The Sleeper Report: Fantasy Golf Sleepers, Long Shots, and Undervalued Picks for the 2016 Golf World Championships-Bridgestone Invitational from Akron, OH
The 2016 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational Fantasy Sleeper Preview
On the heels of an impressive first career win by Billy Hurley Iii at the Quicken Loans Invitational last week, the top players from around the world converge on the famous Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. What was once a company course has become one of the most well-known Golf venues in the country. The par 70, 7,400-yard course has hosted the Bridgestone Invitational event for the WGC every year since 1999, and has also hosted three PGA Championships in 1960, 1966, and 1975.
The field is a thin one, as many of the top European golfers are choosing to take their skills to the Open de France instead. Among those missing this prestigious event from overseas is Rory McIlroy, Masters champion Danny Willett, and the winner of last week’s BMW International Open, Henrik Stenson. With that said, there will still be a ton of elite talent in Akron, with Official World Golf Rankings No. 1 golfer Jason Day leading the way.
Looking to piggyback off of his recent U.S. Open victory will be No. 3 Dustin Johnson. He’ll be joined by No. 2 Jordan Spieth to create a formidable trio at the top of the odds. In all, 40 of the top 50 players in the world will be setting their sites at the big paycheck and FedExCup points earned for taking down this tournament.
They will need to get through last year’s champion, Shane Lowry, in order to do this. The Irish-born player put his name out there with his first win on the PGA TOUR after winning twice before on the European TOUR. He has risen to 25th in the world thanks to that victory and a slew of impressive performances in majors. He was able to get the job done here in 2015 thanks to a score of 11-under-par as he beat out Bubba Watson by a pair of strokes. His winning mark was the worst in this tourney since 2008, as the victor in this event took home the trophy with an average score of 14-under from 2009-2014. There has been only one player who was able to win here more than once since the WGC took over the event back in 1999, and that would be Tiger Woods. He was able to win the first three years (1999-2001) and then proceeded to win another five times (2005-2007, 2009, 2013) while holding the record with a 21-under-par showing in 2000, where he left runners-up Justin Leonard and Phillip Price in the dust by a ridiculous 11 strokes.
Last week proved once again that you shouldn’t count anyone out of the winner’s circle, as then No. 607 player in the world, Billy Hurley III, beat out the rest of the field in impressive fashion. The likes of Vijay Singh, Jon Rahm, Ernie Els, and Robert Garrigus also threw their names into contention with top eight finishes. The players this week have all qualified after either showing they know how to win, or at least consistently be in contention, but there are certainly still plenty who are long shots. Below are a few of those players who could make some noise in the WGC tournament this week.
The 2016 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational Fantasy Sleeper Report
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Cover photo via Instagram.