Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

The course is tough, and the field is small. What do you need to know about Firestone this week?

The Open is long gone by now, and the Canadian Open -- for as watered down as the field was -- produced some high fantasy scores and a playoff finish.

Now, we’re onto the WGC-Bridgestone, which boasts some of the best golfers in the world. That’s because the top 50 by the World Golf Rankings at the end of July qualify for this event. The winner of a few other tournaments make the cut, too.

Speaking of cuts, there isn’t one this week.

That means you can take more chances on less-certain options, but with how difficult this course at Firestone CC (South) plays, you don’t want to be stuck with the dudes racking up 72 rounds of bogeys and pars.

Course and Tournament Overview

Firestone CC (South) is a par 70 spanning 7,400 yards, and it consistently plays as one of the tougher courses on the tour. It has ranked inside the top 10 in difficulty relative to par in 3 of the past 4 years and inside the top 20 in 9 of the past 10.

Year Difficulty Rank Par Yds Avg Score Avg O/U Par
2016 7 70 7,400 71.416 1.416
2015 8 70 7,400 70.968 0.968
2014 18 70 7,400 70.389 0.389
2013 9 70 7,400 71.051 1.051
2012 16 70 7,400 70.695 0.695
2011 18 70 7,400 70.174 0.174
2010 15 70 7,400 70.556 0.556
2009 11 70 7,400 70.861 0.861
2008 22 70 7,400 70.550 0.550
2007 4 70 7,400 72.787 2.787

Yikes. That's something to take note of. Again, there's no cut, and the field is 78 golfers deep. You'll really need to hit on all eight golfers this week, even without the cut.

Stats to Target

You can rarely go wrong relying on guys with strong strokes gained: tee to green scores in recent rounds, and birdie or better rate helps identify fantasy-friendly scorers.

But these are the stats that correlate best with scoring at Firestone CC (South) in the past 10 years.

Key Stats for WGC Bridgestone at Firestone CC (South)
Par 4 Scoring
Strokes Gained: Approach the Green
Strokes Gained: Off the Tee
Greens in Regulation

Iron play and off-the-tee placement have been critical to success at this event in the past, but that doesn’t mean greens in regulation and scrambling can be neglected.

You need to be a strong all-around player to compete in this field, and the stats back it up. Keep that in mind when you think about taking a longshot option this week.

Course History Studs

Matt Kuchar has played this event seven years straight and has finished top 30 every time. That’s not any special feat necessarily, as the field is tiny and there’s no cut, but still, he’s got experience. Since 2010, he has finished 9th, 19th, 8th, 27th, 12th, 25th, and 3rd last season. That means 43% of his tries yielded top 10s.

Justin Rose has played all 10 seasons since 2008 and finished top 10 in four of them. He was just 46th last year but was 5th, 17th, 4th, and 3rd from 2012 to 2015.

Zach Johnson also has 10 events here, with an average finish of 19.1 and a top-10 rate of 30% (6th in 2011, 4th in 2013, and 10th in 2016).

Rory McIlroy hasn’t played here since 2014, when he won. He was 27th in 2013, 5th in 2012, 6th in 2011, and 9th in 2010.

Rickie Fowler enters with three straight top 10s here: 8th, 10th, and 10th since 2014. He was second in 2011, too.

Jordan Spieth (whew, the list of studs keeps growing), was 3rd last year and 10th in 2015 after finishing 49th in 2014.

Dustin Johnson won last year, but that was his only top-10 finish in seven tries since 2009.

Henrik Stenson didn’t play in 2016 but was 6th in 2015, 19th in 2014, and 2nd in 2013.