Our preview on how the Australian will fare this week at the 2013 WGC Bridgestone Invitational.
The WGC Bridgestone Invitational has been a happy hunting ground for Australians with Craig Parry winning in 2002 and Adam Scott winning at Firestone in 2011. Up until Scott’s US Masters victory this was arguably the biggest win of his career – and supposedly Stevie’s too.
Adam Scott is in the 73-man field this week at Firestone Country Club along with three other Australians who have qualified: Jason Day, Brett Rumford and Daniel Popovic.
I’m not sure we’ve ever had a more eclectic bunch of Australian golfers play in this event before so here is a preview of how each of the Aussie golfers will fare this week.
In an Australian summer that included Peter Senior winning the Australian Open and Adam Scott winning the Australian Masters, Daniel Popovic’s victory at the Australian PGA Championship didn’t receive the publicity it deserved. It was the most remarkable victory of the three big tournaments on the Aussie Swing and because of it, Popovic earns himself a spot in the prestigious Bridgestone Invitational.
“This is my biggest tournament to date 10 fold; if I’m not mistaken this is one of the biggest prize purses for the year worldwide, it has the world top 50 plus a number of invites, no cut and a demanding course, it’s no wonder they call it the unofficial fifth major,” said Popovic.
While Popovic is still young and new to this professional golf caper he has a wise head on him and he will put in a solid performance. While we can’t see Popovic contending on Sunday, the Bridgestone Invitational is a four round event with no cut and the experience will be invaluable.
Like last year, Adam Scott arrives at Firestone keen to shake off memories of The Open. He didn’t go so well last year but Scott has three Top-10’s at the Bridgestone Invitational his last seven starts that include victory in 2011.
Since his US Masters victory, Scott doesn’t have as much to prove and will take to Firestone with more confidence than ever before.
Scott isn’t hitting the ball as well as he was earlier in the year. Normally the best part of his game, Scott sprayed a few iron shots at Muirfield and it cost him dearly but I can see him bouncing back this week and with a Top-5 finish at the very least.
Day hasn’t been making any excuses for a few off day’s on the golf course of late but it was clear at Muirfield he was struggling with a hand injury he sustained in the deep rough of the US Open.
Day has only played this event on three previous occasions and always played well but his finishing position this week depends almost entirely on his hand injury. If it isn’t a problem Day will battle it out with the likes of Snedeker, Stenson, Mickelson, Woods and Scott for the winners trophy.
Remarkably, this is Brett Rumford’s first WGC event and he earned his place in the field courtesy of his amazing back-to-back victories at the 2013 Ballantine’s Championship and the 2013 Volvo China Open.
Rumford played truly remarkable golf to capture these European Tour titles displaying an incredible short game that saw him saving par from everywhere. With this in mind it was a little surprising he did not play well at Muirfield, a links golf course he would be familiar with.
His often erratic driver failed him once again though and he will need to keep it straight this week to fare better at Firestone.