Mike Glasscott

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Burning Rubber

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


 

Inside the Ropes

 

WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

Firestone Country Club South Course, Akron, Ohio

 

South Course

Yards: 7,400 per the scorecard

Par: 70 (35-35)

Greens: Pencross bentgrass, Poa annua; 7,600 square feet on average

Stimpmeter: 13+

Rough: Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass at 2.5”-4”

Bunkers: 82

Water Hazards: 3

Course Architect: Bert Way (1928); Redesign: Robert Trent Jones (1960)  

Purse: $8,500,000

Winner’s Share: $1,400,000, 550 FedExCup points

Defending Champion: Adam Scott went wire-to-wire to win by four shots over Rickie Fowler and Luke Donald.

Date:  August 2-5

Notes: There are 77 players in the field this week and there is no cut.

 

 

Trends

 

Since becoming a World Golf Championship in 1999, Tiger Woods has won seven of the 13 tournaments.

 

The 2002 tournament, won by Craig Parry (remember him!), was played outside Seattle at Sahalee Country Club as the South Course was hosting the Senior PGA Championship.

 

This week, 49 of the 50 top OWGR players in the world are playing.  Only Webb Simpson (paternity leave) is missing.

 

Of the top 30 in the FedExCup, 26 are participating this week.  Robert Garrigus, John Huh and Ben Curtis join Webb Simpson on the sidelines this week.

 

Only Tiger Woods (16), Geoff Ogilvy (3), Hunter Mahan (2), Ernie Els (2), Phil Mickelson (2) and Darren Clarke (2) have multiple wins since the WGC format began in 1999.

 

“Young” Guns versus “Middle” Guns versus “Old” Guns

 

In 33 events on TOUR in 2012 the “Middle” guns have equalized their younger competitors on the back of 33-year old Scott Piercy win last week at the RBC Canadian Open, 15-15-3.  The “Old” guns had their glory last week as Ernie Els won the third major of 2012.

 

For the “Young”, age during their victory in ( ), Johnson Wagner (31), Brandt Snedeker (31), Kyle Stanley (24), Bill Haas (29), John Huh (21), Hunter Mahan TWICE (29) Rory McIlroy (22), Justin Rose (31), Rickie Fowler (23), Dustin Johnson (27), Webb Simpson (26), Marc Leishman (29), Ted Potter, Jr. (28) and Scott Stallings (27) are your winners.

 

The “Middle” guys are Mark Wilson (37), George McNeill (36), Luke Donald (34), Tiger Woods THRICE (36), Bubba Watson (33), Carl Pettersson (34), Ben Curtis (34), Matt Kuchar (33), Jason Dufner TWICE (35), Zach Johnson TWICE (36) and Scott Piercy (33).

 

Steve Stricker (44), Phil Mickelson (41) and now Ernie Els (42) are the only “Old” guys to hit the board in 2012.  At least 33% of their wins are majors.

 

 

So What?  So Let’s Dance!

 

Noted for its length, the par-70, 7,360 yard South Course includes a series of intimidating, long par 4 holes and one of the longest par 5’s anywhere. The 16th hole plays to 667 yards. A pond in front of the green captures its share of errant shots. Usually, the casualties aren’t the result of futile attempts to reach the green in two. They are third shots from players who hit errant tee shots and find the woods. A well-placed long tee shot does not guarantee the opportunity to get home in two.

Players, however, have a birdie opportunity on the only other par 5, the 497-yard second hole. The 18th hole, though, is all the par 4 anyone would ever want to play. At 464 yards, it is long, narrow and has a green defended by bunkers. It’s not a place to expect to make a birdie to win. The 16th hole doesn’t have the market covered on length. Before you even get there, the par 3, 221 yard, 15th provides enough of a challenge. The flat green makes for a straight putt, but getting the ball close to the hole can be a problem. From the tee, bunkers on the left of the green are hidden and provide for unpleasant surprises. If a 221-yard par 3 isn’t enough, try the 200-yard 5th hole. The small green can be reached with a 5- or 6- iron but you might need as much as a 3-iron when the wind is blowing. Strange as it may seem, it is not one of the toughest scoring holes. That honor goes to two of the par 4s. The 6th hole is 469 yards of heartburn. It has ranked as the second- and first-toughest challenge for professionals at Firestone over the years. When Robert Trent Jones redesigned Firestone into “The Monster” in 1959, this hole made par an excellent score. The 471-yard fourth hole is another test. All the hole asks a player to do is hit a long and straight tee shot followed by an approach shot that must come in high to hold the elevated green. Sometimes that’s easier said than done. But then again, that’s the best way to sum up Firestone Country Club’s South Course.  Source: GCSAA

