WGC-Bridgestone Invitational Leaderboard, Preview, TV Times

Hideki Matsuyama is defending champion at Firestone CC in Ohio

Hideki Matsuyama defends WGC-Bridgestone Invitational
Hideki Matsuyama defends WGC-Bridgestone Invitational
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The best players in the world are in Akron, Ohio this week for the year’s third World Golf Championship event. Hideki Matsuyama defends the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone CC.

WGC-Bridgestone Invitational Leaderboard, Preview, TV Times

A strong field including all of the top-50 players in the world has assembled at Firestone CC to contest the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Hideki Matsuyama defends and eight-time champion Tiger Woods tees it up.

At 7,400 yards with a par of only 70, Firestone presents a tough challenge to the top players. The South Course at Firestone was originally designed by Bert Way back in 1929 but it was remodelled by the great Robert Trent Jones in 1960. In 1976, the course hosted the first World Series of Golf, won by Jack Nicklaus. Until 1998 the tournament was known by that name, before it became a WGC event in 1999.

Tiger Woods is an eight-time champion

Tiger Woods is an eight-time champion

Tiger Woods was a dominant force at Firestone for many years after winning the inaugural instalment of this event as a WGC tournament (then the NEC Invitational) back in 1999. He defended his title in 2000 and made it three in a row in 2001. He’s won the event five more times since then.

Woods made it into the field this week thanks to his tied sixth place finish at Carnoustie. He is playing in his first WGC event since the 2014 Bridgestone.

Phil Mickelson will be playing his 20th WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. He is the only player to have competed in every one since 1999.

Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson

Last time out, Hideki Matsuyama of Japan was an impressive winner at Firestone. He closed with an incredible round of 61 to win by five shots from Zach Johnson.

The weather looks mixed and storms could be a factor on Friday.

Venue: Firestone CC, Akron, Ohio Date: Aug 2-5 Course stats: par 70, 7,400 yards Purse: $10,000,000 Defending champion: Hideki Matsuyama (-16)

How to watch the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

TV Coverage: Thursday 2 – Sky Sports Golf from 6.30pm and Sky Sports Main Event from 10.15pm Friday 3 – Sky Sports Golf from 6.30pm and Sky Sports Main Event from 10.15pm Saturday 4 – Sky Sports Golf from 7pm and Sky Sports Main Event from 9pm Sunday 5 – Sky Sports Golf from 5pm and Sky Sports Main Event from 7pm

Not a Sky Sports customer and want to watch the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational?

Why not buy a Now TV pass? For £7.99 you can get a day pass if you wish to watch one of the rounds or, for just £12.99, you can get a week pass to see the whole tournament.

Buy a Now TV Sky Sports Day Pass for £7.99 Buy a Now TV Sky Sports Week Pass for £12.99

Players to watch:

Dustin Johnson – The World Number 1 won in Canada and won this event back in 2016.

Rory McIlroy – Tied second in The Open at Carnoustie, McIlroy won at Firestone in 2014 and has four further top-10 finishes.

Justin Rose – A superb record at The Bridgestone – Never a winner but he has been 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th.

Tiger Woods – He led briefly at Carnoustie and will take great confidence to a venue where he has won eight times.

Key hole: 16th. A 667-yard par 5, it’s a true three shotter. A pond in front of the green means even the longest hitters can’t get there in two.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?