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WGC-Bridgestone: Taking their talents to Akron

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By Stan Kosinski

GolfWRX Contributor

The PGA Tour travels this week to Northeast Ohio for the World Golf Championships — Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club.

The field, highlighted by seven-time winner Tiger Woods, includes the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Rankings, the members of the 2011 United States and International President’s Cup teams, official tournament winners from the Federated Tours since the 2011 Bridgestone Invitational, including the Japan Golf Tour Championship (2012), the  Bridgestone Open (2011), the JBWere Masters (2011), the Dimension Data Pro-Am (2012) and the Thailand Golf Championship (2011).

Notable players this week include defending PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley, K.J. Choi, World No. 1 Luke Donald, Jason Dufner, 2012 Open Championship winner Ernie Els, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia, Bill Haas, Phil Mickelson, Hunter Mahan, 2012 Masters Champion Bubba Watson and defending champion Adam Scott.  This year’s U.S. Open Champion, Webb Simpson, will again not participate as he decided to remain home with his wife and newborn daughter for the second event in a row.

The idea for a series of events which would include the very best players and courses from around the world surfaced at the 1996 President’s Cup.  Golf’s five professional governing bodies, the PGA Tour, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA Tour of Australasia the and Sunshine Tour reached an agreement then on several key elements in order to create several new international events beginning in 1999, forming the International Federation of PGA Tours to develop these tournaments. Jeff Maggert won the first event held at La Costa Resort Accenture Match Play on the 38th hole of the 36 hole championship match. Maggert chipped in for birdie to beat fellow American Andrew Magee.

In the World Golf Championships Era, no other player has dominated these events like Tiger Woods. Beginning with his first win at the 1999 NEC Invitational (now the Bridgestone Invitational), Woods has 16 official titles in the World Golf Championships, which equals 22 percent of his 73 career wins.  He has won the Bridgestone Invitational a total of seven times (1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2009).  With another win this week he would tie Sam Snead’s record of winning one event a total of eight times. Needless to say his record shows that he is very comfortable on this stage and on this golf course.

Firestone Golf and Country Club is in Akron, Ohio, and was originally designed by Bert Way in 1928.  The course was later remodeled by Robert Trent Jones in 1960 and offers a total of 54 holes to it’s membership, the North Course, the West Course, and the South Course, which hosts the Bridgestone Invitational.

The South course measures 7400 yards from the Championship tees with a course rating of 76.1 and a slope of 132.  The par-70 layout was ranked 18th out of 51 courses in difficulty on the PGA Tour in 2011.  Featuring 82 bunkers and three water hazards, tight fairways, and greens that will be running about 13 on the stimpmeter come tournament time, Firestone is always a test for the world’s elite players.  The pros will also have to once again contend with the 667 yard par five 16th, dubbed “The Monster”.  It is a hole where the tournament can be won, or lost, with a single errant stroke. Get ready for some unbelievable shot making and high drama once again at the Bridgestone Invitational.

Click here to see hundreds of WITB photos and galleries from the 2012 WGC

And click here for more discussion in the “Tour Talk” forum.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Dominika

    Nov 5, 2012 at 1:42 am

    The one time I had a perfect (for me) round of golf I ncieotd that the game seemed extremely simple. The rest of the time, I wonder how it can be so complicated to try and reproduce that simplicity. Zen golf gets to the root of this and offers a path there, and the opportunity to have that round at any time. Joseph Parent’s advice applies to all levels of golfers and is a guide to consistent and reproduceable results. It is one of those rare books on golf that doesn’t fill your head with things to consider while you play, it does the opposite by showing you how to clear your head and in doing so clear away the obstacles that prevent us and our bodies from naturally performing the way we are capable of. I expect that the short time it took me to read this book will have a long-lasting effect on the way I will play golf from now on, and I am in the process of reading it for a second time.

  2. Troy Vayanos

    Aug 1, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    I love this event as it’s like another major golf tournament with most of the worlds best players on show.

    Be very interested to see how Adam Scott plays after the British Open and hoping he does very well.

    Tiger Woods will be hard to beat back on home soil and has a fantastic record in this event.

