The third World Golf Championship of 2012 takes place this week at the famous Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. Last year, Adam Scott won his first WGC event, with Steve Williams controversially proclaiming afterwards it was the best victory of his caddying career.
There hasn’t been a huge amount of rain in Ohio over the past couple of weeks, meaning the rough isn’t particularly high and the greens are running at 13 on the stimpmeter. The course will be playing firm and fast and, at 7,400 yards, it is the longest par-70 golf course on the PGA Tour circuit.
The conditions play right into the hands of Tiger Woods, who has won a record-breaking seven times around Firestone. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the bookmakers have installed him as the firm favourite at 5/1. Despite conditions and his record in the event, there isn’t much value in this price, and his short odds mean other golfers are more reasonably priced.
Adam Scott, at 16/1 with Ladbrokes, is someone that simply cannot be ignored. Granted, he suffered a harrowing collapse at last week’s Open, but he hit the ball better than anyone else, and he won at Firestone last year thanks, in no small part, to an exceptional display of driving.
Rickie Fowler, at 25/1 with Ladbrokes, is also hard to ignore. He finished in a tie for second at Firestone last year and broke his PGA Tour duck at Quail Hollow earlier this season. He ranks 11th in Total Driving and 15th in the all-around stats, with five top 10s this season. Expect Fowler to contend.
Bet with Ladbrokes and get up to £50 on free bets:
Keegan Bradley is generously priced at 50/1 with Ladbrokes this week. He plays his best golf during the summer and was in contention last year before a final round collapse. His performance at Firestone was the springboard to his PGA Championship success, and he will return with fond memories. He ranks 10th in Total Driving and first in the all-around ranking, with no discernible weakness in his game.
Peter Hanson, at 66/1 with Ladbrokes, is someone worth considering. He enjoys playing in firm, fast conditions, as he demonstrated this year on the European Tour’s desert swing (and last year at the Dubai World Championship). He has an affinity for Firestone, finishing 21st in 2011 and 8th in 2010.
Ryo Ishikawa, at 150/1 with Ladbrokes, might be chopping it at the moment, but he strung together three solid rounds last week, including a final-round 67. He played some wonderful golf at the Bridgestone last year en route to a 4th placed finish, including a third-round 64 which had Ewen Murray eulogising.
WGC Bridgestone Invitational advised bets:
3pts outright on Adam Scott at 16/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts outright on Rickie Fowler at 25/1 with Ladbrokes
1pt each way on Keegan Bradley at 50/1 with Ladbrokes
1pt each way on Peter Hanson at 66/1 with Ladbrokes
1pt each way on Ryo Ishikawa at 150/1 with Ladbrokes