The Tour makes its way to the South Course at Firestone Country Club this week for the WGC Bridgestone Invitational. The course is a Par 70 that plays right around 7,400 yards. The field of about 72 golfers will be tasked with navigating the course while competing with 82 bunkers and three water hazards. As has been the case in the past, the greens should be running at nearly 12.5 feet on the stimpmeter. Firestone is a tough test of golf for even this type of field as it was the 18th most difficult course in 2017 (+0.497 RTP).
Past Five Winners
Off the Tee
Since 2003, there have been 82 golfers that have finished in the Top 5 of DK Scoring for the week at Firestone. Of that group, 44 (53.6%) have finished in the Top 20 of Driving Distance while 37 (45.1%) have hit that threshold in Driving Accuracy. We’re looking at a slight bump in scoring with distance, but the most important driving stat is SG: Off the Tee. It explains just under 25% of DK Points scored. Nearly 93% of Top 5 Scorers finished with positive strokes gained numbers from the tee box. Shaky drivers will have a tough time getting it around under par at Firestone CC. Over the past 36 rounds, Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, and Jon Rahm have the best SG: Off the Tee numbers.
There’s no way around a strong approach game here at Firestone. Only 17.5% of DK Top 20 Scorers have finished the week losing strokes on approach. Since 2003, golfers that have finished in that group have averaged 45 greens in regulation hit. Targeting golfers who’ve performed well recently in SG: Approach is the play as that stat has explained 40.4% of DK Scoring. Over the past 50 rounds, Paul Casey, Tiger Woods, and Henrik Stenson have the highest SG: Approach numbers.
Around the Green
There is a slight bump to around the green play since the top finishers average about five fewer greens in regulation hit at Firestone compared to a regular tour stop. That doesn’t mean you should break the bank targeting short game though. SG: Off the Tee is still twice as important, while SG: Approach is over three times as important, as SG: Around the Green.