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Tour Photo Galleries

Photos from the 2024 U.S. Open

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GolfWRX is live this week from the third major of the season: the U.S. Open at historic Pinehurst No. 2.

Qualifier WITBs are the stars the the show so far — along with in-hand looks at what Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau are playing.

Check back throughout the week as we continue to add more galleries.  

General Albums

WITB Albums

Pullout Albums

See what GolfWRXers are saying about the photos from the U.S. Open in the forums. 

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Morning 9: Scott, Garcia in for U.S. Open | Clark: Greens already borderline | Harrington inducted to HOF

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco.

For comments: [email protected]

Good Tuesday morning, golf fans, as we look ahead to what is sure to be an exciting U.S. Open!

1. USO field additions

Brian DePasquale for the USGA…”Two additional players, including Adam Scott, have earned full exemptions into the 124th U.S. Open Championship…Additionally, four alternates from final qualifying were added to complete the 156-player field.”

  • “Robert MacIntyre earned an exemption based on the current Official World Golf Ranking®/OWGR®…”
  • “Scott, who is No. 61 in the OWGR, became exempt when the late Grayson Murray (No. 59) was removed from the list for purposes of determining the top 60. Scott will compete in his 23rd consecutive U.S. Open…”
  • “The USGA held six spots in the field for those players who could potentially become exempt. Since MacIntyre and Scott were the only players to earn an exemption, four alternates from final qualifying were added to the field. They are Sergio Garcia, amateur Brendan Valdes, Otto Black and Maxwell Moldovan.”
Full piece.

2. Charlie on hand to assist dad with U.S. Open prep

Justin Tasch for the NY Post…”Tiger Woods was all smiles Monday morning in Pinehurst as he practiced for this week’s U.S. Open with his 15-year-old son, Charlie.”

  • “Charlie helped his dad prepare as they traversed Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina, where Woods is set to tee off Thursday for the first time since missing the cut at last month’s PGA Championship in Louisville.”
  • “The father-son duo was spotted at various points Monday morning with Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler.”
Full piece.

3. Clark says U.S. Open greens already ‘borderline’

Elliott Heath for Golf Monthly…”Defending US Open champion Wyndham Clark says that this week’s greens at Pinehurst No.2 “already are borderline” ahead of what is set to be a stern test of golf at the USA’s 124th national open.”

  • “Clark won his maiden Major title at LACC last year, where he pipped Rory McIlroy by a single stroke. He won his third PGA Tour title at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am earlier this year and moved up to a career-high of 3rd in the world.”
  • “The greens are extremely fast and penal. You hit it on the green, the hole is not done. I was just amazed how fast the greens are. Yeah, I mean, they are extremely fast. If they get any firmer and faster, the greens, I mean, they’d be borderline. They already are borderline,” Clark said on Pinehurst’s famously undulating putting surfaces, before admitting that sometimes it’s better to miss a green in the right spot than hit it in the wrong position.”
Full piece.

4. Harrington reflects ahead of HOF induction

PGATOUR.COM: What comes to mind as you prepare for your induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame and reflect on your career?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: When you’re winning, when you’re going through it, you kind of expect that it’s going to continue to happen so you don’t get too caught up in it. You tend to just get on with it. You’re always thinking about the next win. Whereas at this time in my career and with the Hall of Fame looming, it is very much time to take stock and have a nice reflection on what I’ve done. And it’s very satisfying.

PGATOUR.COM: What is the source of that satisfaction?

HARRINGTON: Well, I think I’ve always felt I’ve far exceeded my own expectations. But when you get to the Hall of Fame, you realize that actually you’ve achieved on a whole different level. There’s not that many golfers that get into it. You don’t get into the Hall of Fame for anything but your performances. That’s it. This is an opportunity to look back and say, ‘You know what? You did well.’

PGATOUR.COM: You’ve said before that you weren’t the guy who looked destined to be great. What was your secret to getting the most out of your talents?

HARRINGTON: I was always somebody who just did it, got it done.

Full piece.

5. More bad news for Hataoka

Golf Channel staff…”After being disqualified from last week’s ShopRite LPGA Classic, Nasa Hataoka has slipped from Japan’s final qualifying spot for the Olympic women’s golf event.”

