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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My WGC-Bridgestone Preview

The other big tournament this week is the WGC-Bridgestone, sometimes known as the WGC-Tiger Woods Annuity because Tiger has won it 7 times.

Of course, the playing field for this event is the legendary Firestone Country Club, which has hosted PGA Tour events for over 50 years. It's a 7400 yard, par 70 monster that's seen some truly amazing golf over the years -- not all of it from Tiger! The following photo, as well as a slide show showing shots of all 18 holes, is here on the course page. The slide show is called the "Course Walk," if you're looking for the link.

18th at Firestone

There's also an "expert picks" page at the tournament site, and I was amazed to see that NO ONE picked Phil Mickelson as even a possibility! Hasn't Phil taught us not to write him off anywhere he's playing?

Personally, while the experts seem to have settled on a group of about 8 to 10 players that are most likely to win -- and frankly, they're not unreasonable picks -- I have a few unmentioned names who will make up my picks for the week (in no particular order):
  1. Phil Mickelson: As I said, I am unwilling to rule Phil out as a possibility anywhere since Muirfield. I'm not so sure he'll win this week -- he's clearly aimed at the PGA next week -- and he says he's a bit rusty, but I expect him to play well.
  2. Jason Day: I can't understand why Jason is getting no love. His finishes before each of this year's majors have seemed mediocre, then he just seems to turn it on. Although he didn't play particularly well at Muirfield (besides Phil, who did?), I suspect he's going to play well this week.
  3. Jim Furyk: Furyk always seems to play well here, and I bet last year's loss to Keegan Bradley will have him motivated for one of his best performances of the year.
  4. Angel Cabrera: There's a major next week. Need a better reason for him to "show up"?
  5. Harris English: Harry had the expected lapse after his first win at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, but his finishes have been trending upward since. If his GIR is up a bit this week, he's got a real good chance at a WGC.
There are my 5 picks. We'll see who does better, me or the experts!

Finally, the TV times. GC will have the first two rounds, CBS the last two, and all are listed as starting at 2pm ET. In addition, GC will broadcast early coverage of the last two rounds from noon till 1:30pm ET.

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