Nearly every golfer from #1 through #50 in the FedEx Cup (and #51 for that matter) will flock to Firestone Country Club this week for the World Golf Championship at the Bridgestone Invitational. This course will provide every golfer with a solid chance to tune up before the PGA Championship next week at Whistling Straits, where I hope to live blog from the 18th green or at least audibly cheer for my boy Sonny Skinner. SKINNER! Anyway, let's break down yet another course in the pee-pee soaked heckhole that is the state of Ohio. By the way, did you guys hear the Cavs signed Joey Graham? Big story bro, read the papes.
The South Course at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio is known simply as "The Monster." With a par of 70 at over 7,200 yards you can see why. This course rewards the player that can boom it down the fairway. Only one par-4 is under 400 yards, and only one par-3 is under 200 yards. Did I mention that there is also a 667 yard par-5 with a pond in front of the green? With yardages like those, something tells me that a golfer with Jeff Klauk-like distance won't be winning this tournament. The winner of this tournament will be a guy who can crush it off the tee, hit solid approach shots and make crucial putts. That is why it has been Tiger Woods four out of the last five years.
While Tiger will no doubt be at least a captain's pick for the Ryder Cup, he really needs to get his butt in gear. Tiger has owned this course over his career, and I would like to see him get his game together and start to dominate again. Though he has not won a tournament all year, he still has to be a prohibitive favorite to win this week. Now, as is customary, let's take a look at some other men who could win this week;
Stewie Cink- Stewie has a win at Firestone and two other top-10s (including 6th last year). Look for him to be in the hunt over the weekend.
Lee- Lee has three top-10s at the Bridgestone at is threatening to take over the World No. 1 ranking from Tiger. That will be enough motivation for him this week, and he should be in one of the final groups come Sunday.
Angel Cabrera- The Duck has been hit or miss this season, but he has three top-10s at the Bridgestone Invitational in the past. Look for him to either play well, or miss the cut altogether.
Rory McIlroy- Rory has only played Firestone once, finishing 68th last year. If you recall however, he had never played Quail Hollow before this year and shot a final round 62 to win the whole damn thing. He is playing great golf this year and can crush the ball, so I like his chances the second time around. Plus he gets CHICKS.
Steve Stricker- Blah.
Paul Casey- Casey has played well at Bridgestone in the past, including two top-1os. He will be looking for redemption after being forced to withdraw due to injury last year.
Louis Oosthuizen Shot in the Dark: Welcome to a new section of TPLIYP golf previews, inspired by King Louis himself. Being that this is the inaugural edition, I will choose none other than The Oost Man. In the future, this section will be used to predict golfers with funny names and the like. Also, I will probably say that whomever I choose is the Donk's boy.
Speaking of the Donk, I'd like to hear his thoughts on this week's tournament. Or CheeseDorne for that matter. All his been quiet on the TPLIYP front for some time and I'd like to get the comments going again. Regardless, it is just good to have a championship caliber field playing golf for the next two weeks.