  • “Ayaka Furue now holds Japan’s second of two currently available positions. Furue tied for second this past week to move to 19th in the latest Rolex Rankings. Hataoka dropped to 20th.”
  • “Hataoka opened in 65 at the ShopRite but was DQ’d ahead of Saturday’s second round when officials determined that she took too long to find a lost ball on Friday, and subsequently, played her next shot from the wrong spot.”
Full Piece.

6. Weather ahead at Pinehurst

PGATour.com staff report…

  • Thursday: Low chance of rain beginning in the afternoon with increased temperatures in the evening. Low: 68F, High: 90F. Winds: 4-10 mph, gusting at 15 mph.
  • Friday: Rising temperatures and scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon, 40% chance of showers. Low: 68F, High: 92F. Winds: 4-10 mph, gusting at 15 mph.
  • Saturday: Rising temperatures and scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon, 40% chance of showers. Low: 68F, High: 92F. Winds: 4-8 mph, gusting at 12 mph.
  • Sunday: Heat expected throughout the day with 20% chance of showers. Low: 68F, High: 92F. Winds: 4-10 mph, gusting at 15 mph.
Full Piece.

7. Ortiz: I deserve to be at U.S. Open

Joel Kulasingham for Golf Monthly…”Carlos Ortiz says he deserves to be teeing off at this week’s US Open, despite failing to qualify for the tournament at Pinehurst No.2.”

  • “The 33-year-old Mexican claimed his first LIV Golf victory in Houston on Sunday thanks to a five-under final round to hang on to a one-shot win over Adrian Meronk, who missed a birdie on his last hole to miss a playoff.
  • “The world No.237 still had a chance to get into the tournament through US Open qualifying in Dallas three weeks ago, but a double bogey on the final hole scuppered any hopes of joining the 13 other LIV players teeing it up in Pinehurst on Thursday.
  • “I’ve been playing great. It’s a shame I doubled the last hole to miss the qualifier. It hurt a lot,” Ortiz admitted.
  • “But despite not doing enough in qualifying, Ortiz – like many of his LIV colleagues – lamented the current state of professional golf, and says he deserves to be playing at the US Open as “one of the best players in the world right now”.
  • “I think with time, we’re going to get back into the Majors because I know that I’m one of the best players in the world right now, and I deserve to be there. But the way things are happening right now, it’s kind of hard.”
Full Piece.

8. Carnage on the way?

9. U.S. Open photos

  • Check out all of our galleries from this week’s major event!
Full Piece.
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Tour Rundown: Full hand for Scottie | Where’d that Strom come from?

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The week prior to a major championship is typically replete with anticipation … for the coming event. Not so for the first full week of June, 2024. Golfers gathered to pay homage to history’s greatest major champion, to Wisconsin’s greatest champion, and to each other. The DP World Tour held its annual, no-gender championship in Sweden, while the LPGA traveled to coastal New Jersey for an old-school face-off. If you held a pair of Linn’s in your hand this weekend, you hit the jackpot. If none of that seems to connect, don’t worry. We have the pen, so here go the dots, in this week’s Tour Rundown.

PGA Tour @ he Memorial: Full hand for Scottie

What do they say about scar tissue? The more you lose to a certain player, the more difficult it is to beat that player. Scar tissue is building up across the PGA Tour, thanks to the wizardry of the young Texan, Scottie Scheffler. We’ll reserve judgment until after Pinehurst, but as things currently stand, all that can stop his caravan of triumph is a misunderstanding.

I recall when our son used to play fullback in soccer. He often let opposing players get past him, for the sheer joy of chasing them down. Scottie Scheffler may not have that odd move in his gameplay, but he doesn’t run away with tournaments. He usually finds a way to let golfers back in, although I suspect he does not do so with purpose. At the Memorial, Scheffler held a four-shot advantage through 54 holes, but he didn’t run off on Sunday and leave the opposition playing for second. His play on Sunday was more survival than celebrity, and he nearly went to a playoff.

