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PGA Tour
PGA European - WGC - Bridgestone Invitational Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, August 5th through Sunday, August 8th
SITE: Firestone Country Club (South Course), Akron, Ohio
COURSE ARCHITECT: Bert Way (1929), Robert Trent Jones (1960)
PAR: 70
YARDAGE: 7,400
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 399 yds10 - Par 4 410 yds
2 - Par 5 526 yds11 - Par 4 418 yds
3 - Par 4 442 yds12 - Par 3 180 yds
4 - Par 4 471 yds13 - Par 4 471 yds
5 - Par 3 200 yds14 - Par 4 467 yds
6 - Par 4 469 yds15 - Par 3 221 yds
7 - Par 3 219 yds16 - Par 5 667 yds
8 - Par 4 482 yds17 - Par 4 400 yds
9 - Par 4 494 yds18 - Par 4 464 yds
35 3,702 yds35 3,698 yds
Annual:  12th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 2-6 p.m. (et),
  - Thursday/Friday -- 8:30-12:30 a.m. (et) - replay,
  - Saturday/Sunday -- 12-1:30 p.m. (et),
  CBS - Saturday -- 2-6 p.m. (et)
  - Sunday -- 3-6 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Tiger Woods
Runner-Up:  Robert Allenby, Padraig Harrington
Tournament Record:  259 (Tiger Woods, 2000)
54-Hole Record:  192 (Tiger Woods, 2000)
36-Hole Record:  125 (Tiger Woods, 2000)
Course Record:  61 (Jose Maria Olazabal, 1990; Tiger Woods, 2000)
Total Purse:  $8,500,000
Shares:  1st Place - $1,400,000; 2nd Place - $850,000; 3rd Place - $480,000
2009 Finish
Tiger Woods268Steve Stricker274
Robert Allenby272Stewart Cink274
Padraig Harrington272Miguel Angel Jimenez274
Angel Cabrera273Lee Westwood275
Hunter Mahan273Mike Weir276
Past WGC - Bridgestone Invitational Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2009Tiger Woods (268) -- Robert Allenby, Padraig Harrington
2008Vijay Singh (270) -- Stuart Appleby, Lee Westwood
2007Tiger Woods (272) -- Rory Sabbatini, Justin Rose
2006*Tiger Woods (270) -- Stewart Cink
2005Tiger Woods (274) -- Chris DiMarco
2004Stewart Cink (269) -- Rory Sabbatini, Tiger Woods
2003Darren Clarke (268) -- Jonathan Kaye
2002Craig Parry (268) -- Robert Allenby, Fred Funk
2001*Tiger Woods (268) -- Jim Furyk
2000Tiger Woods (259) -- Justin Leonard, Phillip Price
1999Tiger Woods (270) -- Phil Mickelson

* - Won in Playoff

Note:Formerly called WGC - NEC Invitational (1999-2005).

Top Contenders in the Field
Tiger WoodsWonWon4thT-4T-2WonWonWon---Won
Padraig HarringtonT-27T-17T-47T-3974thT-24T-27T-14T-20T-2
Robert AllenbyT-12T-23T-2T-6T-9---T-2281stT-20T-2
Hunter Mahan---------------------T-22T-10T-4
Angel Cabrera------T-19T-23T-4T-41T-4T-69T-36T-4
Miguel A. Jimenez36thT-36------T-2757thT-54---T-10T-6
Steve Stricker---------------------T-41T-43T-6
Stewart Cink7thT-13T-47T-61WonT-412ndT-56T-43T-6
Lee WestwoodT-20wdT-15T-46T-9T-24wdT-22T-29th
Kenny Perry------T-24T-53T-27T-6T-27T-11T-66T-11
Zach Johnson------------T-22T-9T-36T-11T-16T-15
Ian Poulter---T-13---T-33---T-33T-13T-30T-16T-15
Sergio Garcia------T-58T-30T-16T-13T-22T-20T-36T-22
Geoff Ogilvy---------------T-41T-36T-51T-68T-22
Vijay Singh---T-13T-11T-6T-32T-3T-45T-56WonT-29
Retief GoosenT-2410thT-11T-17wdT-58T-48T-61T-4T-29
Henrik Stenson---------------T-13T-31T-41T-16T-29
Tim Clark---------T-64T-48T-5174thT-6T-20T-29
Justin Rose------5thT-33---------T-2T-27T-29
Ernie ElsT-12T-8T-15T-17T-65---T-31T-22T-27T-29
Anthony Kim------------------------T-36T-36
Ross Fisher------------------------T-5643rd
Justin LeonardT-2---T-28T-23T-50T-19T-31T-9T-2044th
K.J. Choi------T-19T-53T-58T-51T-22T-11T-16T-45
Graeme McDowell------T-52------wd------T-56T-45
Luke Donald------------T-16T-6T-8T-22---T-45
Stuart ApplebyT-20T-5T-42T-47T-9T-13T-71T-14T-2T-51
Jim FurykT-42ndT-6T-6T-22T-243rd---T-27T-51
Adam Scott---------T-64T-55T-36T-10T-36T-56T-51
Phil MickelsonT-4T-8T-9T-23T-43T-51T-54T-46T-4T-58
Rory McIlroy---------------------------T-68
Sean O'Hair---------------T-51------T-12T-70
Paul Casey---------T-17T-16T-19T-4T-51T-8wd
Louis Oosthuizen------------------------------
Jeff Overton------------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Luke Donald
Darkhorse - Nick Watney
Last Week's Pick to Win (Rory McIlroy) - Finished tied for 35th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Rafa Echenique) - Missed the cut
NOTES:The PGA and European Tours travel to Ohio this week for the final tune-
up prior to the PGA Championship, the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. This week's event boasts a remarkable field, as the top players in the world travel to Firestone Country Club in Akron. This is the third WGC event of 2010. Earlier this season, Ian Poulter captured the Accenture Match Play Championship and Ernie Els won the CA Championship. This event is co- sanctioned with the PGA Tour by the European Tour, Asian PGA, Japan Golf Tour, PGA Tour of Australasia and the Southern Africa PGA Tour. The top 55 players in the current world rankings are expected to compete this week.

