Firestone Country Club (South Course), Akron, Ohio
Par 70, 7,400 yards
Firestone is a bit of a beast measuring 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 and will not be reachable in two for most of the field. It also has four par 3’s and 12 par 4’s. Seven of the 12 par 4’s measure over 460 yards so length will be a big advantage here. Three of the four par 3’s will measure over 200 yards so be on the lookout for guys that are good long iron players.
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. Other stats worth looking at here are approaches from 150-200 yards as a lot of the par 3’s and par 4’s will demand accurate iron play from that distance.
Adam Scott 16/1
Scott has been showing some decent form over the last few weeks with two top 10’s in his last two starts. He played well in Chambers Bay shooting a superb final round 64 to finish T4 at The US Open and followed that with an impressive T10 in St Andrews at The Open Championship. He has played well at the other WGC events earlier in the year finishing T12 at The WGC HSBC Champions and T4 at The WGC Cadillac. Scott has a great record here at Firestone finishing T8 last year, T14 in 2013, Win in 2011 and a T9 in 2010.
The Aussie seems to tick a lot of boxes here ranking fourth in driving distance, second in GIR, fifth in strokes gained tee to green and third in approaches from 100-125. Scott also ranks 22nd in par 4 scoring, 27th in par 5 scoring and 12th in par 4 birdie or better leaders, which is a good stat for scoring on the 12 par 4’s here. With good current form and a solid record around this course, Adam Scott could be a big threat here this week.
Louis Oosthuizen 25/1
Louis has been playing well recently and looks to have put any injury concerns behind him. He looked superb at The Open and putted extremely well all week, but sadly lost a playoff to in form Zach Johnson and ended up finishing P2. Despite shooting a 77 in round one, Oosthuizen also had a superb week at The US Open in Chambers Bay and recovered well shooting rounds of 66,66,67 to get right back in the thick of things and finish T2 on four under for the tournament. He has played well at The other WGC’s earlier in the year finishing solo 6th at The WGC Cadillac, T14 at the WGC HSBC Champions and T5 at The WGC Matchplay.
Louis has played well here in the past finishing T4 in 2012 and T9 in 2010. He also ticks a lot of statistical boxes ranking 32nd in driving distance, 20th in GIR, 29th in strokes gained tee to green and 27th in approaches from 175-200 yards. He also ranks third in approaches from 200-225, sixth in approaches from 200+ and 13th in par 4 scoring. Oosthuizen seems to play better on the bigger stages and looks to be right on the cusp of a win any day now given his current form.
Zach Johnson 40/1
Zach Johnson has been playing superb golf over the last few weeks with four top 10’s in his last five starts. After a brilliant win at St Andrews beating Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman in a playoff, Johnson also finished T3 at The John Deere Classic the week before, solo sixth at The Travelers and solo fifth at The Byron Nelson. He has also played well here in the past finishing T23 last year, T4 in 2013 and T6 in 2011.
Statswise, Johnson ranks third in driving accuracy, 34th in GIR, 13th in strokes gained tee to green and 21st in approaches from 175-200 yards. He also ranks 28th in par 3 scoring, seventh in par 4 scoring and 18th in par 5 scoring. All in all, Zach Johnson is in superb format present and should be able to keep that going this week at Firestone.
Jim Furyk 40/1
Furyk come here this week with two top 5’s in his last four starts. He played well at The RBC Canadian Open recently shooting 68,69,68,69 on his way to solo fourth and a 14 under par total and showed some great consistency. He also had a good week at The Memorial finishing T5 on twelve under for the week. He also played well at the other WGC events finishing T12 at The WGC Cadillac and fourth in The Matchplay. Furyk has a great record around Firestone finishing T15 last year, ninth in 2013, second in 2012 and sixth in 2010.
Statswise he ranks 11th in driving accuracy, 24th in GIR, seventh in strokes gained tee to green, 12th in approaches from 200-225 and second in approaches from 250-275. He also ranks eighth in approaches from 175-200 and 22nd in par 4 scoring. With such a good record here over the years and great current form, Jim Furyk looks a great shout here at a decent price.
Final Selections –
Adam Scott 16/1 2pts EW
Louis Oosthuizen 25/1 2pts EW
Zach Johnson 40/1 1pt EW
Jim Furyk 40/1 1pt EW
Total staked = 12 pts
Good luck and enjoy the golf,
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