LOUIS Ross (@LouisRoss67) is back with four picks from this week’s Bridgestone Invitational. Take a look.
WGC Bridgestone Invitational | Thursday – Sunday
Justin Rose. You are dangerously close to the ‘Sergio List’. For the second time this season when he has appeared here, Rose has thrown away a glorious chance on the back 9 on Sunday. Just two shots off the lead after a couple of holes, he just could not see it through despite perfect conditions for his game.
No regrets. You could have given me 50 picks and I doubt I would have come up with the 350/1 winner Troy Merritt. It is amazing how someone like that could look like Jordan Spieth for two rounds. Everyone expected his course record 61 on Saturday to give him no more than an appearance in the last group Sunday and a quiet disappearance thereafter. He was mightily impressive.
On we go and a tournament I love. World Golf Championship events are normally as good as any Major with quality fields and fantastic courses. The annual trip to Akron, Ohio and the wonderful South Course at Firestone is always a highlight. A massive Par 70 of 7400 yards.
This place is not far off a US Open style track. Six Par 4s of over 450 yards is bad enough but there is also a monster Par 5. The 15th here is some 677 yards. I dont know about you but I get fairly fed up of big hitters able to reach every Par 5. Well even DJ wont get his second on here. I would expect a winning score of around -12 which is something to factor into any in-play bets.
This is as good a field as you will see anywhere. With the exception of Rory, everyone is here. Jordan Spieth is rightfully favourite, but in a line-up of this quality, I will give the 6/1 a swerve. Plenty will make a case for the aforementioned Dustin Johnson and Jason Day. I cant back DJ right now after he threw away yet another Major and I so want Day to win next week, that I am going to leave him out of calculations this week.
My choices have all appeared here regularly and I really like the chances of the first two in particular. Hideki Matsuyama just has not let us down all season. He has not registered a win in 2015 but six top 5s are up there with anyone. 18th at the last two Majors is a great showing and his course form here is impressive. A 21st on debut improved to 12th last year when he was rated 1st in Putting. The course demands long accurate play off the tee and Hideki ranks in the Top 5 for Total Driving, Ball Striking and Strokes Gained Tee to Green.
Louis Oostheuizen is the number two pick this week. A little unlucky to finish 2nd in a couple of Majors this year, Louis has six Top 10 finishes in 14 PGA events this season. The World Number 13 has as good a record as anyone in the last few months. His wins have tended to come on the back of some good form. I have avoided him a little this year as he has had back issues but thankfully he seems to have overcome those.
I am going to throw a live outsider into the mix. Padraig Harrington gave Tiger a run for his money back in the day. Since those glory days of three Majors in a couple of years, the Irishman has fallen victim to a perfectionist personality. Basically, he cant stop tampering with his swing. He has shown flashes this year and recorded his first victory in what seemed decades. He could well have won at St Andrews with a little luck. Harrington could produce anything from a win to last place, his game is that erratic but I think he’s well worth a small bet at 200/1
Finally, I will have a little play on Zach Johnson for a Top 10 finish. The Open Champion has had a couple of weeks off, but tends to show well off of a break. A man that rarely plays any Par 5 in two, the set up here should suit well.
WGC Bridgestone Invitational – Hideki Matsuyama each way (25/1 Bet365)
WGC Bridgestone Invitational – Louis Oosthuizen each way (25/1 BetVictor)
WGC Bridgestone Invitational – Padraig Harrington each way (200/1 Coral)
WGC Bridgestone Invitational – Zach Johnson Top 10 Finish (100/30 Boylesports)