Tiger Woods hasn’t teed it up at a World Golf Championship event in four years, but the legendary golfer is set to make his return to the course where he’s won eight times when the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational gets underway this week at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. According to oddsmakers, Dustin Johnson is the undisputed favorite.
Twenty-nine of the top 30 in the FedExCup standings will be at Firestone.
Johnson is the +700 front-runner at Sportsbook, with Rory McIlroy (+1200), Justin Rose (+1200), Woods (+1200), Jordan Spieth (+1800), Rickie Fowler (+2000), Justin Thomas (+2000), Jason Day (+2200), Jon Rahm (+2500) and Francesco Molinari (+2500) making up the top 10. To find out who I’m picking to win the tournament, check out my expert picks article.
The star-studded tournament features 29 of the top 30 men in the FedExCup standings, with Molinari making his first appearance since hoisting the Claret Jug at the British Open a few weeks ago. Fresh off a T-6 showing at Carnoustie on a day in which he briefly held sole possession of the lead at one point, Woods will be looking to build some momentum at a course he knows extremely well. Woods’ eight victories at Firestone are a PGA Tour record he shares with himself (Torrey Pines, Bay Hill) and Sam Snead (Greensboro).
Can Matsuyama notch two straight wins in Ohio?
Hideki Matsuyama put on a show at the 2017 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational by capturing his second WGC title of the season and tying the course record with a 61 on the final round in a decisive five-stroke triumph. The native of Japan erased a two-shot deficit when he chipped in for eagle on the second hole and didn’t look back. Matsuyama is +4000 to go back to back at the shop.
PGA Tour set to say farewell to Firestone
The course, a 7,400-yard par 70, has been a mainstay on the PGA Tour for five decades. This is the last time the tournament will be held at the track before action shifts south to Memphis in 2019. The club opened in 1929 and became a consistent site for the Tour in 1976 before moving under the WGC banner in 1999. Jose Maria Olazabal (1990), Woods (2000, 2013), Sergio Garcia (2014) and Matsuyama (2017) all share the 18-hole course record of 61, while Woods’ unbelievable showing of 259 in 2000 stands as the 72-hole record to this day.
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