Firestone Country Club hosts a fitting warm up to next week's PGA Championship, the WGC -Bridgestone Invitational, an 80 player limited field event. I'm no fan of shortened field tournaments, but at least this one's filled with top players as opposed to a certain major that's stuffed with WWII vets. Don't be swayed by the fact that Tiger Woods, who is coming off a win last week, has also won here six times. That's no good reason to pick him this week and confirms you as a lemming. After all, he has a 1 in 80 chance, right? Well, not quite. Ladbrokes has him established at odds of 2.25:1, ridiculous for a golf tournament. The second favorite is Phil Mickelson at 17:1 after a hiatus and he's followed by Jim Furyk at 26:1. Full field.
So let's throw Woods out of the mix and see who else might have a shot. Firestone is narrow and tree lined with ancient turtle back greens, so this Average Golfer is thinkin' straight off the tee and a great short game would be nice to have in the arsenal. Immediately coming to mind are Furyk, Goosen, Leonard, Mahan, Stricker, and Westwood. There's six good picks to throw up against Senor Woods. The boys to avoid are Els, Garcia, Ogilvy, and Singh. Els and Garcia's heads are Elswhere. Ogilvy's in an uncharacteristic funk and Vijay hasn't quite rounded into form after the knee surgery, although he's making good progress with two recent top tens.
Of course many of the chosen 80 are capable of winning this thing, just unlikely. My sentimental pick is Davis Love III. He plays well here and I'd like to see him enjoy a little more twilight glory. It should be a top notch event. Set your Tivo if you'll be out on the course yourself, or pull up the easy chair and watch them do what they do best.