 

There’s no mystery to why Tiger Woods has dominated this course over time.  He hits a ton of fairways, has a high ball-flight and loves to putt fast greens.  Adam Scott, one of the better ball-strikers on TOUR followed that formula last year as well, interestingly enough with Stevie Williams on the bag.  Luke Donald, who finished T2 here last year, showed that you don’t have to be a bomber to contend either.  The course is long and tight and if you can keep it in the fairways, you’ll have more chances to find positions on the green where you can hole putts.  Guys that hit it crooked and don’t putt very well will struggle this week. Last year Tiger Woods, in his return from injury, didn’t hit a fairway on the front nine Sunday. That wasn’t good. To put scoring in perspective, Scott’s 12-under-par after 54-holes last year was the lowest in 10 years; His 17-under was second-best since 1999 (Tiger Woods 21-under in 2000).  The average winning score in 12 events since 1999 has been just below 12-under par.

 

The Contenders:

 

The Top 15


Tiger Woods: He’s won here seven times.  He’s won 16 WGC events. Geoff Ogilvy is in second place with three victories.  He was rubbish, according to most, at The Open and finished T3. His ball-striking has been excellent and I believe you will see his putter return this week on fast, bentgrass greens. 

 

Luke Donald:  The world’s No. 1 player has three top 10 finishes in seven-career starts at the South Course, including T2 in 2011.  His confidence and game looked to be in great shape after grinding his way to T5.  In Donald’s last seven events, his worst finish was MC at the U.S. Open.  The six cuts he’s made have included a win (BMW PGA) and everything else T16 or better.  Yes, please.

 

Hunter Mahan: The champion in 2010 is coming off a week where he made four double-bogeys in Canada to finish T48.  The good news is he finished with a very solid 66 so it looks like he is back and ready to get after it.  He’s one of the few on TOUR who has multiple wins in the WGC and has them both in the last three years.  2011 was his worst start in five here finishing T37.  His other finishes are WIN, T4, T10 and T22 in 2007.

 

Adam Scott: The defending champion was THIS close to returning to Tiger’s old stomping ground with an Open Championship as well.  Do you think THAT story would have carried any weight this week with Ol’ Stevie on the bag as well?  This is a perfect rebound tournament for Scott and that’s why I like him this week.  No cut, good vibes, big crowd and a nice paycheck should make him comfy has he tries to erase the final four holes from Royal Lytham & St Annes from his memory at least for a day or two.  Superior ball-striker led the way here last year wire-to-wire.

 

Rickie Fowler: After a torrid run of form which saw finish WIN, T2 and T5 came to a screeching halt in the final group on Sunday with Tiger Woods at the Memorial and 84.  I remember because he was my projected winner that week and he ended the day T52.  His last two events on TOUR have been majors, finishing T41 at Olympic Club and T31 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.  He’s made seven straight cuts and was T2 last here finishing at 13-under, four shots behind Scott.  Fowler’s excellent ball-striking will give him a chance this week.

 

Jason Dufner: In his last four events on TOUR Dufner’s finished WIN, second, T4 and T31.  Like Fowler, his last two events have been the U.S. Open (T4) and The Open Championship (T31).  I used to get nervous when guys haven’t played certain courses before but since his runner-up at the PGA Championship last year, I’ve thrown out that caveat with Dufner.  His game travels and fits any course.  It should when you strike the golf ball like he does.  Oh, and he’s made 15 straight cuts which trails Kuchar’s lead of 23 for most currently on TOUR.  

 

Zach Johnson: Johnson has had an excellent summer and I see no reason for him to slow down this week in Akron.  In eight starts at the South Course, Johnson has five finishes inside the top 16 including T6 last year, his best of the bunch.  Johnson’s game is him shape and his putting (No. 1 in strokes gained-putting) has been excellent. 

 

Nicolas Colsaerts: His coming out party was at Royal Lytham & St. Annes as he produced bookend 65’s to finish T7 at The Open Championship.  He proved that he was more than just a long-ball expert but that trait sure doesn’t hurt on a par-70, 7,400 yard track.  Colsaerts has eight finishes in the top 10, including a victory, this season on the European Tour.  If you think he’s just a bomber, remember he won the Volvo Match Play earlier this year and it takes more than hitting it deep to defeat a field of that quality.

