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PGA European - WGC - Bridgestone Invitational Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, August 1st through Sunday, August 4th
SITE: Firestone Country Club (South Course), Akron, Ohio
COURSE ARCHITECT: Bert Way (1929), Robert Trent Jones (1960)
PAR: 70
YARDAGE: 7,400
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 399 yds10 - Par 4 410 yds
2 - Par 5 526 yds11 - Par 4 418 yds
3 - Par 4 442 yds12 - Par 3 180 yds
4 - Par 4 471 yds13 - Par 4 471 yds
5 - Par 3 200 yds14 - Par 4 467 yds
6 - Par 4 469 yds15 - Par 3 221 yds
7 - Par 3 219 yds16 - Par 5 667 yds
8 - Par 4 482 yds17 - Par 4 400 yds
9 - Par 4 494 yds18 - Par 4 464 yds
--------------------------
35 3,702 yds35 3,698 yds
 
Annual:  14th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 2-6 p.m. (et),
  - Saturday/Sunday -- 12-1:30 p.m. (et),
  CBS - Saturday/Sunday -- 2-6 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Keegan Bradley
Runner-Up:  Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker
Tournament Record:  259 (Tiger Woods, 2000)
54-Hole Record:  192 (Tiger Woods, 2000)
36-Hole Record:  125 (Tiger Woods, 2000)
Course Record:  61 (Jose Maria Olazabal, 1990; Tiger Woods, 2000)
Total Purse:  $8,750,000
Shares:  1st Place - $1,441,176; 2nd Place - $875,000; 3rd Place - $494,117
 
2012 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Keegan Bradley267Justin Rose272
Jim Furyk268Jason Dufner274
Steve Stricker268Eight players at276
Louis Oosthuizen269
Rory McIlroy272
 
Past WGC - Bridgestone Invitational Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2012Keegan Bradley (267) -- Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker
2011Adam Scott (263) -- Luke Donald, Rickie Fowler
2010Hunter Mahan (268) -- Ryan Palmer
2009Tiger Woods (268) -- Robert Allenby, Padraig Harrington
2008Vijay Singh (270) -- Stuart Appleby, Lee Westwood
2007Tiger Woods (272) -- Rory Sabbatini, Justin Rose
2006*Tiger Woods (270) -- Stewart Cink
2005Tiger Woods (274) -- Chris DiMarco
2004Stewart Cink (269) -- Rory Sabbatini, Tiger Woods
2003Darren Clarke (268) -- Jonathan Kaye
2002Craig Parry (268) -- Robert Allenby, Fred Funk
2001*Tiger Woods (268) -- Jim Furyk
2000Tiger Woods (259) -- Justin Leonard, Phillip Price
1999Tiger Woods (270) -- Phil Mickelson

* - Won in Playoff

Note:Formerly called WGC - NEC Invitational (1999-2005).

Top Contenders in the Field
Player2003200420052006200720082009201020112012
Keegan Bradley------------------------T-15Won
Steve Stricker------------T-41T-43T-6T-914thT-2
Jim FurykT-6T-22T-243rd---T-27T-51T-6T-23T-2
Rory McIlroy------------------T-68T-9T-6T-5
Justin RoseT-33---------T-2T-27T-29T-19T-33T-5
Jason Dufner---------------------------7th
Luke Donald---T-16T-6T-8T-22---T-45T-46T-2T-8
Matt Kuchar---------------------T-9T-19T-8
Bo Van Pelt---------------------T-3T-23T-8
Tiger WoodsT-4T-2WonWonWon---WonT-78T-37T-8
Bubba Watson---------------------T-22T-21T-19
Nick Watney------------T-61---T-36T-16T-23T-19
Dustin Johnson------------------T-2215thT-48T-19
Bill Haas---------------------T-33T-63T-19
Graeme McDowell------wd------T-56T-45T-2265thT-24
Jason Day---------------------T-22T-4T-29
Martin Kaymer---------------T-68T-60T-22T-29T-29
Sergio GarciaT-30T-16T-13T-22T-20T-36T-22T-22T-53T-29
Ian PoulterT-33---T-33T-13T-30T-16T-15T-65T-68T-29
Zach Johnson---T-22T-9T-36T-11T-16T-15T-33T-6T-40
Phil MickelsonT-23T-43T-51T-54T-46T-4T-58T-46T-48T-43
Adam ScottT-64T-55T-36T-10T-36T-56T-51T-9WonT-45
Ernie ElsT-17T-65---T-31T-22T-27T-29T-22T-37T-45
Brandt Snedeker---------------T-43------T-33T-50
Lee WestwoodT-46T-9T-24wdT-22T-29thwdT-970th
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Matt Kuchar
Darkhorse - Henrik Stenson
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Simon Dyson) - Finished 9th
Last Week's Darkhorse (JB Hansen) - Finished 4th
 
