UPDATED 5:22 p.m. The World Golf Championship Bridgestone Invitational showcases the world's best golfers tomorrow with a day set aside for charity, but the first view of the 2013 field at practice.
Thursday and Friday tee times and pairings were announced today for Rounds 1 & 2. Fans will want to mark when their favorites start the tournament; Tiger Woods tees off Thursday from 10 at 9:20 a.m. with Adam Scott ten minutes later from the same tee. British Open champion Phil Mickelson starts from the first tee at 1:40 p.m. with the pairing of Luke Donald and 2012 WGC Bridgestone defending champion Keegan Bradley off at 2:00 p.m. Thursday. A full listing of both Thursday and Friday tee times, starting positions and pairings is in .pdf form as a download at the bottom of this story.
Starting Wednesday, Firestone Country Club becomes the center of the golf universe for five days with the start of the Bridgestone Invitational.
Tuesday, some of the more than 1,000 volunteers were hard at work making final preparations for the start of the tournament's practice rounds.
The tournament only has four full-time employees. The cost savings are then passed on to charity through Northern Ohio Golf Charities. Since the start of the tournament, the organization has given away more than $22 million to area nonprofits. Last year's tournament topped the $1 million mark in charitable giving. This year's anchor charity is the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland and Akron. Both houses will receive $50,000.
While the tournament itself doesn't get underway until Thursday, the golfers will be on course tomorrow for practice rounds. These rounds are open to the public, and tournament executive director Don Padgett said it's an opportunity for fans to get up close and personal with the golfers.
"It's a great time to get autographs, take some pictures," he said. "The pros are a lot more accessible."
This year's tournament features a number of household names in the golf world, including Tiger Woods, British Open champion Phil Mickelson, and defending Bridgestone Invitational champ Keegan Bradley.
"Very few places around the world get the quality of field that we get year in and year out here at Firestone," Padgett said. We're very fortunate to have that here in Northeast Ohio."
2010 champ Hunter Mahan will not play in this year's tournament. He withdrew after his wife gave birth to the couple's first child during a tournament last weekend.