed on Twitter from approximately 7:30 a.m. to 8:40 a.m. Thursday and Friday. (Note: All times Eastern; FedExCup ranking in parentheses.) THURSDAY Jordan Spieth (1), Rory McIlroy (53), Jason Day (58): This high-wattage group features two players have won the FedExCup (Spieth, McIlroy), and three who have been No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Spieth, who has won his last two starts (Travelers Championship, The Open), is seeking his fourth victory this season, which would extend his lead atop the FedExCup standings and invite comparisons to his banner 2015. Don’t bet against him; he’s already produced T3 and T10 finishes at Firestone. McIlroy, who will have a new caddie on the bag, hasn’t played here since winning the 2014 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and is looking to improve on his most recent finish, a T4 at The Open. Similarly, adopted-Ohioan Day will try to rectify an unremarkable season after a decent showing at Royal Birkdale, where he fired a third-round 65 on the way to a T27. Tee time: 8:10 a.m. off 10th tee. Dustin Johnson (2), Hideki Matsuyama (3), Brooks Koepka (7): The two most recent U.S. Open champions, Koepka and Johnson, are often compared to each other. Put them together and add one of the hottest young players on the planet in Matsuyama and you have a marquee threesome. Johnson hasn’t looked the same since he fell down the stairs and withdrew from the Masters in April, but he is coming off a T8 at the RBC Canadian Open, where he led the field in greens in regulation and didn’t make enough putts. Koepka, who won the recent U.S. Open at Erin Hills and finished T6 at The Open in his only other start since, will look to improve on his T6 at the 2015 WGC-Bridgestone, his only other start here. And Matsuyama, who produced two PGA TOUR victories earlier this season, is heating up again with a T14 at The Open and a T2 at the U.S. Open. Tee time: 8:20 a.m. off 10th tee 

FRIDAY Justin Thomas (4), Jon Rahm (5), Adam Scott (70): Rahm dusted the field at the recent Irish Open, will be making his tournament debut at Firestone, and some experts believe the big-shouldered course will set up perfectly for his brawny game. Thomas, too, has the kind of length that could play well at Firestone South, although he’s looking to break a streak of three straight missed cuts. And Scott, 37, would love to turn back the clock to 2011, when he won the WGC-Bridgestone. His form, including most recently a T22 at The Open, has been maddeningly elusive this season, but as Jhonattan Vegas reminded at the RBC Canadian Open, one week is all it takes to get it back. Tee time: 8 a.m. off 10th tee Rickie Fowler (6), Matt Kuchar (17), Sergio Garcia (20): Fowler has had a handful of close calls but no wins since The Honda Classic in late February. Still, with four career top-10s at Firestone, this week should give him ample reason for optimism. Kuchar, who lost a riveting duel with Spieth at The Open, comes to Ohio having notched five top-20 finishes in his last six starts. The only exception: his T32 at last week’s RBC Canadian Open, where he complained of dizziness. Garcia, whose plate has been full since he won the Masters—five made cuts in five starts, with his best a T12 at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational—will make his first TOUR start as a married man. Tee time: 8:10 a.m. off 10th tee

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