 

Lee Westwood: The world No. 4 has had excellent success just about everywhere he plays at the South Course is not any different.  His last four times playing in Akron has seen Westwood finish T2, ninth, WD and T9 last year.  Fairways and greens are boring, I know, but he has no pressure on him this week like he did at The Open so I expect another solid finish.

 

Dustin Johnson: His length will be a benefit this week as he embarks on his seventh tournament back from a back injury.  After opening with 73 at The Open Championship, Johnson posted back-to-back 68’s before firing 71 on Sunday for T9 in his last time out.  He finished T48 last year but was T22 GIR.  Must. Putt. Better.

 

Bubba Watson: Watson made a huge leap in my book last time out as he showed excellent maturity in finishing a solid T23 (best-ever) at The Open Championship.  He stuck to his game plan and executed, to a degree, on a course that probably wasn’t easy on his eyes.  After questioning his ability to play at Olympic Club, Watson has followed up with T2 at the Travelers and T23 at The Open.  Watson leads the TOUR in GIR and driving distance so guess what club he’s going to need to cooperate this week?  He’s finished T22 in 2010 and T21 last year in his only two appearances.

 

Rory McIlroy:  The enigma, trapped inside a riddle…well, maybe not all of that but I’m having a hard time getting a handle on McIlroy lately.  He has the talent; there’s no question.  He’s mentioned his desire might be lacking at times.  He’s in love in his early 20’s.  The only answers I can’t find are on the golf course.  Since his P2 at WFC in early May, he’s MC (THE PLAYERS), MC (BMW PGA), MC (Memorial), T7 (FESJC), MC (U.S. Open), T10 (Irish Open) and T60 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.  The only reason he made the list this week is because he finished T6 last year and T9 in 2010 here.  He’s a horse for course that is currently off-course.

 

Matt Kuchar: With finishes of T19 and T9 in his last two trips to Akron, it’s hard to overlook Mr. Consistent.  He’s turning into a young man’s Steve Stricker in how consistent he plays.  For Kuchar’s sake, you hope he starts hitting the win category a little more frequently but he’s a fantasy lay-up.  He had his worst finish on TOUR since April (T44 RBC Heritage) last week with T34 at the RBC Canadian.  I blame RBC for this.  This week, he’s at home with Bridgestone!

 

Bo Van Pelt: Van Pelt rebounded from only his second MC of 2012 (The Open Championship) to open 65-66 last week in Canada.  He eventually finished T7 after a quiet weekend but that was his seventh finish in the top 10 this year.  I have no worries about him again this week as he was T3 in 2010 and T23 last year.  Steady off the tee, solid into greens and being an excellent putter is a great combination this week and most weeks as BVP has shown in 2012.

 

 

 

Stepping up in Class

Guys who you might not “see” in a massive field such as this

 

Retief Goosen: He’s finished T10 (U.S. Open) T64 (The Open Championship) and T10 last week in Canada in his last three.  He was T3 in 2010 and T4 in 2008 here.  Seven of his 11 starts here have been top 25 finishes.   Guess which week I put him in the column?  No, go ahead; you’ll get it right…

 

Martin Laird: He’s finished T11 last year and T16 in 2010 in his only two appearances.  He was 10-under heading into the final round last year before his 72 on Sunday pushed him out of the top 10.  Laird played three of four rounds at The Open Championship at par or better.  His 82 on Saturday was the only exception.  His 70 on Sunday showed an excellent bounce-back.

 

Scott Piercy: He won last week to gain entrance into this week’s field. In his last three starts, he’s recorded WIN, third and T12.  Not too many hotter on TOUR or anywhere else in the world right now.

 


Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers

Guys who might bounce in the wrong direction this week


 

Phil Mickelson: One top 25 in his last nine (2008, T4).  In his last three events on TOUR he’s been MC, MC and T65.

 

Robert Allenby: Eight of his 10 finishes here have been T23 or better.  He’s MC in his last four TOUR events since his T7 FESJC.

 

Jonathan Byrd: He was T59 last year and T71 in 2003 in his only two appearances.  Since his T6 at the Memorial he has posted T56, T22, T54 and MC.

 

 

Inside the Ropes Part Deux

 

Reno-Tahoe Open

Montreux Golf & Country Club, Reno, Nevada

 

Yards: 7,472 per the scorecard

Par: 72 (36-36)

Greens: Bentgrass, Poa annua; 5,500 square feet on average

Stimpmeter: 11.5 ft.