NOTES:The PGA and European Tours travel to Ohio this week for the final tune-
up before the PGA Championship, the WGC - Bridgestone Invitational. This week's event boasts a remarkable field, as the top players in the world travel to Firestone Country Club in Akron. The purse increased $250,000 from last year to $8.75 million, with the winner receiving $1.44 million.

This is the third WGC event of 2012. Earlier this season, Matt Kuchar captured the Accenture Match Play Championship, and Tiger Woods won the Cadillac Championship. This event is co-sanctioned with the PGA Tour by the European Tour, Asian PGA, Japan Golf Tour, PGA Tour of Australasia and the Southern Africa PGA Tour. Only three players have competed in all 14 Bridgestone Invitationals: Jim Furyk, Phil Mickelson and Lee Westwood.

World No. 2 Mickelson will be playing for the first time since winning the British Open two weeks ago. Mickelson has won his last two events (Scottish Open and British Open) and has finished first or second in four of his last five tournaments, and has a top-3 finish in five of his last seven.

World No. 1 Tiger Woods has recorded seven wins and 10 top-five finishes in his 13 appearances at this event, going a combined 88-under par in those starts. Of his 52 rounds of golf, 20 have been in the 70s and 32 in the 60s. His overall earnings are $9,575,625. Woods has dominated the World Golf Championships, posting 17 wins and 29 top-10 finishes in 41 career starts.

Players qualify for this lucrative event if they are playing members of the 2012 U.S. and European Ryder Cup teams. If not otherwise eligible, players also make the field if they are ranked among the top 50, including any players tied for 50th place, in the world rankings as of Monday, July 22, 2013 and Monday, July 29, 2013; or tournament winners of worldwide events since the prior year's Bridgestone Invitational. The 72-hole, stroke-play format features no cut.

The World Series of Golf was held at Firestone Country Club from 1962-98, while the PGA Championship was also held at Firestone in 1960, 1966 and 1975. The first three years of this event were held at Firestone Country Club on the South Course. After a 1-year stop at Sahalee Country Club in Washington in 2002, the event moved back to its present location at Firestone in 2003. This will be the 59th time in Firestone South history that the course is hosting a PGA Tour event. The first was the Rubber City Open from 1954-59.

Last year, Keegan Bradley fired a bogey-free, 6-under 64 in the final round to come from behind and win. Bradley parred the final two holes to overcome Jim Furyk, who faltered to a double bogey at the last. Bradley finished at 13- under-par 267. Furyk, who led the entire round, hit a poor chip at the last, then missed a 5-footer for bogey that would have forced a playoff. He closed with a 1-under 69 to share second with Steve Stricker at minus-12.

In 2011, Adam Scott opened with a 62 and held at least a share of the lead after every round. He closed with a 65 to end the tournament at 17-under-par 263 for a 4-stroke win over Luke Donald and Rickie Fowler. The victory was Scott's eighth on the PGA Tour.

Hunter Mahan fired a 6-under 64 in the final round of 2010's version to come from three shots back and win. Mahan finished at 12-under 268 for his third career PGA Tour win and second of 2010. His first victory at one of the lucrative World Golf Championships events was worth $1.4 million. Mahan's 64 was the lowest final-round score by a winner in tournament history.

In 2008, Vijay Singh parred the final five holes to defeat Stuart Appleby and Lee Westwood by one stroke. Singh closed with a 2-under 68 to complete the event at 10-under-par 270. He was the only player in the field to fire four rounds in the 60s. The win was Singh's 32nd on the PGA Tour, giving him the most titles for a foreign-born player. He has since added two more wins to stand at 34 victories. Singh became the oldest player to win a World Golf Championships event at 45 years, five months and 12 days old.

The PGA and European Tours will be in Rochester, New York, next week at Oak Hill Country Club for the final major of the year, the PGA Championship. Rory McIlroy captured his second major championship at the PGA last year.

07/30 16:22:17 ET

As of July 30, 2013, at 04:22 PM ET