Fantasy PGA Preview: WGC Bridgestone

With the Canadian Open in the books and with Jim Furyk still trying on another bridesmaids dress we switch from one event with little star power to a nice prequel to the 4th major of the year. The World Golf Championship Bridgestone will house the biggest names in golf right before the PGA Championship the following week.

Canadian Open Review

I’m sure if you had time you could cue up the U2 song “Still haven’t found what I’m looking for” and play a montage of Jim Furyk clips as he is still searching for his first win since 2010. Maybe they should create a 72 hole energy drink, but then I guess he would lose in a playoff.

In the end it was Tim Clark shooting up the leaderboard to snatch victory from Furyk by shooting a 64 on Saturday then a 65 on Sunday. Its going to be interesting now because with the win it gives Clark a two year exemption on Tour, but with the long putter ban arriving for 2016 and having a disability with his forearms, I will be looking to see what the PGA will rule in regards to Clark. Also with the win it gets him into the field at Bridgestone this week.

My picks performed well on my first week back. I thought Hudson Swafford was going to pull out a made cut but faded late to narrowly miss the cut. All in all I had five of the six picks make the cut with Scott Brown being the best value of the five.

WGC Bridgestone

So here we are at the Bridgestone. The last WGC event of the 2013/14 season. The top players in the world will be competing, except for Dustin Johnson who has already withdrawn. This is another one of those traditional “Tiger events”. Woods has won here eight times including a run away victory last year. Tom Watson will be paying attention to what’s happening in Akron since he has a “decision” on whether or not to include Tiger in the Ryder Cup. A poor showing here might seal Tigers fate for this year.

The Course

The Bridgstone will be played at the Firestone Country Club (South Course) in Akron, Ohio. It is a par 70 course that runs 7,400 years long. It includes “The Monster” Par 5 667 yard 16th. A decent stretch of land right there. The greens will be fast and the rough will be a factor. Firestone is always a great test the week before the PGA Championship.

Golfers

Seeing how this field is limited I figured I will reduce the number of picks from my usual six, down to four. This is a no-cut event so like I always say, you are never really in it, and never really out of it until Sunday.

Keegan Bradley usa flag 50x35 $9,300
I was kicking myself during the British Open. All my research said I should be locked on Keegan and while I originally had him I dropped him for another player that missed the cut altogether. Keegan has played here three times and has walked away with nothing worse than a 15th finish (2011). He won this event in 2012 and was runner up last year. He is coming off a 4th at the Greenbrier and a 19th at The Open. He would make a great cash game play.
Bubba Watson usa flag 50x35 $8,600
Since this is one of the longer courses on Tour and its been rather wet in Akron lately so you know Bubba has to be licking his chops. Bubba will will use his power to get a competitive edge on the field. He would make a great GPP play since he is coming off a missed cut at The Open. Looking back on the very next event after a major, Bubba has played solid regardless of if he made the cut at that major or not.
Marc Leishman $7,700
Big Marc Leishman. He has played here once before, picking up a 45th. Now while that normally isn’t bad I would treat that the same as a missed cut. My general rule of thumb on these events. Try and get all your golfers in the top half of the leaderboard. Or at the very least get them 50th or better (then you get a position point at least). With Leishman I think he is coming in with great form. He has shown in the past that he can be rather streaky. If he could notch a top 30 I would be happy with that result.
Gary Woodland usa flag 50x35 $7,300
If Bubba is licking his chops at a long wet course then so is Gary Woodland. Like Bubba he is very long off the tee and with his new attitude towards self improvement he has done well in events with no cut line. In fact in events with a limited field Woodland has placed no worse than 26th (The Masters). Woodland has shown he is a Grinder at these events.

So there you have it folks, my picks for the WGC Bridgestone.

Good Luck to all.

Cheers

Gibb

About the Author

  • Gibb Pollard (gibbathy)

  • Gibb Pollard has been a member of RotoGrinders since 2012. He is an example of the power of the RotoGrinders blog section, taking a little weekly PGA blog in 2012 and turning it into a two-time FSWA nominated column. In 2014 he took down the FSWA Golf Writer of the Year award. Originally hailing from Australia, he is a regular on our PGA GrindersLive shows, giving our cast of hosts some international flavor.

Comments

  • nprussell

    Thanks. The more info the better. Havent figured out how to read the golf data yet and what research is important.

  • agendaman

    /

    great stuff tx- players want to make the ryder cup team-i esp. like keegan bradley and brendan todd plus 2 other guys to score well at firestone stricker and fowler sleeper f.molinari gl.

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