Rough: Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass and fescue at 3.5”-4”

Bunkers: 62

Water Hazards: 6

Course Architect: Jack Nicklaus, 1995; Redesign Jack Nicklaus 2002

Purse: $3,000,000

Winner’s Share: $540,000, 250 FedExCup points

Defending Champion:  Scott Piercy made a seven-foot par putt on the 72nd hole to defeat Pat Perez by one shot for his first-career TOUR victory.

Date:  August 2-5

Notes: Full-field event; Modified Stableford scoring system.

 

Trends

 

There have been seven first-time winners in 13 editions of the Reno-Tahoe Open, including last year’s winner Scott Piercy.

 

Piercy is the only native of the state of Nevada to win this event.

 

Vaughn Taylor is the only multiple winner of this event and, obviously, is the only golfer who has defend his championship.

 

The Stars and Stripes have won all 13 Reno-Taho Opens.  The Stars and Stripes have won 28 of 33 events on TOUR in 2012.

 

Only five of 13 winners here have been in their 20’s. 

 

So What? So Let’s Dance!

 

7,472 yards sit at an elevation between 5,000 and 6,000 feet. The Sierra setting has towering pine trees, creeks, seven lakes, four waterfalls, and drops and rises in elevation. Montreux is Northern Nevada's only Jack Nicklaus Signature Design golf course. Nicklaus has stated that Montreux is one of his top five courses. A flood destroyed No. 17 in January 1997, which had to be rebuilt in the spring of 1998. After the flooding in 1997, the creek that now runs through No. 17 was found to be a natural water way and was worked into the redesign, as it was not part of the original design of the hole. In 2002, more property was acquired and three additional holes were added to the course to the right of No. 6. These scenic holes were added to replace the previous No. 1, 2, and 3, which had more of a high desert design. The original first three holes are now part of the practice facility. Since the addition of the new holes, Montreux is almost entirely in the forest. Since its inception in 1999, the Reno-Tahoe Open has played Montreux with the front and back nines reversed. Beginning last year, the course was be played as it was designed, which should make the finishing holes a bit more interesting as they require a higher degree of accuracy and offer more risk/reward shots.  Source: GCSAA

 

Last year, the course was played in its original, 18-hole format.  This year, they will keep that going plus add the Modified Stableford scoring system.  Please click this link for more information if you are not familiar with the system.  Jack Nicklaus courses are known for their generous fairways and Montreux is no different.  The altitude should help the players eat up these 7,472 without much problem as the ball will travel farther this week.  Players will have to take advantage of their iron play this week if they are going to contend but as Robert Garrigus demonstrated last week, you will have to make putts as well if you’re banging GIR.  Long-hitters should have an advantage this week as they can attack the greens with shorter irons in their hands.  The average winning score here has been just over 17-under par in the 12 events.  Last year Scott Piercy won at 17 under so this will be another week on TOUR where pressing 20-under will win. That means birdies and eagles will have to be made and bogeys and worse must be avoided, especially with the introduction of the Modified Stableford scoring system.  Just imagine if they were using the REGULAR Stableford scoring system!* It would be chaos for all! 

*Note:  Just like I’m not sure if the Mini Cooper is derived from the Cooper, I have no idea if there really is a Stableford scoring system or why the one they are using this week is “modified”.  As you were, people…

 

The Contenders

Here’s a 10-pack to start with, in order, as always

 

Chris Kirk: After missing three consecutive cuts “Captain” Kirk has played some very solid golf in his last three outings, improving his final position each time.  He opened with T30 at John Deere but fired all four rounds under par.  At the True South the following week, he fired 15-under to claim a share of 10th.  It almost all came together last week in Canada but he was unable to back up his Saturday 63 with another low one on Sunday so he settled for T4.  He’s 39-under par in those three events.  I look for him to continue to get low this week.

 

Pat Perez: Last year’s runner-up to Scott Piercy, Perez lines up perfectly this week but he hasn’t had a top 10 since late May.  He leads the field in birdie average, birdie-to-bogey ratio, birdie-or-better average and is fourth in bogey avoidance.  I believe he will take advantage of the new scoring format with his aggressive style.

 

Padraig Harrington: Form is temporary; class is permanent.  I like the fact that Harrington signed up to play this week when he could have easily just packed his bags at headed to Kiawah Island to prepare for the PGA Championship.  He’s not taking the easy route so that tells me his game must be feeling pretty good.  In his last five TOUR outings, he’s finished T15, T13, T4, T11 and T39 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.  That form should carry him this week even in Modified Stableford scoring.

