• Will be making his first start since missing out on Open play-off
• Marc Warren booked his place with PL Match Play finish last week
JORDAN SPIETH | WGC-BRIDGESTONE INVITATIONAL
With Rory McIlroy gearing up for a possible return at the US PGA Championship, Jordan Spieth has another chance to reach the world No.1 spot unchallenged at this week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
Spieth, whose calendar year Grand Slam hopes were cruelly ended on the 72nd hole of the Open Championship three weeks ago, achieved fourth spot at St Andrews, following on from his wins at the Masters and US Open, while his blistering 2015 has also included successes at the Valspar Championship and John Deere Classic.
With 3,763 FedExCup points, Spieth’s total dwarves that of second-placed Bubba Watson with 2,043 and despite finishing 49th in his debut appearance at Akron last year, it’s safe to say that a lot has happened for the 22-year-old since then.
McIlroy is the event’s defending champion before he went on to win the US PGA at Valhalla a week later, and runner-up to the Northern Irishman at Firestone was Sergio Garcia, who recorded nine birdies on the back nine of his second round before being edged out by McIlroy on the final day.
Elsewhere, Jason Day comes into the event on the back of his fourth-placed finish at St Andrews and a win at the RBC Canadian Open, while Jim Furyk has recorded nine top ten finishes in his 15 starts at the event.
Marc Warren arrived in Akron on Tuesday after securing his place in the event thanks to a fourth-placed finish at the Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play, while the only other Scot in the field is Stephen Gallacher, who will be looking to end his run of poor form.
Selected pairings (local times)
10.25am – Jason Day & Rickie Fowler
Since his alarming collapse at the US Open with vertigo, where he remarkably managed to finish in the top ten, the Australian has performed superbly in his two events since. He agonisingly missed out on a play-off at the Open Championship after recording just three bogeys all week before he bounced back in impressive fashion with a win at the RBC Canadian Open. Meanwhile, Fowler finished runner-up at the last week’s Quicken Loans National but, like Day, is a two-time winner this season with wins at the Scottish Open and the Players Championship.
2.15pm – Jordan Spieth & Zach Johnson
The pair’s friendship was displayed in full at St Andrews as Spieth stayed around to congratulate Open champion Johnson as he walked off the 18th green at the Old Course. Spieth’s form so far this year has been nothing short of incredible, while it’ll be interesting to see how Johnson fares in his first start since clinching his second major title three weeks ago.
2.25pm – Justin Rose & Phil Mickelson
Rose is another player whose form has been excellent in 2015. The Englishman has a PGA Tour win to his name at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, with runner-up finishes at the Masters and the Memorial Tournament and comes into this week on the back of a top ten at the Open and fourth in Canada. Mickelson, meanwhile, hasn’t managed to improve on his runner-up finish alongside Rose at Augusta, but he has had top fives at the Wells Fargo Championship and the FedEx St Jude Classic.
Jordan Spieth at Firestone :: Another win?
Who will win the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational this week? Leave your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below.