Selectabet: WGC Bridgestone Invitational
August 2, 2011 Leave a comment
Date: 4th – 7th August 2011
Competition: World Golf Championships – Bridgestone Invitational
Venue: Firestone Country Club, Akron, OHIO (South Course – Monster)
This week, and ahead of the PGA Championship, we are flying the friendly skies to once again merge with the PGA Tour Stateside at The Firestone Country Club; a rare breed of golf club that can boost this event marks its’ 57th consecutive year of tournament golf. It is also the only Club to have hosted three nationally televised pro events in the same year (1974 if you care) and has hosted three PGA Championships and is currently the home of this tournament, The WGC – Bridgestone Invitational.
Yards: 7,400 yards
With only the elite of the global game playing (and those lucky to win one of the random event highlighted at season start), the second biggest purse on any tour after The Players Championship and Tiger Woods (amazingly 20/1 to win with Bet365) return to competitive golf after knee knack, this should be an interesting close run competitive affair.
Note therefore the absence of the usual also-rans this week as participating ranked players secure the shorter odds ensuring any results here will truly mark a skilled tipster such as Rory McIlroy’s more appropriate 14/1 price this week (SkyBet, Stand James and ToteSport) instead of his 8/1 dead cert price last outing! That said, if its long odds you like, look no further than Arjan Atwal, Hennie Otto and Jae-Bum Park (336/1, 479/1 and 669/1 all at BetDaq respectively).
The fairways run arrow straight, often parallel to each other, and the holes are long and arduous for the handicap golfer. For Tour professionals on the other hand, this as an honest and demanding test of their skills with tight tree lined undulating fairways and large, fast greens. Arnold Palmer though once affectionately branded this course “The Monster” – a name that has subsequently stuck with the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company Golf Course members!
As long and tough a finish as there is including the 15th hole; a 221 yard par 3 with hidden bunker left proving fatal for many a good card; the 16th is one of the longest par 5’s in existence with a pond in front of the green adding more than its fair share of difficulty to the hole and lastly this weeks’ 18th: a par 4, 464 yards long with a long narrow profile and a green surrounded by bunkers – delivering a difficult close out hole to birdie let alone make par on.
Ones to watch:
This week, I’ve gone with the flow and have the Star Spangled Banner playing on the stereo, a sizeable stars and stripes flag hanging above the front door and I’m drinking a 64 ounce diet coke, eating pumpkin pie and ensuring that it is my American collegiate picks that bring home the bacon (probably smothered in maple syrup) this week. So permit me, the morbidly obese David Morgan Jenkins III (Napier PolyUniTechniVersity), to start a two week truly All American love in…
Perma-grinning Matthew Gregory Kuchar (Georgia Tech) (33/1 with ToteSport), with 11 top ten finishes in 2010 and 8 already in 2011, can be consistently seen on the leader board in the closing stages of many a tournament. “The Kuch” is one who can be relied upon to play consistently and deliver for anyone sensible enough to put their each-way money on him. A safe bet…
The teary and emotional Hunter Myles Mahon (Oklahoma State) (36/1 at BetDaq) is reining Champion and Ryder Cup bubbler but he is quietly going about his business so far in 2011. In an ever moving world a static 2nd year at World ranked number 20 shows consistency who also ranks 7th in the all-round stats and 6th in most birdies on the PGA tour! Can these impressive stats suggest a repeat of his 12 under par total of last years’ event is enough to see him retain the title?
Ones to win:
Nicholas Alan Watney (Fresno State University) (27/1 with BetDaq) is one of the Tours young breed to have broken the ceiling with a brace of wins on the PGA Tour already this year and 8 top ten results in 15 starts to boot. Unsurprisingly Watney has burst into the World’s Top Ten (in 10th) courtesy of his win in the AT&T Invitational and seems to perform at his very best when the prize fund is at its biggest – his win at the WGC Cadillac and the 4th place at TPC Sawgrass backs that up.
Lucas Hendley Glover (Clemson University) (85/1 with BetFair and BetDaq) is an avid reader of mysteries and thrillers (although I’m sure he will not be reading this) but he interestingly did read four books, with small writing and no pictures, during the week of his rainy 2009 U.S. Open victory! Can turn on the style when required and already having pocketed a win at the Wells Fargo in 2011 will his 13th place putting rank stat support him on the big, fast greens to give us a thriller of a climax at the business end of the coming weekend? Or will it prove to be a mystery of Marple proportions leaving library time for Lucas?