 

S.Y. Noh: Wash. Rinse. Repeat.  Here we are again with another week, another start for Noh and another appearance in the column.  He’s now made 12 cuts on the bounce and 19 of 23 for 2012.  He’s second on TOUR in most birdies made and can take it deep of the tee, hence why he leads the TOUR in par-five performance.  In his last six events his worst finish is T27 and includes a T4 and T7.  He will win; it’s just a question of when.

 

Josh Teater: After his last two appearances on TOUR, he should change his name to “Heater”.  After missing four of five weekends, Teater has improved his final position on the leaderboard for three straight weeks.  His run of solid play began as he finished T36 at John Deere.  The following week at the True South he banged his first top 10 of the season with a ninth-place finish that included one round OVER par.  He was helped out tremendously by two rounds of 64 though!  Last week, he banged in 19 birdies and 66 on Sunday to finish T4 for his best finish since 2010.  Teater was also T10 at Montreux last year so he obviously likes the lay out.  Get in the saddle!

 

John Rollins: The “poor man’s” Scott Piercy of 2012, Rollins’ roller-coaster ride has been interesting as well.  He’s only made 10 of 18 cuts but nine of those 10 finishes have resulted in top 25’s and five top 10’s so there’s not much “poor” about it.  Yet he’s missed three of his last four cuts but the one he did make was T4 at the Travelers.  Here why I like Rollins this week.  He’s second in THIS field in birdie average, birdie-to-bogey ratio and birdie-or-better average.  Oh, and he’s won here (2009) and was T2 (2008) in back-to-back years.  He was also T14 in 2002 and 2004.  I’m going with “all” portion of “all or nothing” with Rollins this week.

 

J.B. Holmes: Holmes has quietly put together a nice run of six consecutive weekends of playing golf on TOUR, including T15 last week in Canada.  His length will be an advantage this week even at altitude as Jack Nicklaus courses are known for their generous landing areas.  This is will be Holmes first time playing this event and his form suggests he should compete again this weekend.

 

Patrick Cantlay: I’m going to stretch here and ride his momentum from his Monday qualifier into this weekend.  Cantlay has found out that it’s not as easy on TOUR as he made it look at times last year, including his 60 at the Travelers.  Although he’s only made a little over $48,000 this year, he has made seven of eight weekends.  He showed signs of life in Canada last weekend as he fired his best round of 2012, closing with 66.  It obviously carried over to the qualifier and now I’ll try to stretch it out to the weekend. 

 

Billy Horschel: He’s six-for-six in his last six outings, including a third-place finish at the True South Classic.  In Mississippi, he fired a 63 to help vault him up the leaderboard and last week he closed with 64.  I’m stretching a bit here but he has been playing well and he was 10th here last year. 

 

Gary Christian: First of all, you gotta like a guy who goes on a pub crawl after hitting his first top 10 on TOUR.  Second, for an “old” rookie (40 years old) Christian has been playing some solid golf recently.  He’s made eight of his last 10 cuts and that includes four finishes of T19 or better.  This will be a bit of stretch because he’s not long and not a great putter but his form has won me over.

 


Rolling the Dice

Here are four more that I might need a bit of luck with this week.  Just a bit…

 

Rod Pampling: His best finish in the last five months was T22 at AT&T National.  He had an excellent “horse for course” rating at Congressional and that’s where he fits in this week as well at Montreux.  In his last three starts he’s finished T18, T21 and eighth.  Back in the early 2000’s he had a T3 and T17.  Come on boxcars!

 

Alex Cejka: He’s made five cuts in his last five starts on TOUR is the good news.  The bad news is those five starts stretch back to the end of April.  Across the pond, Cejka has played just three times since the middle of May and his best finish is T49.  Don’t worry!  He owns Montreux!  In six career-starts from 2005-2010, Cejka has been MC, T9, T12, MC, T5 and T5.  Hard eight please!

 

Harrison Frazar: After beginning the season T5 and T2, Frazar has gone on to make the cut in six of 15 events.  Talk about a long shot!  Frazar, who did not play here last year or in 2010, had a pretty nice run from 2002-2009 finishing T17, fifth, MC, T18, T11, MC, T4 and T22.  Hey, with TWO tournaments going on this week I’m allowed to have a little fun.  Snake eyes!

 

John Merrick: Merrick has hit the top eight in three of four starts at Montreux.  His other start was T25 last year.  His solo second at FESJC is his only top anything of 2012 in 11 made cuts (20 events).  Since that performance, Merrick has rung up T71, MC, T64 and T54 so calling him an outsider this week wouldn’t be off-base.  Hard ten.

