Course: Firestone Country Club, a classic golf course that measures at a mere 7,100 yards but provides plenty of problems for players. The winner score is consistently double digits under par, but scoring rarely gets out of control. That being said, it is a course that awards aggressive play.
Strength Of Field: A+. Dustin Johnson is the only player inside the top 50 in the world that is sitting this event out. Bridgestone always attracts the best.
Extra Tidbits: Jason Dufner will play this week, despite announcing that he is suffering from two bulging disks in his next. The defending PGA Champion said there were weeks where he got little to no sleep. He still plans to play next week...Tiger Woods will tee it up for the third time since recovering from back surgery. He has won this tournament 8 times...Weather may be a problem this week, as rain is a possibility until Sunday. The wind will determine whether it effects scores.
Rory McIlroy - I hate taking a player immediately after a major victory, especially one that was a rout, as a player ultimately has a let down following that success. Rory's performance at the Open, however, baited me into this pick. I would feel like a fool if I didn't pick him the next two weeks.
Adam Scott - The most under the radar world number one in some time. Rory's run away win in Liverpool has put the pressure on Scott to succeed in order to keep his ranking, and I believe he will do just that. This course should set up for his style of play.
Tiger Woods - I can't really label one of the greatest golfers of all time as a "sleeper" pick, but given his recent performances, that's exactly what this is. If he is healthy, as he appears to be, and he has the rust shaken off, then there is no one in the field who can touch Tiger at Firestone. Where he finishes this week will determine where is game is going forward. If he finishes towards the bottom of the field, expect him to not be named to the Ryder Cup team.
Victor Dubuisson - Cooled down following his runner up finish at the match play, but notched a top 10 at the Open Championship to renew my confidence in him. He is a lock to make the Ryder Cup team, but something tells me he's going to want to make more of an impression heading into the matches. Aggressive golfer who will have no trouble firing at pins.
There is also an alternate field event taking place this week - the Barracuda Championship, which is the coolest sounding golf tournament on the schedule. As usual, I will not provide a full rundown, but I will give the four players I think will succeed.
Retief Goosen - Best year he's had in years. Hasn't missed a cut since March, and finished T12 in Canada last week. Goosen will break back into the winner circle again soon, and this is the perfect week to do it.
Chad Campbell - Hit or miss, with two top 25s and two missed cuts in the last four starts. Needs a big week if he wants any shot at regaining his card for next season.
Ben Curtis - Finished T12 last week after missing the cut at the Open Championship. This is good news, seeing as he would string together a run of missed cuts throughout the season. Is currently 128th in the FedEx Cup points, and since he is not exempt into the PGA Championship, he will have two weeks to crack the top 125.
Oliver Goss - These are the kinds of events young rookies/non members play well at. Goss just turned pro a few months ago, and is looking to join the PGA Tour next season. This is the perfect event to show his stuff.