August is upon us and that means it is time for the tour’s final stop before the PGA Championship takes center stage next week. This takes us to Akron, the site of the 19th annual WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
Taking over at Firestone for the now-defunct World Series of Golf, the Bridgestone has become one of the top events on tour thanks to its brilliant course, smaller field and no cut, everyone gets paid format. The tournament boasts a field of about 75 players each year as they look to get one final tune-up in before the year’s final major.
Dustin Johnson (9/1) enters the week as the defending champion and will look to become the first back-to-back winner since Tiger Woods won at Firestone in three consecutive years (2004-2006).
Below, we take a look at five players who look like good picks this week in our PGA Pick ‘Em Contest.
Jordan Spieth (7/1): The No. 2 player in the world arrives in Akron with the best odds of anyone in the field. He’s also arguably the hottest man in the tournament, having won his last two starts at the Travelers and The Open.
Spieth has back-to-back top 10 finishes at the Bridgestone and this might be the year he breaks through for a win at Firestone.
Dustin Johnson (9/1): We touched on it above, but Johnson knows this course well after his 2016 victory. He’s the only player in the field ranked higher than Spieth and is finally starting to come into form after his pre-Masters fall.
His performance in the first two WGC events this year (both wins) bodes well for another top finish here. He also doesn’t seem to be lacking in confidence.
Jason Day (22/1): Day is one of two contenders we have listed that are too good not to win soon. The Ohio resident will have plenty of support out at Firestone, and this seems like as good a time as any to get off the schneid.
He’s recently moved to the top of the tour’s rankings for strokes gained around the green and that should be big at Firestone.
Paul Casey (33/1): Like the man above, Casey is due for a victory.
His last win on the PGA Tour came seven years ago, but his game has never been sharper. Casey has a trio of top 5 finishes this year and hasn’t missed a cut since January.
J.B. Holmes (80/1): Holmes provides some good value here at 80/1. He’s a fan favorite in the Midwest and has two top 15s in his last three starts (including a performance last week that included four eagles at the RBC Canadian).
Henrik Stenson (22/1): Too inconsistent this season. Plenty of talent but tough to tell when he’ll put it together.
Justin Rose (25/1): A popular pick this week but not worth it at 25/1.
Marc Leishman (33/1): Could thrive with temperamental weather forecasted for the first two rounds, but putting together four straight days of good golf seems unlikely.
Daniel Berger (40/1): Tough to envision a better scenario than last year’s $50K for one swing performance. https://www.sbnation.com/golf/2016/6/30/12069318/daniel-berger-withdraws-wgc-bridgestone-invitational-payout
Kevin Chappell (66/1): Getting through the week without a whiff might be considered a success here.