 

Craps

Three to avoid based on history and form

 

Spencer Levin: He has hit the top 25 twice in his last 15 events (T4 Memorial, T15 THE PLAYERS).  Sure, it’s a home-game (close enough, relax) but in his last two trips to Montreux he’s finished MC (2010) and T63 (2009).

 

Kevin Stadler: Born in Reno, Stadler has a decent track record here but his recent form will keep me away.  He’s MC in his last four outings on TOUR.

 

Bryce Molder: He was T10 last year at Montreux but he WD with a neck injury his last time out at the John Deere Classic.  In his last nine events, his best finish is T24.  No point to pull a muscle stretching for him this week.

 

 

Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge:  WGC-Bridgestone (Glass’s Picks)

 

Group 1: Tiger Woods

Group 2: Dustin Johnson

Group 3: Nick Watney

Group 4: Retief Goosen

 

Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge:  Reno-Tahoe (Glass’s Picks)

 

Group 1: Chris Kirk

Group 2: Josh Teater

Group 3: Gary Christian

Group 4: Patrick Reed

 

 

 

Ned said, “…

 

Ned Brown is a long-time contributor for Rotoworld Golf.  He’s had documented success in Yahoo!’s game for years.  Even if you’re confident in your selections for that game, give his insight a read.  Now, Ned also provides us with his Golf Channel fantasy game selections as well!

 

Full Disclosure:  I am NOT Ned! He’s smarter and better looking!

 

Group A

 

Adam Scott- His recent record is great at Firestone, but the big question how his British Open collapse will carryover into this week. I'm betting that he will bounce back this week.

 

Zach Johnson-- There is only seven events left in this year's Yahoo! game, but I'm still going to try to save a start of Luke Donald. I prefer Donald, but Johnson has been red hot over the last three months and his history at Firestone is solid with two top 10 finishes in eight career starts.

 

SUPER SUBS

Luke Donald, Matt Kuchar, Steve Stricker, Phil Mickelson

 

Group B

 

Tiger Woods-- I have only two starts left on Woods, but I'm going to use one of them this week because Woods is a seven-time winner here and he is on a roll that has seen him pick up three victories this season.

 

Bo Van Pelt-- Van Pelt for the most part has played well recently with a second place at the AT&T National and a T7 last week at the Canadian Open. He has played at the WGC-Bridgestone only twice, but one of those was a T3 finish in '10.

 

Hunter Mahan-- Mahan turned in a bit of a clunker last week at the Canadian Open, however before that he was playing well. The main reason he gets a nod this week is because of his strong history at Firestone of three top 10s in his last four years, which also includes a championship in '10.

 

Rory McIlroy-- You wouldn't think that picking the world's number three golfer is a bit of a risky pick, but it is. After playing unreal golf for over a year, McIlroy has been mired in a slump that has seen him miss the cut in four of his last seven starts. He gets the nod because of his top 10s in his last two starts at Firestone, but those looking for a safer play might want to start Dustin Johnson or Bubba Watson over McIlroy.

 

SUPER SUBS

Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Lee Westwood, Rickie Fowler, Ernie Els

 

Group C

 

Jason Dufner-- This is his first time at the WGC-Bridgestone, however he gets the pick due to his two championships, a second place and a T4 over his last six worldwide starts.

 

Graeme McDowell-- His record at Firestone is nothing to get excited about, but he has been playing some great golf in here and I'm going to go with his hot hand.

 

SUPER SUBS

Martin Laird, Francesco Molinari, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel

 

 

Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge:  WGC-Bridgestone (Ned’s Picks)

 

Group 1: Tiger Woods

Group 2: Dustin Johnson

Group 3: Nick Watney

Group 4: Retief Goosen

 

Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge:  Reno-Tahoe (Ned’s Picks)

 

Group 1: Padraig Harrington

Group 2: Josh Teater

Group 3: Alex Cejka

Group 4: Patrick Reed

 

“And another thing…”

The analysis doesn't end here. Rotoworld's Rob Bolton will be co-hosting a one-hour live chat with GolfChannel.com's Ryan Ballengee on Wednesday at NOON ET. They will be breaking down the field at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the Reno-Tahoe Open and answering your questions. Simply return to the golf home page to join in on the chatter.

 



Fantasy Golf columnist Mike Glasscott joined Rotoworld in 2012. He can be contacted via email at RotoworldGlass@gmail.com or on Twitter.
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