Aug 01, 2018: Anirban Lahiri will tee off at the same time Tiger Woods, the eight-time champion at WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but they will be teeing off from opposite sides of the Firestone South, which is hosting the venue for the last time.
Lahiri will play with Luke List at 10.20 am from the first tee, while Woods will start play with Jason Day at the same time but from the tenth tee. Also playing in the morning session will be Shubhankar Sharma, as the two Indian together create history as this is the first time two Indians will play the WGC-Bridgestone event for the first time. Sharma plays the first round with Aaron Wise from first tee at 9.30 am.
This is an important event for both Indians as they seek to move forward on various fronts. Lahiri is trying to get back to Top-100 and Top-50, while Sharma is trying to gain a PGA Tour card.
Meanwhile Woods, who has won this event eight times including the first three times of this event’s history. Woods got into Top-50 in the nick of time after recording his best finish since 2013 by getting to T-6 at the Open at Carnoustie. That year he was also T-4 at the Masters and T-6 at the Open. Woods last played at a WGC in this very tournament in 2014 but pulled out before completing it.
Among the favourites is World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, fresh of his third win of the season. Johnson returns to Firestone for a final time having won here in 2016.
Fellow past champion Rory McIlroy, who like Woods was T-6 at the Open Championship two weeks ago, has one win and three runners-up finishes this year. Both McIlroy and Woods can be lethal at this course.
The Firestone Country Club (South) is a 7,400-yard par 70, which has been a signature stop on the PGA Tour for five decades and the last of the original WGC venues. The event will not be hosted by Firestone any longer starting in 2019 when it heads to Memphis.
Last year Hideki Matsuyama captured his fifth PGA Tour win here last year, climbing to third in the world. This year injury and disappointing play have pulled Matsuyama down to 16th in the world with just one top-10 finish in 2018.
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