The field for the Bridgestone Invitational in August is certainly shaping up to be another crowd favorite.
That's because Tiger Woods, fresh off the Memorial Tournament, has lots of wins already at Firestone South -- seven. If he's truly back in form it'll pit him against other best of the best. That list includes Rory McIlroy, Hunter Mahan, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson, already committed the first weekend in August.
World Golf organizers are already calling it one of the strongest fields in years.
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(World Golf Championships) With Tiger Woods’ victory earlier this month at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance, the seven-time Bridgestone Invitational winner seems to be rounding into form for the next event of the World Golf Championships series. Woods, along with worldwide tournament winners Hunter Mahan, Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Branden Grace, Luke Donald, Jason Dufner, Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson, are combining to build excitement for the 2012 event at Firestone Country Club, August 1-5.
With all the exciting news in golf, tournament officials announced that fans are being given a limited opportunity to purchase a good-any-one-day ticket and get one for free from now until June 19. Woods, who originally qualified for the Bridgestone Invitational by being a member of the U.S. Team for The Presidents Cup 2011 and then again with his victory in March at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard, recently committed to the event. His second victory of the PGA TOUR season came in dramatic fashion with birdies on three of the final four holes, including a memorable chip-in on the 16th, for his fifth career win at the Memorial Tournament in nearby Columbus, Ohio. Tournament host and World Golf Hall of Fame member Jack Nicklaus called the flop shot at the par-3 16th, “One of the greatest shots I have ever seen.”
The win, which tied Woods with Nicklaus for the second-most victories on the PGA TOUR with 73, is yet another victory in Ohio for Woods. Twelve of Woods’ 73 TOUR wins have come in the state of Ohio: seven at the Bridgestone Invitational (1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009) and five at the Memorial Tournament (1999, 2000, 2001, 2009, 2012). Mahan, the 2010 Bridgestone Invitational champion, won his second World Golf Championships event earlier this year at the Accenture Match Play Championship, defeating Rory McIlroy in the finals.
Mahan, who also won the Shell Houston Open, has six additional top-25 finishes this season to go along with his two victories. The five-time PGA TOUR winner is looking to win three events in a season for the first time in his career. Mahan has now qualified for the Bridgestone Invitational six consecutive times dating back to 2007. England’s Luke Donald, the world’s No. 1 player who finished runner up to Adam Scott at last year’s Bridgestone Invitational, has won the BMW Championship and the Transitions Championship on the European Tour and PGA TOUR this season, respectively.
Donald has made the cut in all nine PGA TOUR events in which he has played, recording four top-10 finishes, including his playoff victory at the Transitions Championship. Since the start of the 2010 season, no player has finished in the top 10 more than Donald’s 25 top-10 finishes. Rickie Fowler, one of the most recognizable young players in the game, broke through at the Wells Fargo Championship for his first PGA TOUR win in a memorable playoff against McIlroy and D.A. Points. Fowler nearly went on to win the following week but finished T2 at THE PLAYERS Championship. For the season, Fowler has five top-10 finishes and is 10th in the FedExCup standings. Fowler finished T2, with Donald, at last year’s Bridgestone Invitational.
“There is such a great mix of established winners and up-and-coming young players represented in the players already qualified for this year’s Bridgestone Invitational,” said Executive Director Don Padgett. “The Bridgestone Invitational is one of golf’s strongest fields each year, and this year’s field is shaping up to be the most exciting we have ever had here at Firestone. Fans should take advantage of this limited pricing special and come out to the tournament in August. Although, with all the names listed above, the fans might have a hard time deciding which group to follow.”
World Golf Championships: www.worldgolfchampionships.com