Firestone Country Club (South Course), Akron, Ohio
Par 70, 7,400 yards
This course measures a whopping 7,400 yards and has only two par 5’s, one of which is the 16th which is the longest par five on the PGA Tour so it will not be reachable in two for most of the field. It also has four par 3’s and 12 par 4’s. Some of the par 4’s are quite long and testing so length off the tee will be a big advantage here.
There is also an element of accuracy needed off the tee as some of the fairways are tree lined and have plenty of bunkers but overall, they are pretty forgiving. Accurate iron play will be a big advantage when approaching these tricky bentgrass greens. The key stats here are GIR, total driving, strokes gained putting, par 4 scoring, previous course experience and good current form. Players with previous course experience here tend to do well. The weather forecast is to be warm and humid with moderate wind. There is also the chance of thunderstorms so there could be some delays.
Adam Scott 12/1
The big hitting Aussie comes into this week after some great performances over the last few weeks, including a win at The Crowne Plaza Invitational back in May. Scott followed that with a T4 at The Memorial and a T9 at The US Open in Pinehurst. Most recently, he put together three solid rounds in Hoylake at The Open Championship shooting 68,73,69,66 to finish in T5th for the tournament.
Scott has won this tournament before, back in 2011 where he beat Rickie Fowler and Luke Donald by one stroke. He has also finished in the top 15 three times since 2006 so he knows his way around this course. He ranks second in total driving, 13th in GIR,14th in strokes gained putting and fifth in par 4 scoring. Scott comes here in great form and should be a huge contender here this week.
Justin Rose 18/1
With two wins in his last four starts, Justin Rose is certainly a man making very few mistakes lately. He played steady at The Open Championship and finished in respectable T23rd. He won The Scottish Open shooting a final round 65 to finish on 16 under par for the tournament. Rose also won the week before at The Quicken Loans at Congressional beating Shawn Stefani in a playoff. He also played well at The Players finishing in T4th and followed that with a respectable T12 at The US Open.
Rose has two top fives here in his last seven starts including a further two top 20’s. He was fifth here in 2012, second in 2007 and finished a respectable T17 last year. He ranks 27th in par 4 performance, 14th in GIR from 175-200 yards and 15th in approaches from 100-125 yards.
Rickie Fowler 22/1
With three top 10’s in his last three starts, it’s hard to leave out Rickie this week. He has really stood up to the plate at the bigger events this year and has the results to show it. He played very solid at The Masters in Augusta finishing in T5th on two under par for the week. He also played very well in the tricky Pinehurst No.2 at The US Open finishing in T2 behind the dominant Martin Kaymer.
Most recently, he put together four super rounds in the 60’s at The Open Championship at Hoylake to finish, yet again, T2nd. The week before Rickie also played well at The Scottish Open and carded a final round 65 to finish in T8th. Fowler has played well at Firestone before, his best finish being T2nd in 2011. He comes here in great form and will be looking to improve on his respectable 21st place finish last year.
Keegan Bradley 22/1
Keegan Bradley has been playing very solid lately recording two top fives and a top 20 in his last five starts. He had a good week at Hoylake finishing in a respectable T19th on six under par, which included two 69’s in round three and four. The week before, he played well at The Greenbrier Classic shooting four rounds in the 60’s on nine under par and T4th for the tournament.
Bradley also had a good week at The US Open in Pinehurst recording yet another T4th. He is a player that knows this course and has a good record here with a win in 2012 and a second last year. Statswise he ranks 12th in total driving, 42nd in strokes gained putting, eighth in par 3 performance and 27th in par 4 performance. He also ranks eighth in approaches from 200+ and fifth in GIR from 175-200, two stats that should be a big help on this long par 70. Keegan is playing good golf at the moment and has the ball striking and distance to have yet another good week here.
Long Shots –
Steve Stricker 50/1
Stricker has been playing well the last few weeks with good finishes at The Memorial (T6), The US Open (T21) and The John Deere Classic (T11). He also has a good record at this tournament finishing in the top 10 three times in his last five starts, which include two top 15’s. His best performances here came in 2012 (T2), 2010 (T9) and 2009 (T5th). Stricker hasn’t finished outside the top 15 since 2008 and could be a good each way prospect.
Louis Oosthuizen 66/1
Louis has been showing signs of good golf over the last few weeks. He finished in a respectable T36 at The Open last week, but could have had a better tournament if it weren’t for a poor third round 76. He also put in a good performance at The Byron Nelson a couple of months ago finishing T11th. Louis is another player with a good record at this tournament finishing in the top 10 twice in his last three starts. He was T4th here in 2012 and T9th in T9th in 2010.
Adam Scott 2pts EW
Justin Rose 2pts EW
Rickie Fowler 2pts EW
Keegan Bradley 2pts EW
Steve Stricker 1pt EW
Louis Oosthuizen 1pt EW
Total Staked = 20 pts
Good Luck and enjoy the golf,
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