Fantasy golf rankings: 2017 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

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Fantasy golf rankings: 2017 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

PGA Tour

Fantasy golf rankings: 2017 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

It’s time for the final World Golf Championships event of the season: the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

Firestone Country Club’s South Course will once again play host to the top players in the world. The par-70 layout is traditionally one of the most challenging on Tour with its tree-lined fairways and complex bunkering around the greens.

Look for players who score well on par 4s and avoid bogeys, as well as players with strong tee-to-green stats. Long-hitters are thought to have the advantage here as the course plays over 7,400 yards, but shorter hitters have done well by hitting fairways.

Also, I like the guys that hit their long-irons well this week, so look at greens in regulation and proximity stats from 200 yards and out.

Remember: this is a no-cut event, so for daily fantasy purposes you need guys who are going to score.

Here are my top 25 fantasy-golf options for this year’s WGC-Bridgestone:

1. Jordan Spieth: Looking for a third straight victory this season. Finished 49th in Bridgestone debut in 2014, but T-10 and T-3 in two starts since. Ranks first in par-4 scoring, sixth in bogey avoidance and seventh in SGTTG.

2. Dustin Johnson: Defending champion but nothing better than 15th in six previous starts at Firestone prior to last year. Bounced back from poor British Open final round to tie for eighth in Canada. Still leads Tour in strokes gained-tee to green, and ranks fifth in bogey avoidance, T-7 in GIR from 200-plus yards and T-11 in par-4 scoring.

3. Justin Rose: Was T-48 last year at Firestone, but cracked top 4 in 2014 and ’15. Owns three other top 5s in this event, though one was at Sahalee, in 2002. Just one top 10 in five worldwide starts since runner-up at the Masters. Ranks sixth in GIR from 200-plus yards, T-11 in par-4 scoring and 14th in SGTTG.

4. Rory McIlroy: Recent caddie switch hurts his stock this week. T-4 at Open ended his skid of two straight MCs. Hasn’t played Firestone since winning in 2014. Boasts three other top 10s here.

Rickie Fowler (AP Photo/Dave Thompson)

5. Rickie Fowler: Four top 10s in last six worldwide starts, and T-22 at Open in his last start. In six career trips to Firestone, he has four top 10s, including three straight entering this year and a T-2 in 2011. Ranks third in SGP, 11th in SGTTG and 13th in bogey avoidance.

6. Hideki Matsuyama: T-14 in each of the last two weeks since T-2 at U.S. Open. However, Firestone has had his number, as he’s finished outside top 20 in three of four starts here with no top 10s. Ranks T-2 in par-4 scoring, seventh in bogey avoidance and eighth in SGTTG.

7. Jon Rahm: Followed Irish Open win with T-44 showing at Royal Birkdale. Making Bridgestone debut, but game appears suited for Firestone. Ranks second in SGTTG, fourth in par-4 scoring and 20th in bogey avoidance.

8. Jason Day: Showed glimpses with T-27 finish at Open, which snapped streak of two straight MCs. Ballstriking stats down this year, but he does rank 25th in GIR from 200-plus yards. Finished T-3 last year at Firestone, his third top 12 here since 2011, when he was T-4. Wouldn’t be surprising if he ended struggles in his home state.

9. Adam Scott: Has played this event every year since 2003, posting a win (2011) and five other top-14 finishes. Just one top 10 in last five worldwide starts, but a respectable T-22 at Open. Ranks 17th in SGTTG.

10. Brooks Koepka: T-6 in Bridgestone debut, in 2015. Last two starts have been majors, as he won the U.S. Open and then tied for sixth at Birkdale. Length will be big asset this week.

11. Sergio Garcia: In 15 career trips to Firestone, he’s failed to finish better than T-20 in 11 of those. Did finish runner-up to McIlroy in 2014. His T-37 at Birkdale was his worst finish since a T-49 at the Genesis Open in February. Ranks third in SGTTG, T-11 in par-4 scoring and 15th in bogey avoidance. Coming off getting married this past weekend.

12. Paul Casey: In last eight worldwide starts, he owns six top 12s, including T-11 at Open. Two tops at Firestone, but none since 2008. Has gone T-17 and T-16 the last two years here. Ranks third in bogey avoidance, T-5 in par-4 scoring and ninth in SGTTG.

13. Matt Kuchar: This will be his fourth straight week playing, and he battled dizziness en route to a T-33 showing in Canada. Six straight top-16 finishes before that, including runner-up at Open. In last seven Bridgestone starts, he hasn’t finished worse than T-27 while posting four top 12s, including a T-3 showing last year. Ranks 10th in bogey avoidance, T-19 in par-4 scoring and 20th in SGTTG.

14. Henrik Stenson: Turning things around as he’s cracked top 16 in four of his last seven starts, including a T-11 at the Open, and finished T-26 or better in six of those starts. Has finishes of T-6 and T-2 in last three trips to Firestone.

Marc Leishman

Marc Leishman (Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports)

15. Marc Leishman: Third here in 2014, but nothing better than T-33 in three other starts. Form is great, as he has two straight top-6 finishes, at the Open and Quicken Loans, and five top-17 finishes in his last seven starts. Ranks T-18 in bogey avoidance, T-19 in par-4 scoring, and 20th in SGTTG and GIR from 200-plus yards.

16. Branden Grace: T-6 at the Open was his fifth top 15 in his last seven starts worldwide. Not the most accurate off the tee, but a decent record here – T-10, T-17, T-23 in last three trips to Firestone.

17. Tommy Fleetwood: Rallied for a T-27 finish at the Open, but still snapped a string of four straight top 10s, including a win in France. Nearly won a WGC in Mexico earlier this year, but this is his first trip to Firestone.

18. Jason Dufner: Top 10s in first two trips to Firestone, but outside top 50 in last two since. T-14 at Open snapped a streak where he missed three cuts and won once in four events. Ranks T-5 in par-4 scoring and 24th in SGTTG.

19. Daniel Berger: Withdrew after one shot in his Bridgestone debut last year. Has three top 5s in last five worldwide starts, including a win in Memphis and a runner-up at Travelers. Ranks T-19 in par-4 scoring and 29th in SGTTG. Also has risen to 14th in SGP.

20. Alex Noren: Cracked top 15 in five of last seven worldwide starts with two MCs. That streak includes a win at the BMW PGA and a T-6 at the Open. Good ballstriker who can score, but T-53 in both his starts at Firestone, in 2010 and ’11.

21. Justin Thomas: Three straight missed cuts isn’t a great sign, and he was T-33 here a year ago, though that was with a closing 76. Ranks T-2 in par-4 scoring and 18th in SGTTG, and he has the length.

Rafa Cabrera-Bello

Rafa Cabrera-Bello (Ian Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports)

22. Rafa Cabrera-Bello: Isn’t the type of ballstriker that this course demands, but he does lead the Tour in SGP and is great around the greens – and he does keep it in play off the tee fairly well. Plus, he has a win and T-4 in his last two worldwide starts. This will be his Bridgestone debut.

23. Kevin Chappell: T-3 in Bridgestone debut last year. Coming off T-8 finish at Canadian Open. Ranks 31st in SGTTG.

24. Charl Schwartzel: Lots of experience at Firestone with two top-7 showings in his last three trips, including T-7 last year. T-12 last time out at the Porsche European Open. Ranks seventh in SGP, but has struggled off the tee this season.

25. Charley Hoffman: Coming off a P-2 in Canada and has three top 8s in last five starts, though has nothing better than T-22 in four trips to Firestone. Ranks T-19 in par-4 scoring and 27th in SGTTG.

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