Players qualify for this lucrative event if they are playing members of the 2009 U.S. and International Presidents Cup teams or the 2008 U.S. and European Ryder Cup teams. If not otherwise eligible, players also make the field if they are ranked among the top 50, including any players tied for 50th place, in the world rankings as of Monday, July 26, 2010 and Monday, August 2, 2010; or tournament winners of worldwide events since the prior year's Bridgestone Invitational. The 72-hole, stroke-play format features no cut.

Last year, Tiger Woods fired a final-round, five-under 65 to come from behind and win his seventh title at this event. He finished at 12-under 268 and won by four over Robert Allenby and Padraig Harrington at Firestone. Woods became the first player in PGA Tour history to win seven times on the same course. He is one victory away from joining Sam Snead as the only golfers to ever win the same championship eight times.

Third-round leader Harrington got tripped up by one hole. He struggled to a two-over 72 and fell into a second place tie with Allenby, who posted a 66. The pivotal hole was the par-five 16th. Harrington was one shot ahead of Woods and both hit tee shots that required lay ups. Woods hit his second into the fairway and Harrington played a bad shot that was on a hill near a bunker. Woods hit an eight-iron from 182 yards right at the flag. The ball spun back inches from going in and the pressure was firmly on Harrington. From an awkward stance, Harrington's shot sailed into the right rough. As soon as he hit his pitch, Harrington groaned. He hammered his pitch and the ball went directly into the pond. Harrington took a long, lonely walk back to the other side of the water and hit his sixth shot to the back fringe. He chipped to three feet and holed out for a triple-bogey. Suddenly three ahead, Woods parred 17 and hit a great approach to five feet at the last. He converted that one for a final birdie, punctuating an historic victory.

In 2008, Vijay Singh parred the final five holes to defeat Stuart Appleby and Lee Westwood by one stroke. Singh closed with a two-under 68 to complete the event at 10-under-par 270. He was the only player in the field to fire four rounds in the 60s. The win was Singh's 32nd on the PGA Tour, giving him the most titles for a foreign-born player. He has since added two more wins to stand at 34 victories. Singh became the oldest player, and first in his 40s, to win a World Golf Championships event at 45 years, five months and 12 days old.

The World Series of Golf was held at Firestone Country Club from 1962-98, while the PGA Championship was also held at Firestone in 1960, 1966 and 1975. The first three years of this event were held at Firestone Country Club on the South Course. After a one-year stop at Sahalee Country Club in Washington in 2002, the event moved back to its present location at Firestone in 2003. This will be the 56th time in Firestone South history that the course is hosting a PGA Tour event. The first was the Rubber City Open from 1954-59.

Woods has recorded top-five finishes in all 10 of his Bridgestone Invitational appearances, going a combined 103-under par in them. Of the 40 rounds of golf, 11 have been in the 70s and 29 in the 60s. His overall earnings are $9,352,500.

Woods has dominated the World Golf Championships. In his 31 career starts, Woods has 16 wins and 25 top-10 finishes. He has earned $22,653,330 in his 31 WGC appearances.

Just five players have competed in all 11 Bridgestone Invitationals: Appleby, Jim Furyk, Harrington, Phil Mickelson and Lee Westwood.

The PGA and European Tours will be in Wisconsin next week at Whistling Straits for the final major of the year, the PGA Championship. Y.E. Yang captured his first major championship title last year.

08/03 13:57:28 ET

As of August 3, 2010, at 01:57 PM ET

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