Your Best Picks for the WGC Bridgestone Invitational
Yardage: 7,400 – Par 70
Purse : $10 M
Field: 72 Players
*recent WGC Bridgestone Invitational Champions
Approach Proximity 175-200
Par 4 Scoring
Strokes gained: Approach
Strokes Gained: Around the Green
Tiger Woods ($10,800): Now that we know that Tiger Woods still has the talent to win a major, I like his odds even more at an event that is as difficult (in terms of field strength) as a major. I’ll never understand why nobody makes that big of a deal at the WGC events, but because of that, the chances of a back-nine choke job goes significantly down. Tiger has won the Bridgestone Invitational a total of EIGHT TIMES in his career. In fact, it’s the last event he won in 2013. August 4th will mark the five-year anniversary of Tiger’s last PGA Tour victory. With this Sunday being August 5th, Tiger doesn’t want to see that streak go any longer than five years and one day.
Justin Thomas ($8,800): I understand that Justin Thomas hasn’t been playing his best golf lately, but his price drop-off is too big to ignore. Only a few weeks ago, Thomas was ranked number one in the world, and would go for roughly 10-11K every week. DailyRoto’s value optimization tool agrees, as Thomas is the number one ranked value this week, and he has the sixth-highest odds of winning the tournament at 3.68%, despite being the 12th priced golfer. Before the missed cut at the Open (he missed it by just one shot), Thomas had finished inside the Top 25 in 15/16 events this season.
Zach Johnson ($8,100): Zach Johnson checks every box to feel confident about him this week. He ranks inside the Top 30 in Scrambling, strokes gained: approach, strokes gained: around the green, and Par 4 scoring. He’s playing well with a ceiling that seems to be rising each week, logging five straight Top 30 finishes, and four straight Top 20 finishes coming in. And he’s had great success in recent years at Firestone Country Club. Johnson finished runner-up after leading through 54 holes. If not for a birdie storm on Sunday from Hideki Matsuyama, who shot a 61 in the final round, Johnson would’ve been the reigning champion coming in.
Thobjorn Oleson ($7,500): Oleson is a European Tour who will make appearances in the states usually for majors and WGC events, but don’t let the Euro Tour title fool you, Oleson can play. He may not have gotten much coverage, but Oleson finished 12th at the British Open with no rounds over par. He’s missed a cut here and there, but his most recent Sunday finishes on the European Tour were T6, T2, 1. Oleson has proven he can hang in these strong fields throughout his career. He’s made 10 of 16 cuts in his career at majors, including three Top-15 finishes. He also finished T10 at the Bridgestone Invitational last year, and is coming off perhaps his hottest stretch of golf in his career.
Adam Scott ($7,500) I’ll be honest, picking Adam Scott is a scary thing to do these days, since you’re basically picking a guy with only 13 clubs in his bag, but by the end of this paragraph, maybe I can convince you. This is one, if not Adam Scott’s best course in a very well-decorated career. Sometimes being in a friendly place is all a golfer needs to get it together for a week. When you really look at Scott’s season, he’s been one of the best ballstrikers on Tour (10th in SG: Approach), and one of the worst putters (196th of 205). The outlawing of the anchored putter has been a huge shift for him that he’s yet to figure out. That’s all been irrelevant at Firestone Country Club. He’s torn this course apart over the years with or without his anchored putter. Scott has finishes of T9 in 2010, he won the Invitational in 2011, T14 in 2013, T8 in 2014, T10 in 2016, and T13 in 2017. That’s six Top 15s in his last eight tries at the site, and those results span both the good times and the bad times.
Kevin Chappell ($7,300) Kevin Chappell is another course horse who you can get for cheap this week. Chappell’s doesn’t have nearly the sample size that Adam Scott has, but a T13 and T3 in his only two appearances at Firestone are pretty impressive. Chappell is also coming off a T6 at the British Open a few weeks back. I’m well aware he can be streaky at times (or all the time), but he’s shown that this is a course that really suits his game, and can certainly be in the mix on Sunday with any field you throw at him.