Collin Morikawa fought bravely back, but didn’t have the requisite skills to break through the scar tissue. Morikawa has been in the mix a few times this season and has yet to find a way to come homeward with his best game. The same happened again on Sunday. As Scheffler played the final twelve holes in two-over par, Morikawa gained five shots on the leader, only to give a crucial one back on 17. Muirfield Village has become a 1970s-throwback course of late, adding length and super-thick rough as protection. As a result, the excitement comes from bogey avoidance down the stretch. Collin was close, but Scheffler found victory number five on the year, in the nick of time.

LPGA @ ShopRite: Where’d that Strom come from?

Forgive the pundits if they transpose the “s” and the “r” for an easy headline. A storm called Strom blew in off the Atlantic and took over the Wilson/Ross course at Seaview Resort. Linnea Strom did just about everything right on Sunday. She posted nine birdies and one eagle (coming at the par-5 ninth hole) and ignored the prospect of bogey or worse, throughout the entirety of the round. Her win came by a single shot, with a quintet of golfers passing through astonishment, to gob-smackery, to outright dumbfoundment.

Imagine being any one of the following: Ayaka Furue @ 65; Megan Kang @ 66; Atthaya Thitikul @ 65; Morgane Metraux @ 66; or home-state girls Marina Alex @ 64. That fivesome played as well as they might have hoped, yet none was able to wrest the tournament’s trophy from the unlikely hands of Linnea Strom. Inconceivably, the victory was her first on the LPGA circuit. What a way to get the job done.

DP World Tour @ Scandinavian Mixed: Linn’s request is Grant-ed

Low-hanging fruit is what they call that headline. Linn Grant went into Sunday with eyes set on a nice finish to a nice week. The Scandinavian Mixed pits all genders in one field, and has seen some terrific wins by women and men, during its brief history. Sebastian Soderberg had the tournament wrapped up on Saturday. Somehow, on day four, the bow dissolved and Soderberg melted to a score of 77. Keep in mind that he had posted 63-66-66 over the first 54 holes. Golf is baffling.

Linn Grant went out on day four and ran off four birdies for 31 on the front side. She kept her head coming home, added two more for 65 and a total of 17-under par. She edged past Calum Hill, who closed with 69 for minus-16. All of that should have been pleasantry, except for the goings-on in the final pairing. Soderberg was never on his game over the course of the final day. He had a pair of birdies, but more than his share of bogies. On the final hole, from the middle of the fairway, he missed the green in the right side bunker, then splashed to 24 feet. His putt for the outright win missed by 15 inches. His putt for the playoff missed by one inch. In the blink of an eye, a careless close had awarded the trophy to Grant.

Tour Champions @ American Family: Big ChEasy in Wisconsin

Ernie Els really had no shot on Sunday in Madison. Steve Stricker was at home, comfortable, and trending. The former Ryder Cup captain was three-under on the day through 13, two ahead of Els, closing the deal. When Els made a third consecutive birdie at 14, Stricker posted bogey. In a moment’s hesitation, the game was afoot. Each added one more birdie coming home, and finished in a tie at minus-twelve, three clear of Cameron Percy.

There would be another, moment’s hesitation, and it would spell the unimaginable end of the home-state lad. After Els tapped in for par on the first playoff hole, Stricker addressed a wee, three-feet putt to match … and missed. A stunned Els was a winner for a second consecutive week, and his affection for the American midwest grew large.

Korn Ferry Tour @ BMW Championship: Gerard goes off

Ryan Gerard had compiled a sizable lead through 54 holes in the Palmetto state of South Carolina. With, or despite, the knowledge that his inspirational father was en route to the tournament site, Gerard remained focused and closed in proper fashion. He posted 66 on day four, and finished off a six-shot triumph over Seth Reeves. The win was Gerard’s first, important professional victory, and closed a circle of father-son-golf.

There was never a time at the Thornblade Club, that Gerard seemed anywhere other than in charge and control. He began the week with 64, followed with 66, then ignited on Saturday with 63. Knowing the potential for concentration loss, Gerard kept his vision focused on each shot, and no other. After that opening 64, which featured two eagles, a bunch of birdies, and a handful of bogeys, Gerard settled down to a mere two bogeys over the final 54 holes.

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